Self Expression Magazine

Know What to Pitch

By Myfilmproject09

I can't emphasize this enough. The most common mistake new writers is to pitch the wrong story to the wrong producer or executive. Know what the producer makes. Don't pitch a horror story to someone who does family movies. Of course they also can surprise you by saying "maybe a horror story". You can never expect that they want.
To even out the field, try to make sure to have something you'll never expect. Even if you think you know what they make. Have a look at what they've done before. Do they do horror or arthouse movies or comedies. Try to really know what they do.
Have a good logline; that's the sentence or so that describes the basics of the screenplay.  It should have at least two twists and be at the most, two sentences. You should also have a stay-behind. A few sentences that elaborate what you're saying now.
Test your story.
Tell your friends your story and watch how they respond. Find out where they lose interest and start looking bored. Try to fix those parts where their eyes glaze over and watch when they are really listening.
They have to visualize the story and only you can do that for them.
Prepare the story on index cards and artwork. It's sort of watching a trailer for a movie and don't be afraid to use the props. I often get a graphic artist to fill out some of your ideas. It's mostly for action movies though. 
I always like to take someone else with me, someone who has more information that I have on certain ideas. Get questions and reviews from your friends who know pitches.
What to wear?
Yes, I even have suggestions as to what to wear as you are being judged almost as much as to what you wear as you are judges almost as much as how to look as what you have to say. I stammer a bit, not too much and not to little. It works sometimes.
Now, this is important; listen to the executive. This is crucial. Don't interrupt him/her or tell them they're wrong. It took me a long time to listen rather than interrupt.
You should have a 2-3 page synopsis to leave behind if they liked the pitch and wanted to see more. It could be a screenplay you want to write or it can be a synopsis of something you've already written.
If they liked it they will usually ask for something. If they liked it they will usually ask for more. Or not. And even if they didn't like the synopsis, they might like something else they liked. It can happen.
Even if they don't like the synopsis, smile, say thanks for your their time and walk out. And get your parking validated.
And yes, this is just a little bit of my book.

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