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A pitch is exactly what the word implies — it’s a sales pitch.  And since this is the movie business, otherwise referred to as the film industry, it’s all about selling your idea.  The pitch should summarize your script, engage your listeners, emotionally move them — to laugh, to cry — (for all the right reasons), and convince them to spend zillions of dollars to produce your project.

Knowing when and how to pitch can make or break your chances of having your project considered by film industry folks.

Question: Is it wise to pitch treatments without having the full script written?

Answer: Generally, the answer is no.  When you have the opportunity to pitch your project to industry folks and they are intrigued by your idea, they’re not going to want to hear, “Well, glad you liked the pitch. I’ll send you the script when I’m finished.” It’s going to be hard to capture their attention again. It’s challenging enough to get attention from executives at a pitch festival or pitch meeting so I would advise on having the screenplay written. Before you pitch your project, make sure that you copyright it and register it with the Writers Guild of America

Top Ten Pitching Tips

  1. Depending on what has been requested, a pitch can be as short as a single sentence or as long as a few paragraphs or more.
  2. Your pitch should follow your main character’s journey and major plot points. Highlight your protagonist’s goal and the major obstacles in his or her path, including the antagonist.
  3. The genre must be clear and consistent.
  4. The pitch should be an accurate reflection of your screenplay, including the style, tone, and plot.
  5. A pitch meeting is like an audition. You’re selling yourself in terms of professionalism, not only your story.

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