Your Pitches Go Here!

Hey folks,

Pitch day approaches. Please write up your pitch (following the format below), and paste it into a comment on this thread.

Additionally YOU MUST HAVE A SLIDE to accompany your pitch. It should be an 800×600 pixel 72dpi image saved as a JPG file. You can e-mail it to:


10 responses to “Your Pitches Go Here!

    The Chicago Student Filmmakers Showcase

    This site is a resource for student filmmakers in Chicago that will provide news about upcoming student projects, peer critiquing of student work, and classified listing for jobs and props.

    “Struggling Filmmaker”
    The struggling filmmaker is a first or second year student, age 18 to 22, probably male, who is kind of geeky, spends a lot of time online, and is very passionate about his work.
    The struggling filmmaker is new to film and having a hard time making it in the film world, but he’s dedicated. He would jump at the chance to use a handy resource like to help him break into the business. The struggling filmmaker would visit the site daily to see if anyone posted any constructive comments on his videos. He’d read all the news stories to get some inspiration from other people’s ideas and success stories. And he’d browse the classified ads to see if any internships or job opportunities had come up. The struggling filmmaker would be the site’s “super” user, because he would visit regularly and utilize every section of the site.

    “Film Enthusiast”
    The film enthusiast is not necessarily a film student, but just a person who is very interested in the independent film scene. The film enthusiast could be a male or female, age 16 to 30, who is Web savvy and maybe a bit hipster since he/she prefers indie flicks over mainstream cinema.
    The film enthusiast will use the site primarily to find out where student films are being shown. They may also like to read news stories about trends in student filmmaking and view the film clips posted by users. Since they wouldn’t have any need for the classifieds or peer critiquing, they would be only a “casual” user who visits the site maybe a couple times a week.

    “Film School Grad”
    The film school grad is a recent graduate, age 22 to 28, probably male, who is still looking for his first big break but has already begun doing professional work in the field.
    The film school grad uses the site periodically to check for new job postings and to list ads for props and actors he needs in his films. He’s probably not so interested in uploading his films for critique because he’s an “experienced” filmmaker now, and thinks he is above that. If he stumbled across an interesting sounding story, he might be inclined to read it. But he wouldn’t visit the site in search of news, because he’s not part of the student scene anymore. The film school grad would be a “sporadic” user, visiting the site only when he needs help with one of his films.

  2. Site: Web Descrambler
    Descrip: A guide to independent, online TV programming

    Web Descrambler is a resource for finding free, online TV programming made independently for the Internet, featuring the filmmakers and crews of specific programs, providing recaps of webisodic programs, and offering tips from the experts on how to create a successful web TV series.

    Persona 1: “The Internet Junkie Who Can’t Afford Cable/Is Frustrated with Mainstream Programming”

    Description: Either a twentysomething young professional or a college-aged student who lives on his own, this user is most likely living paycheck to paycheck and simply can’t afford regular cable. Not like it matters–the user thinks most of the programming on TV today is mindless crap. He (most likely a male) also steals wireless from his next-door neighbor and spends the hours between 7 p.m. and 1 a.m. on his computer surfing for free streams of older programs he used to love before TV started on its downward spiral.

    Narrative: It’s 6:30 p.m. on a Tuesday night, and he just got home from work. He changes out of his work clothes for a loose T-shirt and a pair of boxer shorts–perfect for a night of lounging. He throws some leftovers in the microwave, cracks open a soda (maybe a beer, if it’s been a long day), and plops down on the couch with his laptop in tow. It’s almost primetime in TV (about 7 p.m.), but instead of tuning in to the latest sex-fueled episode of “90210,” he checks out Web Descrambler for the latest updates on his favorite webisodic series, “The All-for-Nots.” Last week, Web Descrambler warned him that the new episode for the week would contain an anti-climatic showdown between two of the band members, so he wasn’t surprised when the episode sucked. After reading the recap and realizing he wasn’t in the mood, he started eating his leftover spaghetti while reading a piece on the site, a profile of indie filmmaker and webisodic TV sweetheart Joe Swanberg. The profile teases to a behind-the-scenes story that will be posted next week about what it’s like to film the series in various spots all over Chicago, as well as what it’s like to film so much sex in so little time. He finishes his spaghetti, now looking forward to reading the behind-the-scenes piece next week, and watches an old episode of the now-cancelled “Quarterlife,” an “Oldie but Goodie” mentioned on the site’s updates for the day.

    Persona 2: “Desperate Film School Student”

    Description: The Desperate Film School Student is really passionate about his/her films–seriously. All he or she has ever wanted to do is make films and have other people watch them and feel some sort of reaction to them. And in this new media world where the Internet conquers all, the student, who is struggling to get his/her work picked up by distributors and also finance the production of the pieces, turns to Web Descrambler for inspiration on how to write and create film works specifically for the Internet, advice from experts/professionals, and information about the best equipment and tools for creating a webisodic TV series or film.

    Narrative: While walking to his night class on the aesthetics of cinema, the Desperate Film School Student can’t stop thinking about his new idea for a TV series. It’s original, it’s clever, and it appeals to his generation and that of the current post-college grads. I mean, what shows on mainstream TV are focusing on post-college graduates who live the crazy lives they do? This is an idea that’s going to make it–really. A week and more than 50 phone calls later, he’s been turned down by every sponsor/producer/distributor out there. “There’s no market for this in television, kid,” they told him. “Try putting it on YouTube or something.” They were making fun of him, but he actually takes the idea and begins to process it. “What if I were to just make this with a cheap budget and post it on the Internet?” he thinks. “Many other filmmakers are trying it. I see real quality work on that Web Descrambler site all the time. Why couldn’t I do it?” He immediately logs in to the site, watches a couple of series from start to finish, and takes notes about what makes these programs work. He’s documenting every scene change, every piece of good/bad writing, and everything he likes about the series. Next, he looks back in the archives for some information on equipment. “Sure, I can make the webisodes with no problem. But how the hell do I get it on the Internet and still have it be high-quality?” he thinks. He finds a Q&A with director Joe Swanberg on the do’s and don’ts of webisodic TV: Problem solved.

    Persona 3: “Webisodic TV Filmmaker”

    Description: Although they may already be producing successful webisodic programs, these filmmakers are looking to network with others doing the same thing they are and keep abreast of what is happening in their industry. These filmmakers, although their shows may be successful with viewers, are struggling themselves to keep their viewers and still stay out of the red in production.

    Narrative: He begins to shut down the camera for the night and thanks the actors for their hard work today. Everyone begins to crack open some cold beers in celebration of wrapping the season, and the Webisodic TV Filmmaker joins them. But later that night, when he finally arrives home with all of his second-hand (but still operable) equipment in tow, he starts to feel a little stressed about all of the work and problem-solving ahead of him while he edits the footage from the shoot that night. He’s running over budget, struggling to write more material for the next season (which needs to start shooting in about a month), and is running into roadblocks with the website. So he sets down his equipment and sits down at his desk in front of his computer. He checks for updates on Web Descrambler, watches a few episodes of “The All-For-Nots” to wind down, and suddenly feels inspired. He writes a post in the filmmaker forum on the site, gets a reply, and eventually gets a group of webisode filmmakers and producers in Chicago together for a roundtable discussion over drinks. The filmmakers all commiserate with each other’s issues and also give suggestions to those who are struggling on how they overcame these problems.

  3. Alexandra Sheckler

    1.) Chicago Green Scene

    2.) Chicago Green Scene will provide Chicago and close surrounding with information concerning eco-friendly restaurants,
    businesses, and neighborhoods as well as event updates around the city and green tips.

    3.) Personas – “Organic Professional Chef,” “Save-the-planet Newbie,” and “Independent Businessman”

    Name – “Organic Professional Chef”
    Relationship – Divorced
    Income/Jobs – Chef at local cooking school, teaches classes
    Education – Self taught
    Interests/Hobbies – Gardening, traveling, culinary events, trying new foods, cooking
    Attitude towards technology – Basic internet skills
    Reason for coming to site/ goal to achieve – To find out local happenings in Chicago that point
    towards green and eco-friendly ways of living. Interested in finding new stores or vendors that
    sell new and healthy foods.

    The professional chef will use this website as a guideline for finding new foods and products for her cooking classes.
    She will check the website on a daily basis. The website will also help her business, as
    it will provide a link to her website. Videos and podcasts are helpful to her because they help her
    understand how to incorporate new foods/recipes and make them her own.

    Name – “Save-the-planet newbie”
    Gender – Female
    Relationship – Single
    Income/Jobs – Student
    Education – Community College – current
    Interests/Hobbies – Yoga, dance, singing, writing, get togethers, nature.
    Attitude towards technology – Internet illiterate.
    Reason for coming to site/ goal to achieve – To learn about local events that will better inform
    her of her new found love “BEING GREEN”. Also curious about how to be green in her own home such as recycling and compost.

    The save-the-planet newbie is just interested in researching ways to become healthier, so she checks the site occasionally. When she wonders about events going on in her neighborhood she will check the website and look through photos displayed if she happens to miss an event. Since she doesn’t know how to navigate the internet very well, the map feature is a helpful feature for her. Since she’s a student and moves often, the neighborhood guide is helpful to her so she can better adapt to green neighborhoods. She likes to shop, so the store guide is also helpful to her find green stores and restaurants. Also, she discovers a place for a community garden to participate in.

    Name – “Independent Businessman”
    Gender – Male
    Relationship – Married
    Income/Jobs – Retired. Vendor at local farmer’s market
    Education – B.A. in business
    Interests/Hobbies – Sailing, traveling, new foods, wine tastings, foreign language, computers.
    Attitude towards technology – Understands computers like the back of his hand.
    Reason for coming to site/ goal to achieve – Learn where to sell products.

    The independent businessman will check the website on about a weekly basis. He is a vendor at a local farmer’s market and it’s important for him to check the website for any changes to the program or new vendors selling similar items. Also, there are links the provide him information about other local markets he can
    travel to including maps and photos.

  4. Exposing Baking

    Exposing baking is a site for bakers without a business, in need of exposure.

    The three personas that would visit my site are “the baker without a business,” “the interested buyer,” and “the competitor.”

    The “baker without a business” can be a student, a stay-at-home mom, or the person that has a job but bakes as a hobby. They can either be men or women that don’t have the money to own a business. Shared interest would be making a profit out of their home business. Their background in education would probably vary because the student would have a positive attitude for technology but the stay-at-home might not have the knowledge of technology as well as the person with the job, depending on where they work. All these three personas would visit the site because they would be profiled in the website.

    The “interested buyer” persona is the person looking to buy from the bakers. Men or women that heard from a friend of a good baker profiled in the site. Their income would vary, depending on what they are willing to pay for and how often they visit the site. Their hobbies and interest would vary as well simply because it can be anyone looking for home-made pastries. Their attitude for technology would be important because they would find the bakers through the website. Their reason to visit would be the need to find what they are looking for.

    The last persona is “the competitor.” This persona would be either male or female who owns a business and is always looking into the competition to see what they are up to. Their income would come from their business and they would have a good education. They would share the same interest as the first persona. They would know about websites and they would visit this site to look out for themselves and get a new idea or two.

  5. Go! Chicago
    The site for Chicago’s almost legal

    This site is a Metromix for Chicago teens, segmented into neighborhoods, that highlights different activities for ages 15-18.

    “The Facebook junkie”
    The main user of this site has already overdosed on Facebook and needs a new social vein to tap- this time in person. This user is probably female, aged 16-17. She is able to drive, has a curfew that allows her to go out on the weekends, but is still in high school and lacking things to do. During the week she surfs the web, but on the weekends she’s ready for fun.

    This junkie probably has a lot of friends and can keep up with all of them. She’s constantly on the go. You call her to find the things to do. She has enough money to support weekend activities, but she can’t drop $80 on theater tickets. She probably receives and allowance, and doesn’t have an after-school job.

    The junkie is a people person, and her hobby is hanging out with friends, online or off. She loves technology and can probably chat and text at the same time.

    The junkie would visit my site several days a week, just to see who’s been active there. She would make her weekend plans well in advance, and check the site to make sure her plans are the hottest of the hot. She would use all features of the site, from music to shopping.

    “The Mom Police”
    An extremely casual user- maybe once or twice a year- of my site would be Mom. She has high school kids, probably 2 or 3 kids that are close in age. Mom is between 40 and 50. She is busy, but she takes the time to check up on what is going on.

    Mom has a job that allows her time with her children, though she makes a decent living. She is educated and has medium computer/internet skills. She can navigate websites but can’t (or doesn’t want to) create her own.

    This Mom’s hobbies revolve around her kids. She watches them play soccer, she helps them with homework (when they let her). She’s nosy.

    Mom would visit my site out of curiosity. She wants to know what her kids are doing because she’s nosy. She’d look around at her neighborhood to make sure there aren’t any parties, and just to see what kids are doing these days.

    “I’m Bored”
    The boredom fighter would use my site occasionally. When there was absolutely nothing else planned, this guy or girl (either) would cruise the reviews and choose something to do. They might print out some coupons.

    This is probably the older user, from 18-20. Old enough to make their own plans, but young enough to be excluded from clubs. This user has a $10 an hour job, is pretty busy, and has a small but close group of friends. They’ll look online together and find something to do.

    The boredom fighter is interested in video games, spends a lot of time on the web, is technologically savvy, but is not necessarily into huge social gatherings.

    This user would look for things like theater reviews and student passes.

  6. The Classy Poor

    The Classy Poor delves into the lives of low-income students and researches how to live on a budget comfortably and with some style by interviewing and researching new ways to afford the necessities of life in Chicago.

    The three personas that would most likely use this website are: College students living on their own going full time to school and holding a job, A student that is interested in spending on the local economy and the student interested in saving money.

    The college students living on their own would be the biggest users on The Classy Poor. These are the students with a low-income that are living paycheck to paycheck. These students are on the constant look out for good deals and are continually attending the
    Independent companies to locate a cheaper style of living. They would find a great deal of information on my website concerning cheap food, clothing and transportation ideas and they would take into account their budget with my findings. These students are the ones with the greatest need of help because they are on their own. They feel the affects of the shrinking economy and of the credit crunch in the country and know that unless they complete college they will be doomed to a life of meager living. These on their own students still like to have fun yet they like to have fun without breaking bank and they would greatly rely on my website to locate cheap yet exciting thrills.

    The local economy spender would be the second most seen user on The Classy Poor. This is the mindful student who enjoys thrift shopping as much as the next person and loves to support the local economy as long as they can save a little money. The local economy spender would be living on campus or have support from their parent or guardian yet would still hold a job just to make a little extra cash. Their need for a budget is not as great as the independent college student but they still manage their money and try hard to not spend above their means.

    This local economy spender enjoys going to the farmer’s markets all around Chicago during late summer and early fall. Here this local spender seeks cheap produce and other various products for cheaper prices because taxes cannot be applied to the items for sale. The local spender would visit The Classy Poor to locate the best local markets in Chicago and compare prices with the corporate prices to decide if they can save money.

    The money saver is the least seen on The Classy Poor. This student has money, gets money and most likely makes more money than the average student. This student has already made headway in the career field of their choosing and is texting away on their new iPhone 3G. But they are not all about spending hundreds of dollars a month. They are aware of the growing problem and are interested in saving money just as a precaution. That would lead them to The Classy Poor, where they would do a basic search for new and interesting ways to have fun and still save money. Free concert in Grant Park anyone? How about ordering your cigarettes other than purchasing them from the 711 down the street? There will be loads of information that the money saver can locate in order to keep a pretty penny in their wallet.

  7. 1. Site name:

    2. Description: is a resource for Chicago youths of faith and will provide for them a religious outlet with up-to-date news and features, listings for restaurant/entertainment/religious institutions and other tools catered to each religion.

    3. Three personas:

    “Pious teenager”

    The pious teenager is a high school student, Muslim, probably between the ages of 16-19, female, and is deeply spiritual but would like to continue her studying and understanding of her own religion as well as others’. She’s not a big “partier” and isn’t part of the bar/club scene so she is looking for alternative sources of fun and entertainment that comply with her beliefs. Especially being from the suburbs, events are more likely to happen in the city and so she needs to be in better touch She likes to read and learn from books where she gets most of her knowledge on religions, but sometimes surfs the Internet for quick and more up-to-date information. She also feels like she’s one of the few students in her school that considers religion a major part of her life and can’t relate on that level with many of her peers and so she wants to talk to others like her who share that common bond with God. She would be the “casual user,” using the educational tools on the site to learn about different faiths but mainly utilizing the site’s event listings in the city and message boards/forums as an outlet. She can benefit from much of the site and so will probably visit a couple of times a week. She also only eats Halal (equivalent of kosher) food and no pork or wine, and may use the restaurant guide to find a restaurant that caters to her dietary restrictions. She’s a straight-A student and an over-achiever and makes watching Jeopardy each day a hobby.

    “Youth semi-out-of-touch with faith”

    This youth, male, a fresh-faced college freshman, about 18 years old, is Jewish. He knows the basics of his faith but not the significant details and so had problems following the deeds understanding why. He celebrates Roshoshana but doesn’t bother eating Kosher. He “thinks” his religion more than he feels it, not having that spiritual connection. He’s busy with starting school at a new college and his part-time job and so feels that he doesn’t have time to worry about it. He studies architecture and works part-time at a local cafe. He would be the “sporadic user,” checking in on our site to answer quick questions about his faith that he may have been too embarrassed to ask those he knows and so felt more comfortable as an anonymous user on the site. He can also learn about his own religion and utilize the database of articles and texts for each religion to expand his knowledge on his own.

    “Religiously aware student”

    This student, between the ages of 13-16, is beginning high school and is on the basketball team and volleyball team and is very into yoga. Sports are a good activity to channel and even meditate in a way, she thinks, but she wants to deliberate the nature of God in a more appropriate setting. She feels a connection with God but isn’t sure which, if any, organized religion she feels she wants to follow because she doesn’t know enough about each one nor has she spoken to enough followers of each one to make an informed decision. Either way, she’s interested in researching as many as possible to ace her world religions class at school. So she would be a “super-user,” probably utilizing most of the sections of the site for either personal interest and self-development or for homework and research purposes. She can learn the nature of each faith’s spirituality and when doing her homework, she can also take a look at brief histories and timelines to get an understanding of each faith’s past. Her knowledge of computers is not too extensive so she would probably stick to the direct links on the site rather than spend too much time learning how to navigate around it.

  8. Site Name:
    A simplified business news site for college students

    This site will focus on the current events in the business world affecting students today. It will break down current events and be focussed on “How it affects me.” Each confusing term will be linked to simple glossary. The news will focus on loans, internships, and job opportunities. There will be advice columns from recent graduates as well as business professionals. Most of the graphics will probably have to be photo illustrations.


    Business student: The business student will be interested in coming back to the site to find out news and keep up with current events. Also it will help the business student dive into the world of business.

    New student: The kid looking for a loan or looking to get into college will find updated information on loans and college trends. There will be a database of loans and loan opportunities, as well as how to go through the process of getting loans and what it looks like to pay those back.

    The poor student: The college student wondering how to make money or wondering what career opportunities to look into will find relevant information on the site. Advice columns will most likely be directed towards these students to help them get ideas on how to make money.


    A comprehensive listing and forum for local artists exhibits.

    1. “Established Artist”
    The Established Artist is a married man who has a recognized status in the art community and has popular showings not only in Chicago, but nationally. He’s in his 40’s and is interested in other local artists, becuase he is from Chicago himself. His income is dependant entirely on his art, but is stable and gives him more than enough money to continue making his art. He is technology savvy, although prefers to use the internet less than most and sticks to standard forms of getting news, word of mouth and print publications. He teaches in the art community at the local art schools and prefers to stay on top of what new exhibits are showing and what new galleries are popping up around the city. He coems to my site to see what’s going on around Chicago and how other people, artists and appreciators alike feel about the exhibits. He finds the site to be a good tool to use with his classes as a means of finding specific exhibits to attend for extra credit. He uses this site frequently, but his students use it more as directed by him.

    2. “Struggling Artist”
    This user is a twenty-something single female, just out out of art school. She is spending most of her time working at a restaurant and paying her bills while trying to manage most of her time in her shared studio working on her art. She shows infrequently in any galleries, but prefers to know what’s going on in the art world. She can’t afford to buy print listings of galleries and showings, and is already removed from academia and lacks the word of mouth approach to finding new showings to attend for inspiration. Her use of technology is excellent, school has made her proficient at finding things online, but no site has quite captured her interest because opinion matters to her and no site allows her to post her opinion or see other people’s. She doesn’t have enough money to go to all the exhibits she would like, so the site provides a way to see what other people think and pick and choose what showings she attends for inspiration. The site also provides her with the ability to network with other artists, which is important since her goal is to eventually make her art her #1 means of making money. She uses this site most frequently.

    3. “Art Appreciator”
    This user is a fifty-eight-year-old woman who has enough money to buy art leisurely and semi-frequently. She is married and has no children and no career, her husband is her only means of income, although she is highly educated- simply not in art. She likes to decorate her home with contemporary art, but doesn’t like to only buy from the same people and galleries. Her use of technology is barely proficient, but she is capable of managing simple sites on the internet. She uses to easily read through the lists to find what type of art she desires and then to find out where it is locally to go visit it. She can also read the reviews of the exhibits to see if other people thing it’s worth her while. To her, the opinion of other’s matters a great deal and to be able to read the opinions of artists and other viewers alike gives her reason to check out new exhibits and new artists, but is a casual user.

  10. The Fast Line

    The Fast Line delivers the latest news and features from North American-based sports car racing, with exclusive podcasts, video interviews and news feeds all bundled into one high-octane destination.

    Three different personas that would likely visit the site are “hardcore race fans”, “movers and shakers inside the sport”, and “casual race fans.”

    The Hardcore Race Fan: Generally male, between 18 and 50 years of age, single or married. Income levels vary, but usually in the higher brackets. Most have college degrees, or at least some college education. Interests usually revolve around auto racing, and every facet of the sport. They are frequent visitors, often checking the site three or four times per day. Most are technologically advanced because of their higher education levels. They come to the site to find the latest sports car racing news and features.

    These users use almost every facet of the Web site to get the most information possible. They utilize the search function and send emails to the editors to provide feedback. Podcasts are automatically downloaded into their iTunes account, and they receive the site’s weekly newsletter. On motorsport message boards, these users link to stories and exclusive content, generating more hits. RSS feeds are also very popular for these users, as is the blogging feature offered to site community members.

    Movers and Shakers Inside the Sport: This includes drivers, team owners, crew members, corporate executives and others who are involved in motorsports. They are generally male, between 35 and 50 years old with varied education levels. Many are in the higher income bracket, with main interests revolving around auto racing. These people are technology savvy, as sports car racing is one of the most technologically advanced forms of racing.

    The movers and shakers of the auto racing scene visit the site on a frequent basis, but not as much as the hardcore race fan. They use web-enabled mobile devices like blackberrys and iPhones to access content while on the go. These people personally know some of the editors and writers of the site and are not afraid to give feedback as well. They send emails to staff members through the submission form and give other colleagues links to particular stories that are interesting to them.

    The Casual Race Fan: Includes male and females, usually between 18 and 50 years of age, single or married. Income levels vary, and their jobs are spread across the board as well. Most at least have some college experience, with interests in sports in general. They take some interest in auto racing, but don’t follow it on a day-to-day basis. Technology is important to most, but some still get most of their information from TV and print media. They come to the site after finding it linked in their favorite forum or discover it through web search engines.

    Unlike the two other personas, the casual race fan often just reads the headline for each story and spends considerably less time on the site. They often return to the site, but only a few times per month. They get reminded of the site when seeing it digged or linked in their favorite social networking site. However, they still do not become frequent visitors, mainly as they have other interests besides auto racing.

    Sample proposed Web site design/layout (WIP) at:

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