Breaking Down the Elements of a Pitch that Secured Funding & How to Apply Them to Your Project (Case Study: BYPASS, Nominated for Best Film at Venice Film Festival)

Taught by Samm Haillay

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Class hosted by: Samm Haillay

Producer / Co-Founder at Kirlian

Samm Haillay's expertise bridges the world of narrative and documentary films across the US and Europe. His films include coproductions with Sweden, Germany and Australia and have premiered in Cannes, Venice, Sundance and SXSW and have been featured at the London Film Festival, AFI, MoMA Docs and countless others. In 2018, his feature Island of the Hungry Ghosts won best Feature documentary at Tribeca. Samm is a member of BAFTA, EAVE and ACE. He sat on the Short Film Jury in Berlin 2010 to award the Golden Bear. He is a group leader for EAVE, Feature Expanded, and the Venice College Cinema. He also delivers training for Creative England, Film London, Arts Council England and FACT. He is also a 3 time teacher here on Stage 32. Samm has been a patron or board member at several film festivals and is a recognized film academic. Full Bio »


A Tribeca-winning producer breaks down the pitch elements you need to secure funding for your project!


How do I get financing? How can I win over a financier? How can I stand out from other projects looking for funding? How can I create a pitch that blows financiers away?

These are the questions on everyone filmmakers mind. And we have the answers.

As you no doubt know, the competition for raising financing is fierce. With so much content being created, investors have more projects to choose from than ever before. It's not enough to say "I have a great project!" You must be able to show and convey why your project is worthy of those investment dollars and the interest of producers who can get a film made quickly and efficiently.

One of our favorite educators, Tribeca-winning producer Samm Haillay, is back again exclusively at Stage 32 and this time he's bringing the goods to help you design the best pitch possible for your film. In this 2-part class, Samm will be showing you the 15 minute pitch which helped raise ALL the funding for the feature length film, BYPASS, which went on to be nominated for Best Film at the prestigious Venice Film Festival (among others) and continued Samm's incredible stretch of raising funds and winning awards. The film was written, directed and produced by Duane Hopkins, who's experience prior to this was primarily in short films.

In this two part Stage 32 class, Samm will break down what it takes for any filmmaker, producer, screenwriter or other creative looking to raise funds and get their projects into development! We know raising money can be hard; Samm Haillay has been there time and time again. And he is sharing his methods and knowledge to give you the competitive advantage you need to make your pitch worthy, relevant, and memorable.

If you are a filmmaker looking to get financing for your next project, this class is a must!


Praise For Samm's Teaching

"No wonder Samm has made a career out of raising money for his films, he's a pro at it and I feel so fortunate to have learned from him!" -- Nicholas B.

"There's an art and a science to raising money for film and Samm helped me understand that better than anyone else has before." - Meg W.


What You'll Learn

Part 1 - Breaking Down the Pitch

Samm will show you the 15 minute recorded video pitch for the feature film BYPASS. This recorded pitch captured the hearts and minds of investors and producers and led to the feature being fully funded. Samm will break down the entire pitch, component by component to show you why it worked so well. He'll also discuss the style and execution of BYPASS and discuss how you can apply these winning techniques to your pitch! Finally, in what's perhaps the most overlooked aspect of pitching a project, Samm will take all the elements discussed and explain how you can utilize them for any pitch, no matter how long the length. From an elevator pitch to a full on feature meeting, Samm will have you covered.

Part 2 - Pitching Workshop/Case Studies

You'll watch as Samm takes volunteers from the class who pitch their projects.  You'll learn as he dissects each pitch, pulls out the winning and challenging elements of each and discusses where it does and doesn't capture the imagination. He will then workshop these pitches so everyone attending can fully understand how to craft and present an undeniably attractive pitch.


About Your Instructor

Samm Haillay's expertise bridges the world of narrative and documentary films across the US and Europe. His films include coproductions with Sweden, Germany and Australia and have premiered in Cannes, Venice, Sundance and SXSW and have been featured at the London Film Festival, AFI, MoMA Docs and countless others. In 2018, his feature Island of the Hungry Ghosts won best Feature documentary at Tribeca.

Samm is a member of BAFTA, EAVE and ACE. He sat on the Short Film Jury in Berlin 2010 to award the Golden Bear. He is a group leader for EAVE, Feature Expanded, and the Venice College Cinema. He also delivers training for Creative England, Film London, Arts Council England and FACT. He is also a 3 time teacher here on Stage 32.

Samm has been a patron or board member at several film festivals and is a recognized film academic.


Q: What is the format of a class?
A: Stage 32 Next Level Classes are typically 90-minute broadcasts that take place online using a designated software program from Stage 32.

Q: Do I have to be located in a specific location?
A: No, you can participate from the comfort of your own home using your personal computer! If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the class.

Q: What are the system requirements?
A: You will need to meet the following system requirements in order to run the webinar software: Windows 7 or later Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or later.
If you have Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion): The webinar software does not support these operating systems. If you are running one of those operating systems, please upgrade now in order to be able to view a live class. Upgrade your Windows computer / Upgrade your Mac computer

Q: What if I cannot attend the live class?
A: If you attend a live online class, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar. If you cannot attend a live webinar and purchase an On-Demand class, you will have access to the entire recorded broadcast, including the Q&A.

Q: Will I have access to the webinar afterward to rewatch?
A: Yes! After the purchase of a live or On-Demand class, you will have on-demand access to the audio recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year!


If you have a generic question about Stage 32 education you can take a look at our frequently asked questions section on our help page, or feel free to contact support with any other inquiries you might have.

Reviews Average Rating: 4 out of 5

  • Tech issue quickly resolved - this is an excellent class!
  • By far, one of the most informational and useful webinars to date on stage32. Mr. Haillay was personable and very helpful. The methods he suggests for pitching not only work well, but they assist in getting to the heart of the story quickly. I plan on using his method for all of my future pitches.

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