PITCHING

Hints and Suggestions on Pitching Your Pitch

If you are a writer, your next step is to sell your script. This is known as the pitch. A pitch is a summary of your script or screenplay. This pitch is usually presented verbally to a producer, an agent, a manager or an executive. If you take one of our course sessions, you will likely get that opportunity, so here are some tips.

In answer to your next question, YES, we will also TEACH you about pitching mostly likely during one of the sessions, but you will also likely get an opportunity if you already have something written, so we want to give you some advance guidelines if you are in that situation. Like we have said numerous time, we are here for YOUR SUCCESS.

A Lot of What We Know about PITCHING!

Christine’s Suggestions on PITCHING

Depending on if your pitches are successful, you may get more than 1 opportunity. Keep in mind, a preliminary pitch hopefully won’t be the last one, so don’t try to squeeze everything in to it! The preliminary pitch is about 20-seconds. The next pitch is about 5 minutes. A more extensive pitch is about 45 minutes.

A 20-second pitch needs to be short and captivating. It usually focuses on the logline without embellishments. The 20-second pitch is to excite an interest in your audience. It captures the essence of screenplay while not going into detail. The best 20-second pitches are those that state that a screenplay is similar to a commercial movie but different in some way. For example, Jason Bourne was pitched as James Bond with amnesia. The Incredibles was a movie that twisted a popular concept of Superheroes playing the everyday man. Those are examples of 20-second pitches.

One of the reasons that the 20-second pitch is so brief is that typically a producer, manager, agent or developmental executive will have to recall your pitch to many other people. If they get confused or can’t present your pitch well then it may not get presented at all. So it needs to be MEMORABLE, and RECALL-ABLE.

A 5-minute pitch is even more crucial because it is expansive overview of your story. It includes interesting details including twists and turns in your story and your character arc. It must be so fascinating that the person listening will ask questions. If your audience asked questions, that is a good sign. If they just thank you and move on then they likely are not interested.

The 20 minute to 45 minute pitches are done by invitation only. Once a producer, agent or manager expresses strong interest in your screenplay or your writing skills then this will happen.

Getting through the pitching process is challenging especially for those writers whose expertise is writing and not selling. We strongly recommend hiring a pitching consultant. If you can’t present your script then you will never sell it.

There are many other important points to remember when working on your pitch:

  1. Pitch your genre. If it is comedy, make it funny. If you are pitching a thriller or a horror film, make your pitch come across suspenseful.
  2. Be brief. Do not give details, such as descriptions of your protagonist in terms of where they are from unless they have a direct effect of the progression of your story.
  3. Sound natural. Do not read word from word from a cue card. You should not sound rehearsed. Deliver it with enthusiasm and excitement.
  4. Learn about the person that you are pitching to. What movies have they or their company done. What genres? How much money did the movies gross.
  5. Only compare your movie to successful movies. Avoid comparing your movie to unsuccessful movies.

Perfecting your script is #1 obviously, but it is worthless if you can’t sell it. People often suggest pitching to friends and relatives first to get used to it, and see the reaction. Then if you want, you can hire a pitch consultant. Don’t spend thousands of dollars, but do find someone actually “in” the industry that has many years of experience and charges a reasonable fee.

The world is your oyster …

It makes you realize how people feel after they hear 20 pitches. Engaging and interesting is key. Invest the time and energy to perfect your pitch.

If you need help, we have experts provide assistance and provide a money-back guarantee.

MORE Pitching Hints!

– 9 More Pitching Hints that Every Screenwriter Should Know

  1. The first 6-10 words out of your mouth are by far the most important.
  2. If your screenplay is based on a published book (preferably not self-published) and you own the rights, then mention this immediately.
  3. If you won or placed high in a top writing contest such as Nichols Fellowship, Sundance or Toronto Film Festival then definitely mention this immediately. FYI – Nearly every Sherwood Oaks student that became a Nichols semi-finalist gets paid to write after attending a seminar.
  4. If your story is meant for animation, then wait until the end of your pitch and state that it could be either live action or animation.
  5. Avoid asking rhetorical questions.
  6. The goal is to have the person that you are pitching to ask questions and do most of the talking after your initial 20-second to 2 minute pitch.
  7. Be sure to state the genre. If it’s comedy, the pitch should be funny.
  8. Never says it’s a blockbuster or its the perfect film to make sequels.
  9. If they like it, stop talking and listen!

Founder Gary Shusett talks “pitching your pitch” with Christine Owens

HOLLYWOOD PITCHING COACHING AVAILABLE!

We have experts that are guaranteed to enhance your success in Hollywood whether it is coaching or pitching. Someone can HELP you can move to the next level for only $25. No recording or large crowds but a LIVE 1-on-1 interactive coaching session. Guaranteed!

The Best Writers are almost always the worst at pitching because they are two different skills sets. Do you want to provide the best first impression?

We can help propel to your script and career to the higher level. Are you interested? QUOTES from others who have taken us up on it:

“You improved my pitch and now I got an agent. Thank you!” Roberto Martinez

“I learned how to pitch and how to sell.” Michael A.

“I learned more about pitching in a few seconds with you than I had in many hours of struggling.” Maureen Hill

A powerful pitch — an easy sell within minutes –> Get Coaching!

We guarantee your satisfaction!

“You learn step by step how to succeed. You learn what to say to get a busy producer to read your screenplay. Saved me a ton of time and money with his specific tactical coaching techniques. Thank you!”  John C. . . .

We want you to succeed. Our Pitch/ Hollywood Coaching Advice is Guaranteed. And you are worth the investment. Our pitch professionals are laser focused on your story and your triumph.

 

Come on! Succeed in Hollywood!

…just get in touch today!

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If you are able and want to give back to Sherwood Oaks Film School (formerly Sherwood Oaks College) by donating your time and teaching a class to other aspiring future actors, screenwriters, directors, and producers, we would be honored to have you. Please just tell us how to reach you, and what, if any, time accommodations you need to be here. (We understand not everyone lives in southern CA.) and we will do our absolute best to accommodate.


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