Saturday, March 15, 2008

Pitching Tip for Writers

My attention was grabbed recently when I heard life coach Fiona Harrold offering some interesting advice for pitching an idea to your boss.

Although her tips were aimed at a different situation (i.e., an employee mustering up the courage to approach the boss with an idea for improving the company), one tip in particular struck me as particularly relevant for screenwriters pitching their scripts:

Take yourself out of the equation.

In other words, it’s not about you, it’s about a business proposal. You have to put yourself in the position of the person hearing your pitch. What will your pitch sound like to someone who knows nothing about you or your script?

The essential thing to get across is how great the screenplay is, not how clever or wonderful you are.

However much depends on you getting the gig or not, your career prospects mustn’t be the subject of a pitch meeting. What you’re discussing is the script. Which for any potential partner is the starting point for a very risky, very expensive business venture.

So enter the pitch meeting as if you are representing the screenplay, rather than vice versa.

5 comments:

Benjamin Ray said...

Hey Dave,

Your brief article on pitching had a big impact on my marketing of my script "marcus and faith" --a gritty romantic thriller.

Thanks,
Benjamin Ray
www.hollywoodtoronto.com

Raving Dave Herman said...

Benjamin,

Glad the posting gave you such a positive boost. Let me know how your script proceeds!

Dave

Anonymous said...

Hello Dave,

I'm pitching the movie script as a sit-com. Made some adjustments to the script. And edited the script into a 30 page sit-com and also a three page samples.

Now I have one full script and a sit-com and a contest to enter.

I enjoyed doing this. It was a blast.

Is this popular?

Are writer converting their scripts into sit-coms? Is this a good idea.

Regards
Benjamin Ray
www.hollywoodtoronto.com

Raving Dave Herman said...

This is certainly something I've done and I know other writers do too. It's called milking an idea for all it's worth ...

A stop-motion feature I'm working on at the moment started out life as an idea for a 2-D animated feature, then evolved into a series of 11 minute episodes for a sit-com, then became an interactive website with short films for mobile phones, and has finally returned to its original form, albeit in a different technique!

See my post on "Crash the TV series "for an example of a very successful movie now being adapted for TV. And there are loads more examples out there.

Charles Green said...

Dave,

A great example of a tireless truth: it's not about you, it's never about you, even when they say it's about you, it's really not about you.

Serve the thing that needs serving--the script, the customer, whatever--and check your ego at the door. And ironically, he who remembers that the best, ends up benefiting the most.