9 Pitching Hints that Every Screenwriter Should Know
1.) The first 6-10 words out of your mouth are by far the most important.
2.) If your screenplay is based on a published book (preferably not self-published) and you own the rights, then mention this immediately.
3.) 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.
4.) 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.
5.) Avoid asking rhetorical questions.
6.) 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.
7.) Be sure to state the genre. If it’s comedy, the pitch should be funny.
8.) Never says it’s a blockbuster or its the perfect film to make sequels.
9.) If they like it, stop talking and listen!
Most of us visiting this site are writers or filmmakers and not born salespeople. Yet, in order to make it in Hollywood, you need to know how to sell yourself. You may have the best material out there, and your family and friends may love it, but what about the rest of the world? How can you take your concept and material and turn it into a pitch that people will not only listen to, but hang on every word? The magic words are “Tell me more …” Almost all new writers or filmmakers get turned away after the first 30 seconds. How can you be different?
The key is to find someone who has decades of experience being successful at pitching to Hollywood professionals.
Gary Shusett has a unique ability to listen to any pitch and no matter how problematic, he can instantly turn it into very powerful selling pitch for the writer.
Gary Shusett is currently writing a pitching book and we hope to have it available at the end of 2013.