When a writer needs to pitch their project most of them shrink back in horror at the prospect. It often feels too much like a performance and performance anxiety immediately rears its ugly head. Yes, it is a necessary evil and writers must learn to do it and do it well. The good news is that you can learn how to do it and with practice you can do it well. Once you know how to do it, you might even find it fun and exhilarating. After all, you are telling your stories and as a writer you are a storyteller.
There are different kinds of pitching that you will run into. We’ll discuss the differences between pitching to your own agent, pitching to try to get an agent to sign you and pitching to a producer. All three are quite different in style and nuance. Certainly the basics are the same. You have a limited amount of time to explain an entire movie, describe your characters and excite your audience. It’s an important aspect of your working life and no one else can do it for you.
PITCHING TO AN AGENT:
Upon first meeting an agent, at a pitch fest, you should try to sell yourself more than your project. Agents are not buyers. They can not finance your movies, but they are the doors to those buyers that you will need. Your best bet is to project an image of self-confidence along with your knowledge as a writer and your love of the work. Of course they want to hear your ideas and if you can tell them an interesting story that is a tried and true genre, you will be on the right track. Agents want to know that you are a good writer, that you are prolific, and that they can live with you. Being overly aggressive will turn them off, as will being too shy. They want to hear someone who believes in themselves and their work. They also want to know that you can listen to suggestions, advice and counsel.
PITCHING TO YOUR OWN AGENT:
You will find that you’ll often have to pitch your new ideas to your own agent. They want to know what you are working on and what ideas you have for future work. This is done in a much more relaxed atmosphere, with a good deal of give and take.
PITCHING TO A PRODUCER:
This kind of pitching involves all of the talent that you have as a writer and a performer. You need to know your material backwards and forwards. You will need to show a great deal of self-confidence and yet be willing to listen to their questions and ideas. Your attitude is always “up”. Show your enthusiasm for your project in a businesslike way.
Now go out there and have some fun with your newly developed talent.