How to create a short, emotive, engaging, emailable and unique killer pitch for your movie

Transplant Log Line: In the near-future and using illegal cloning technology, a cardio vascular surgeon sacrifices first her ethics, then everything that is dear to her, to ensure her desperately ill son lives.

I have just completed our application for the iFeatures initiative and submitted the treatment for Transplant. Above is a short teaser from an audiobook I created for the entire story.

If you want to be kept in the loop about Transplant or maybe get involved later, join the newsgroup here, and you will get sent an email link to a longer section from the audiobook. Be warned, it’s a heart stopper! Literally.

So why on earth did I record an audiobook?

For a number of practical reasons really, and it has had some surprising results.

First off, working in indie film, I have come to realize that most people don’t know how to read a screenplay, especially investors. However, everyone IS a story expert, and if they are getting involved, they want to experience that story. For me the best way to convey my narrative to these people is via a treatment, almost a short novella. The format just doesn’t get in the way when reading.

As a story development tool too, a long treatment is also an easier format to work with (again for me at least). Do all the hard work here and when it comes to fleshing it out into a completed screenplay, it’s a much simpler task. In fact it’s a joy.

I recorded the audio for this in my living room with actress and friend Jo Wyatt (who normally records voiceovers for characters in Disney movies).

What did I learn from recording it?

1. With the tools available now, it’s easy to do.

2. It’s easy to podcast it to people who can listen in their car or on the train.

3. It took longer than expected to record, breaking the recording into two sessions.

4. I began adding some sound effects in the edit but gave up as it kind of interfered with the experience when listening.

5. It gave me access to post production tools in the writing phase. When listening, I was able to imagine the film and the shots and became aware very quickly of redundant scenes or lines. This redundancy was more apparent to me when listening than when reading the treatment. This was VERY cool and I went back and re-edited the text.

6. The first paragraph of the treatment served as a great teaser – I can email the clip above as an MP3, about 3mb.

7. Getting people to download the teaser is easy, but to download the whole audiobook is much harder.

So should you record a recording of your treatment?

If you are considering spending tens of thousands and three years of your life on a film, I would recommend it as due diligence. The ability to edit the audio like editing pictures, effectively jumping from screenplay to post production, is worth the investment  alone.

Do let me know how you get on, and remember, if you want to listen to another longer clip from Transplant, and if you want to get emails from me about the production, join the group here…

Onwards and upwards!

Chris Jones
My movies
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My Twitter @LivingSpiritPix


One Response to How to create a short, emotive, engaging, emailable and unique killer pitch for your movie

  1. Martin Lejeune May 4, 2012 at 7:39 pm #

    This is a good idea Chris, there is quite a big underground scene in podcasts of audiobooks and radio dramas with a lot of authors being discovered that way in the last few years.

    If your not precious about your plot being out there before your film and you put the work in then it could be a very effective way to build a fanbase whilst your in production.

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