Step by step
Your pitch consists of three components that complement one another: your written story, your oral presentation, and the pitching pilot. Decide what you do say and what do you leave out. Tell your story in brief but clear and convincing phrases. A sense of urgency and passion are essential.
Prepare a pitch
Shorten your script to one page. Write down what is necessary for the flow and the dramatic development of the story, and what you need to catch and hold the reader’s attention. Remember: exaggeration is dangerous, clarity is essential. Have someone who doesn’t know the story yet read this version for you.
Reduce your one-page version to one paragraph: a logline of 5 sentences or less. The logline is an introduction to your story. A few tips:
- Reveal the situation the main character is in,
- reveal the most important complications the main characters have along the way,
- describe the character’s personal crisis,
- give a hint as to the climax,
- touch on the change the main character goes through,
- be clear about the characteristic selling points and themes,
- be clear about the genre,
- use the present tense.
Approach the logline as if you were making a trailer. Don’t limit yourself to the layout of the plot. Focus on the important elements of the story, so that your audience can feel part of the situation and can identify with the main character. Having a good logline is also important for selling the written plan: you give out a limited amount of information, but hopefully you raise the reader’s curiosity.
Describe your film/story/idea in one sentence.
For example: “A boy from the slums of Mumbai, wins the tv-quiz Who wants to be a millionaire.”
You shouldn’t have to memorise the logline as your pitch. The point is to make it easier to have a spontaneous verbal pitch by writing down a few short versions first. If you prepare yourself in this way, you can make a good pitch in 30 seconds.
A Pitching Pilot is a trailer which supports the 'selling' of your film in a visual way. A pitch is meant to find partners for your film: make a different trailer than you would for the cinema audience.
- Limit your trailer to one idea. You cannot present all the themes or all the characters.
- If you want to use a specific style in your film, you must already show it in the trailer.
- Include a humorous or light-hearted feature if you have one. The commissioning editors – the people who collect scripts for production companies – spend the whole day watching pitches about world politics and other serious topics.
- Spend at least a week on making the trailer. It is the first time you are forced to really look at your film and to produce something. It is not always easy, so take your time.
- When you have something ready, take a very good look at it a number of times and show it to others. Try to find out what the trailer will do for you.
- Show your trailer as soon as possible during your pitch. You have little time. Think up a strong one-liner and then start the trailer right away.
A pitch file is the reference of the work in progress. The content of the file depends on the questions, the conditions and the situation of the pitch. Make sure you are aware of the catchers list of demands. Check out websites, registration at markets, and ask question sto keep informed! Keep the target group/the catcher in mind when you think about the tone of voice.
Mininum content of a pitch file:
- (film) cv of the makers
For a more elaborate file you can think of : finance plan, treatment, creative plan/ special plans: unique parts of the project, character / description of characters, vision of the makers, profile makers.