To prepare for the pitch we were given the themes below as a framework for the presentation:
Primary and secondary research
Style and genre
Narrative and themes
Principle production techniques
Sound and music
Audience and release
You must restrict the pitch to below 5 minutes, be professional and to the point.
To plan this presentation I did some secondary research as follows:
Secondary Research into Pitching a Film
What To Do When You Pitch Your Script
Jacob Kreueger advises spending time making sure you pitch your idea to the right person where possible. Find out if they produce your kind of films and that you have mutual interests. He suggests you shouldn’t get into used car salesperson mode because if you have a good idea or script you have something valuable that the right people will really want. He adds that if your find yourself in a situation where you are pitching to someone who doesn’t have an interest in your type of film then make the most of it by asking for advice instead, networking by perhaps asking for introductions to the right connections.
How To Pitch Your Screenplay or Film Idea.
Paul Castro succinctly points out that it is very important to state the title of your film, to state the genre then to outline what your film is about in a cinematic, dramatic way with passion and enthusiasm. He advises matching the frequency / world of the person you are pitching to…..the pace they like to talk at and style of address they prefer. He adds that it is vital to believe in yourself and how you can add value to the listener’s business.
The Art of Pitching a Movie Idea Using the Rule of 3
Director Marc Zicree argues that it is essential to treat people how you would want to be treated yourself when pitching. He explains that you need to keep your pitch brief and not pitch about every beat or shot or you will bore the producer. He says never pitch in an inappropriate place for example, at a social gathering….and explains his idea of meeting someone 3 times before pitching your idea so more of a relationship is built up and the process is more respectful. He advises doing your research on the person you want to talk to and their right hand staff and to consider talking to these people first at events. He suggests showing your dedication and integrity by putting your own money into your ideas and by showing you actually do what you are going to say ….unlike 99% of people in the business who only talk about things. He tells us that being consistent, dedicated and
disciplined is important and that we shouldn’t focus on trying to be rich and famous but more about being free to do meaningful work…. What a lovely guy!
WikiHow to Write A Film Pitch
Wikihow advises us to follow the following 8 steps :-
1) Think of a tagline…one sentence to outline your film and grab your audience’s attention.
2) Include just the highlights in your pitch don’t go into too much detail.
3) Use your characters name to progress your story.
4) Keep your pitch short.
5) Include any suprise endings.
6) Avoid using cliff hangers.
7) Think about who will be listening to your pitch and what they need you to tell them.
8) Tell them your contact details.
Preparing for my pitch I also reflected on an extracurricular microbiology project I did in 2015. In this project I had to make a presentation on aseptic technique and cultivating bacteria, to do this I made a huge powerpoint full of writing and graphs. My feed back from this time was that though the powerpoint was good and well informed it was effectively a text book and that a presentation really wants to be as concise and visual as possible whilst remaining relevant and that really just the graphs definitions and photos were needed. So with this in mind I produced the slides shown below:
Powerpoint was excellent because it had pictures and very few words. Allowed us to pick up the style of the film easily. Mood boards were very useful.
Rushed through the narrative and had to explain it afterwards, but did it brilliantly when prompted. That needs to be within the pitch next time.
Don’t use the word risks, because it implies a negative. Use challenges or logistics as a term.
Overall, the idea is exciting, totally creative and engaging. Proved that he could make it work despite the odds.
You could tell there was some nerves but it didn’t affect the pitch negatively. Eye contact was there, good body language. Smile a little more perhaps, and introduce yourself. You need to watch a film called Desert Dancer, Google it!
This tells me that in my next pitch I have to remember that I am there to communicate my story idea and that I should do so with positivity and enthusiasm to boost confidence. I will have to remember that words like risk and the colour red carry natural warning connotations that can be extremely off putting for the people I am pitching to.
what i shall carry forward from this is that the use of pictures, test shots and mood boards to back up my words and instil confidence in the people I am pitching to that I can do what I say I can.
From my interim feedback I have found that my peers really liked my opening shots, costume design, my depth of focus, choriography and fight sequences, pacing, build up of the pace, western vibe, music, editing, originality, style and special effects. Constructive criticisms were three fold
- that they didn’t like the fades to black
- that the necklace being taken out takes to long and ruins the flow and
- that the background on the credits needs changing as it looks a lot like snow rather than falling ashes.
Learning from this very valuable feedback (thanks guys) I will now do something about the fades to black. I will shorten the scence where the traveller takes the necklace out and finally, I will either redo the final falling ashes scene that forms the background to my credits or will try having some white space after my death shot and then go back to using my opening shots.