Pitching your film idea supports you to clearly explain your film idea, how you want it to look and how you will make it. Pitching a film idea is a powerful exercise. It brings clarity and a reality check to your initial idea and is great for teamwork. Can you explain what your film is about in under 60 seconds?
And make it come alive in your audience minds? If yes, you have a film to be made…
Pitch Your Idea
Key question to develop you pitch
Watch video demos by clicking on the links below:
All our groups we recommend they film each other pitching, to build confidence, explore how it feels to be on both sides of the camera, and practice their presenting and camera skills. The pitch may also provide footage for their final film, it’s worth the effort.
When you pitch to an audience, a funding body, TV network… imagine you are telling a friend about a really good film you saw the other day. Make it emotional, make it come alive through your words – what was the one thing that captured your imagination, the point you had to tell your friends about the next day.
Find below a few examples from our Document Your Wolrd pitching youth doc competition at the Australian International Documentary Conference or visit the project here.
What’s at stake? It may be an environmental issue, a great achievement, a miserable failure, a very funny joke – the main thing is, it needs be highly entertaining for your target audience – and dramatic enough for them to take you seriously.
Your passion has to shine through – why you? Why should they listen or watch your film or invest their time and money in it?
As a team exercise, develop a 1-minute pitch.
Discuss the main points:
Who is it for? Your family and friends [wedding video, holiday clips], your local community [local announcements, promotional films] or is it relevant nationally or globally?
The Ngarrindjeri team who collaborated with us on Nukkan.Kungun.Yunnan first wanted to make it just for their local community – but once their Elders watched a rough cut on the 4th day of the workshop, they immediately decided to send it out globally, because the film’s issues where of concern for all Australians. And because we all took the issue seriously, the film screened on several continents and won multiple awards.
Discuss different methods to present the idea: you might want to bring props, photos, news items – anything that will support your pitch and can convince your audience that your film should be made.
Below are a few more hints and tips to train yourself in pitching:
Why do you want to make this film? Share your enthusiasm. What is your connection? What is the history to your story, what are your facts /assumptions? The film idea evolved because…
Why would anyone watch my film?
Can you explain your film idea in a sentence?
Are people entertained?
Does it make sense? Is it possible?
How can you do that helicopter shot on a budget?
Is it realistic?
Who is your team?
How and when will you make your film?
Do you have permission from your talent, to film on location, to use the music?
What special equipment do you need? This film will be produced because…
What is the story? Explain the plot: where, when, who, what happens and why?
The basic story is…
Why is it interesting? What’s at stake / what is the main conflict? How is it unique?
The audience will be glued to the screen because…
What is the resolution? What do you want your audience to feel/notice at the end?
At the end of the film…
Who is your target audience?
The main audience are… They really want to see this film because…
What will they experience from watching your film? Talk about the style; observational, re-enactments, interviews, vox populi, voice over, photos, animation, text, etc.
What is the take-home message of your project?
The audience will tell their friends to watch this film because…
Gruen Transfer – two advertising agencies ‘pitch’ their ideas of how to achieve an impossible end.
From Syd-Field, a website for screenwriters, on the art of pitching. Useful guidelines focussed on pitching for the top end, i.e. to a board of Hollywood execs.
Phil Breman of About.com gives some tips on pitching etiquette and techniques one can incorporate to pitch accurately.
Wikipedias definition of a Pitch.
Pitch advice from Craig Mazin.