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Movie Pitch Guru is Appy Fest Guest Artist

By Staff | Apr 8, 2008

A man who headed four film studios, won writing/producing awards, and has authored a best seller on selling concepts to Hollywood will be a special guest artist at the Appalachian Film Festival, which runs April 17-19 at the Keith Albee Performing Arts Center.

Ken Rotcop began his career as a journalist, but on his Acapulco honeymoon filled in for a month as staff writer for a game show called, “First Impressions.” After Monty (“Let’s Make a Deal”) Hall asked Rotcop to stay on, he and his new wife moved to Hollywood.

Although he served as the creative head for Embassy Pictures, Cannon TV, Hanna-Barbera, and Trans World Productions, he’s most remembered for producing and writing the award winning made for TV movie, “For Us, The Living: The Story of Medgar Evers,” which starred Howard Rollins and Laurence Fishburne.

Rotcop received the Writer’s Guild Award, Neil Simon Award and the Image Award as well as honors from the American Film Institute, NAACP, Democratic National Convention, Women in Film, the City of Atlanta and the State of Mississippi.

Having appeared on the “Oprah Winfrey Show” and “STARZ Entertainment Tonight,” he authored “The Perfect Pitch: How to Sell Yourself and Your Movie Idea to Hollywood.” Having previously taught script writing at USC, UCLA and others, Rotcop will present his famed writer’s workshop as part of the Appy Film Festival.

His feature length “Talk Fast,” a documentary on his writer’s workshop, won both the L.A. Independent and Philadelphia Film Festivals. As proof of his success rate, over the past years, he has had more than 80 projects optioned to Hollywood and 16 have been made into feature films.

In addition, he produced dramatic, game and talk shows, including the B feature “Bikini Shop,” as well as “Couples” for FOX, “The Magic Shop” for RKO, and wrote scripts for “Richie Rich” and “Superfriends.”


While the full schedule of independent films on the Appy slate this year will be released shortly, the feature line up includes a beach party rock ‘n roll monster movie, “Stomp Shout Scream,” which was named best feature 2007 at the Magnolia Film Festival, won a nomination for best cinematography/set design at the B Movie Film Festival, and has been shown at festivals from Maryland to Portland and even the Rome International Fest. For a rundown on the film visit: www.stompshoutscream.com/homepage.html.

A second off-beat feature selection, “Grilling Bobby Hicks,” gbh.stimulusfilms.com, centers on the death of a small town bully and the effect it has on those around him, specifically who will inherit his cash. For that matter, Bobby’s not just dead, he was grilled!

Other features include a “Mystery Science Theatre 3000” spoof called “Crash Gordon” and “Tattered Angels,” which has a cameo appearance by Lynda “Wonder Woman” Carter.

Schedule and times for the showing of the juried entries in the fest will be available soon at the www.appyfilmfest.com Web site.


The festival begins on Thursday, April 17 with the red carpet premiere of Francesca Karle’s, “Back to the Bottle.” The premiere consists of a pre-screening buffet at the Keith Albee Performing Arts Center, appearances by Ashley McNeely of MTV’s “A Shot at Love” and David Otunga of VH1’s “I Love New York II,” and live musical entertainment by George Huff of “American Idol” fame, as well as local musicians, Rick Ruggles, Eddie Riffe and Tony Maynard. Tickets for the premiere are $25.

Proceeds, after expenses, will be donated to the Cabell County Substance Abuse Prevention Partnership. Gov. Joe Manchin may deliver closing remarks.


Contact Tony at trutherford@graffitiwv.com