Pitching

HINTS & SUGGESTIONS ON PITCHING YOUR PITCH

 

Have you written a script? Your next step is to pitch it!

When you take one of our courses, you will likely get an opportunity to pitch to an agent, a manager or a studio executive.

 

ARE YOU & YOUR PITCH READY?

 

HERE ARE SOME TIPS!

…and, YES, we will most likely TEACH you the basics about pitching during one of your courses… AND you may get an opportunity to pitch something you’ve written.

 
BE PREPARED.  We are here for YOUR SUCCESS.

What We Know about PITCHING: It Is IMPORTANT!

Christine’s Suggestions on Pitching

Depending on if your pitches are successful, you may get more than one opportunity. Hopefully, your preliminary pitch won’t be your last one. So, don’t try to squeeze everything into it! You only have about 20-seconds for your preliminary pitch. The second pitch is about 5 minutes. A more extensive third pitch is about 45 minutes.

Your preliminary 20-second pitch needs to be short and captivating. It usually focuses on the logline — a one-sentence summary of a scriptor screenplay —without embellishments. The 20-second pitch is to excite an interest in your audience. It captures the essence of screenplay while not going into detail. The best 20-second pitches are those that state a screenplay is similar to a commercial movie but with a unique, key difference. For example, Jason Bourne was pitched as James Bond with amnesia. The Incredibles was a movie that twisted a popular concept of Superheroes playing the everyday man. Those are examples of 20-second pitches.

One of the reasons that the 20-second pitch is so brief is that typically a producer, manager, agent or developmental executive will have to remember and retell your pitch to many other people. If they get confused or can’t present your pitch well then it may not get presented at all. So your pitch needs to be MEMORABLE and RECALL-ABLE.

Your 5-minute pitch is even more crucial. It is the expansive overview of your story. It includes interesting details including the  twists and turns in your story and your character arc. It must be so fascinating that the person listening will ask questions. If your audience asks questions, that is a good sign. If they just thank you and move on then they likely are not interested.

Your 20 minute to 45 minute pitch is done by invitation only. Once a producer, agent or manager expresses strong interest in your screenplay or your writing skills then this longer pitch comes next.

Getting through the pitching process is challenging especially for those writers whose expertise is writing and not selling. We strongly recommend hiring a pitching consultant. If you can’t present your script then you will never sell it.

Other important points to remember when working on your pitch:

      • Pitch your genre. If it is comedy, make it funny. If you are pitching a thriller or a horror film, make your pitch come across as suspenseful.
      • Be brief. Do not give details —  like where your protagonist was born —unless they have a direct effect of the progression of your story.
      • Sound natural. Do not read word from word from a cue card. You should not sound rehearsed. Deliver it with enthusiasm and excitement.
      • Learn about the person that you are pitching to. What movies have they or their company done? What genres? How much money did the movies gross?
      • Only compare your movie to successful movies. 

Perfecting your script is #1 obviously, but it is worthless if you can’t sell it. People often suggest pitching to friends and relatives first to get used to it. Watch for their reactions. Record yourself giving your  practice pitch – more than once.

Then if you want, you can hire a pitch consultant. Don’t spend thousands of dollars. Do find someone actually “in” the industry that has many years of experience and charges a reasonable fee.
► Scroll past video below to learn about our PITCH HOLLYWOOD COACHING.

Being CONCISE and ENGAGING are the keys to a great pitch. Invest the time and energy to perfect your pitch.

MORE Pitching Tips

9 More Pitching Rules that Every Screenwriter Should Know

      • ► The first 6-10 words out of your mouth are by far the most important.
      • Be sure to state the genre. BE the genre. If it’s comedy, your pitch should be funny.
      • If your screenplay is based on a published book (preferably not self-published) and you own the rights, mention this immediately.
      • If you won or placed high in a top writing contest such as Nichols Fellowship, Sundance or Toronto Film Festival then definitely mention this immediately. FYI – Nearly every Sherwood Oaks student that became a Nichols semi-finalist gets paid to write after attending a seminar.
      • If your story is meant for animation, then wait until the end of your pitch and state that it could be either live action or animation.
      • Never says it’s a blockbuster or its the perfect film to make sequels.
      • Avoid asking rhetorical questions.
      • The goal is to have the person that you are pitching to ask questions and do most of the talking after your initial 20-second to 2 minute pitch
      • ► If they like it, stop talking and listen!

Gary Shusett, Sherwood Oaks founder, talks Jewish mothers, Ellen DeGeneres & “pitching your pitch” with Christine Owens

PITCH HOLLYWOOD COACHING AVAILABLE!

Our pitch professionals are laser focused on your story and your triumph.

We pair you with experts that are guaranteed to enhance your success in Hollywood. We can coach you in creating your pitch and delivering it!  We can help you can move to the next level as a writer for only $25. No recording or large crowds but a LIVE 1-on-1 interactive coaching session. Guaranteed!

The best writers are often the worst at pitching. Writing and pitching are two very different skill sets.

When you give a pitch you have only a few minutes. Do you want to be prepared to give your best first impression?

We can help propel to your script and career to the higher level. Are you interested? 

“You improved my pitch and now I got an agent. Thank you!” Roberto Martinez

“I learned how to pitch and how to sell.” Michael A.

“I learned more about pitching in a few seconds with you than I had in many hours of struggling.” Maureen Hill

“A powerful pitch — an easy sell within minutes.” Get Coaching!

“You learn step by step how to succeed. You learn what to say to get a busy producer to read your screenplay.

“Saved me a ton of time and money with his specific tactical coaching techniques. Thank you!”  John C. 

 

We want you to succeed. Our Pitch Hollywood Coaching advice is guaranteed.

Come on! Succeed in Hollywood!

You are worth the investment. Just get in touch today!

START YOUR COACHING SESSIONS TODAY!

 

Email or Call 323-878-2226

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YES I WANT TO TEACH!



If you are able and want to give back to Sherwood Oaks Film School (formerly Sherwood Oaks College) by donating your time and teaching a class to other aspiring future actors, screenwriters, directors, and producers, we would be honored to have you. Please just tell us how to reach you, and what, if any, time accommodations you need to be here. (We understand not everyone lives in southern CA.) and we will do our absolute best to accommodate.


Gary_Shusett

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