So, you’ve got a great idea for your next film. You’ve got your characters and plot details all thought out. You can see it all clearly in your head, but as soon as you run into the person who can make it a reality, you freeze. Your moment to pitch your great idea is gone with the closing of the elevator door. Pitching can be stressful, but it’s one of the most important things to master in the world of filmmaking. All films start with a pitch, so it’s a skill worth sharpening. No matter where you are or who you are pitching to, here are some tips to make your pitch perfect:
1. Create a Connection
Make sure that you create some sort of connection with the person you are pitching to before you jump right in. If you succeed in pitching your idea, you will be working with this person. Get to know them a little bit and try to see if they may actually be interested. Don’t waste your time if they are avoiding you and staring into their phone screen.
2. Keep it Short and Sweet
You may only have one shot to pitch your idea, so don’t lose the interest of the person you’re pitching to! Be descriptive, but use keywords to keep things concise. Think of your pitch like a rich piece of chocolate. You want it to be delicious and memorable but not overwhelming. If it’s too sweet, it may upset the person’s stomach.
3. Preparation is Key
If the person you are pitching to is interested, they will ask questions. This is a great sign because it shows they were following your idea and want to hear about it more. Have an answer and be prepared to clarify anything that may seem confusing or incomplete. It’s your idea, after all, so make sure you really know it well.
4. Get Them Hooked
If someone came up to you and just started droning on and on about something in a monotone, unenthused tone, would you be interested in what they had to say? Of course not! Being excited about your own idea is super important in getting someone else interested in it. To really sell your idea you have to seem truly passionate about it.
5. Make it Visual
Don’t just tell them about your idea, show them. Most people love visuals because they can show what the finished idea may look like. If you are taking inspiration from a certain film, book, famous location, or even person, pull up some photos to accompany your idea. Visuals show creativity and that you have truly thought out your idea.
6. Practice Makes Perfect
This sage advice applies to almost everything, including pitching. Practice pitching to yourself in the mirror and really listen to what you’re saying. Does it sound boring? Change it! Are you too forceful? Tone it down a bit. Another good way to practice your pitching is to attend our Live! Ammunition! Pitching Competition London. This is a great way to get some feedback on your pitch from a panel of industry executives and a live audience. Be sure to sign up for our Pitching Skills Workshop too!