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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Sound natural. Do not read word from word from a cue card. You should not sound rehearsed. Deliver it with enthusiasm and excitement.
- 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.
- 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.