‘I’ve got a great idea for a film’ *
‘Yeah I’ve written a brilliant script’
‘Have you really? That’s awesome. Yeah, send it over, I’d love to read it. And I will, honestly, it’s on the pile, but a feature script’s a pretty long read and I…’
You get the idea.
*If I had a pound for every time someone’s said that to me, I’d be investing in films myself.
What’s the pitch?
But you really do have a great idea, a mindblowing script, maybe even the beginnings of a solid creative team. How do you cut through the noise and get the attention of film execs and investors?
Because no matter how fantastic that script of yours is, it doesn’t matter. If no one reads it, no one will fund it.
Show, don’t tell
Well, we’re talking a bunch of time-poor, idea-hungry people who work in a visual medium. You need a quick, visual way to communicate your idea, wow them with how unique and original (and commercial) it is, and basically make it impossible for them to say no to you and your team.
You need a pitch deck.
What’s a pitch deck?
A pitch deck is a short presentation document for your film that introduces the storyline and world of the film, outlines who’s already involved and tells the reader what makes it special.
For indie filmmakers in particular, it should be short and sweet – generally no more than six pages or so – just enough to give a taste of your project and leave people hungry for more.
What should be in your pitch deck
Cover Page – Like a mini poster for your film, this sets the tone for everything that comes next.
Overview – Include any key info about your film, the logline, films it’s similar to, any relevant background such as it being the adaptation of a book or the development of an existing short film.
Synopsis – Pretty self-explanatory this one! Here’s where you outline the events of the film from start to finish. A word to wise, forget about out any plot twists so as ‘not to spoil the film’ – your investors want the whole picture.
Moodboard – This one isn’t always used but is worth considering – it’s a great way to showcase the kind of visual feel that you’re aiming for.
Talent – Bios for any key talent who are attached to the project, whether that be producers, directors, actors or whoever. Showing who’s already involved is a great way of building confidence in the project by demonstrating the people have already committed to it.
More than words
The above sections make a great blueprint for the essentials of your pitch deck, but think of them as a bare bones structure. This is the first impression of your film and as such, it should feel like your film.
High quality visuals, layout and colour palette all need to come together to showcase the world of your film in a coherent, visually engaging and emotionally exciting way. A carefully designed pitch deck should feel like a journey through your story. It will serve as a perfect primer for reading your script and ultimately – signing on the dotted line.
Do I need one?
You can’t take back a first impression. A bad impression will always give you something to work against whereas a good impression will set you up to succeed.
A great pitch deck will not only sell your film, it will sell you as a professional to be taken seriously. It could be the difference between you getting your films funded now – and in the future.