Posts tagged ‘pitching an idea’

November 4, 2013

24 Tips for Pitching Your Script

AFF_Logoby Angela Guess

At the recent Austin Film Festival, Danny Manus and Pamela Ribon were on hand to teach all the shy, introverted, socially-awkward writers in the room (myself included) how to pitch. Danny’s experience with pitching comes from the executive end. He’s currently running No BullScript Consulting, but he admits that he is a “recovering development executive.” Pamela’s experience comes from actually doing pitches for both film and TV projects, and she has sold numerous ideas and scripts to the likes of ABC, Warner Bros., Disney Channel, and 20th Century Fox.

Pamela and Danny had a lot of wonderful advice to dispense. In no particular order, here are their top 24 tips:

  1. A logline is key. Hook them up front with your big idea, your main characters, and your conflict.
  2. Don’t get bogged down in the details. This leads to coming to the end of your time and only covering the first five pages.
  3. Think about how you would get your friend to see a movie you like. Build your pitch with that in mind.
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April 12, 2011

An Interview with Master of Story, Robert McKee

Robert McKee, author of the widely renowned Story is set to give a session at the Great American Pitchfest in June. The Pitchfest recently interviewed him on the art of pitching, and here is what he had to say:

The Great American Screenwriter: There are a lot of pitching venues out there — and you have an exhausting schedule. What enticed you to speak at the Great American Pitchfest? There are a lot of mistaken ideas and foolishness around the whole business of pitching. A lot of people are setting themselves up as experts in this business and there’s a lot of information about that coming back to me from my students. There’s a sense of fallacy circulating about pitching and the way one goes about it and what they’re looking for. Look, if a company says they’re seeking romantic comedies but they hear a great and compelling pitch for a smart thriller, they’re not going to ignore that smart thriller. They want great material.

No matter what the genre, the key is to pitch well. But the hardest thing for a writer is to understand their own story. Don’t underestimate the essence of the story. In my session for the Great American Pitchfest we’ll discuss three important components for pitching.

1. You’ll discover the truth of your story. If you can’t find one you may be in a state of self-deception. You may not have a story.

2. How to judge whether you’re ready to pitch or not.

3. I will dissuade you from the notion that a pitch is a song and dance. You can razzle dazzle and bullshit your way through a pitch, but these development execs know how to pick a story out of all that song and dance. So just tell your story. This all goes back to knowing what your story truly is. You need to know the essence of it.

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