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Pitch: What Is It and What It Means in Film Industry?

You hear it all the time: “you need to have a good pitch to be able to get the grant or get any funding for your project.”

But what is this pitching thing is and what does it mean to have a good pitch? Should you hire someone to write it for you?

Should you have one or more? If more, how many are enough?

Well, I’ll try my best to answer your questions.

According to Wikipedia “A pitch is a concise verbal (and sometimes visual) presentation of an idea for a film, generally made by a screenwriter or a director to a producer or a studio executive in the hope of attracting development finance to pay for the writing of a screenplay.”

Somehow you need to catch your sponsors or investors attention, and your pitch is the tool that you use to do it. The problem is, however, to be able to have a good pitch, you need to know precisely what your film is about or at least (for documentaries) have a good foundation and knowledge of the subject you are making your film about.

A pitch is a visual description of your film so don’t be afraid to use adjectives (there cannot be too many of them) and never rush while working on your pitch.

It is supposed to sell you and your projects, so it has to be perfect. Let your friends and family read what you have written before you push it any further.

Each time I write a pitch I try to implement my enthusiasm for the story I’m telling. You need to feel the story. Otherwise, you won’t be able to inspire others to be involved with your story.
There are a few several kinds of pitch. It is much better for you if you would be good if you had have prepared the following:

  1. Written pitch – the one you have for your investors and sponsors
  2. Elevator pitch – concise outline of your story (just in case you meet someone while waiting for your coffee)
  3. Under two minutes pitch – visual description of your pitch which you have for your investors and sponsors while at the first meeting or over the phone (when you finish, give them some time to absorb what you have just said and time to ask questions)

You never know where or when you can get to know someone who can help you, so you HAVE TO BE PREPARED just in case.

Your pitch needs to be exciting and engaging for both, you and your audience. You also need to transmit to your listeners your passion for your project. Don’t forget to mention how your film may change people’s lives and give them hope.

Below there are some tips you may wish to use while working on your pitch:

–      You need to know what the film is about (if you don’t know, no one else will be convinced to do your project)

–      Why do you want to make this film at this particular time of your life?

–      Who is the audience? (never say, everyone, movies for everyone never work)

–      Why did you get interested in this precise subject?

–      What do you think people will get from watching your film?

–      What are the facts and themes of your project?

–      What/who are the characters in your film?

–      What is the essential thing in your film?

–      It may be about getting the money to finance your film, but don’t mention figures until asked.

Sit down and write free-flowing sentences.  Don’t try and struggle to come up with anything smart straight away, just write what you feel and then work from it.

Of course, as with anything else you can hire someone to do the hard work of writing a pitch for you. But it doesn’t necessarily mean you will have a fantastic pitch (only you can bring a real enthusiasm to your writing), and even the award-winning pitch writers don’t guarantee you will get the money.

I’m not going to recommend anyone since I have never used anyone to write a pitch for me. , but though I’m more than certain that you can google for someone to help you.


Filed under: pitching projects

About the Author

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Magda Olchawska is an award-winning independent filmmaker, writer and screenwriter. She writes not only about making films and writing but also about financially independent and sustainable lifestyle. Her current projects include Ecotopia Universe and School Runs.

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