When pitching a movie, I find the more tools you have in the room, the better the meeting goes. Of course having a killer title, a great logline and a brilliantly executed pitch in of itself is all great, but sometimes you want a little more. Especially if you are beyond the first pitch, and you are now pitching for further development. The pictures on the blog here are from Genevieve and Andrews BIG pitch to Warner Brothers for their film ‘Absolute Angels’, about which we are running a short evening workshop on Monday September 6th (more info here).
At this point, they had been successful in a number of pitches and had some top named producers onboard (from the Dark Knight etc). But this pitch was the big one, to get Warner Brothers to bite – for the meeting, Gen and Andrew had scoured the web to find images that represented the tone of the film, the characters and the world they had created, and then printed them out on large boards which were placed around the room. They had also found music, a kind of ‘movie pitch mix tape’ which they played during the meeting. From what I heard they also closed the curtains to create a suitable ambience. All of this, along with casting ideas, crewing ideas and long discussions about the story and concept paid off as Warners signed on the dotted line.
The lesson here is to remember that film is a visual and auditory medium. Anything you can find that creates a sense of what you are trying to achieve will always help you. It shows preparation and dedication too. I have been doing this for Rocketboy with some success, you can see some of the concept artwork here.
So what can you use to support your pitch?
Images? Music? Some people even edit together sequences and shots from other movies to give a sense of what they are trying to do – in Hollywood this is called a ‘sizzle reel’.
In my view, pitching is tough enough and you should use whatever you have, so long as it has great quality and communicates clearly an idea, tone and sense of place / characters / etc.
Remember, the evening workshop is about how Gen and Andrew wrote their spec script for the sequel to The Lost Boys, which they called The Lost Girls, and then sold it to Warners, retiled ‘Absolute Angels’. The workshop is on September 6th – you can get tickets and more information here.
Onwards and upwards!
Chris Jones, Film Maker and Author