Filmmaking / Directing : Advice on Pitching by Karen R. Hardin

Karen R. Hardin

Advice on Pitching

I have a face to face pitch meeting with a producer who has 5 reality shows on 2 different networks and who is into publishing. This is the perfect meeting for everything I do, but I can only talk up the show that the meeting is about because it's attached to other people who got us the meeting. I want to take her both of my books and mention my screenwriting because she's also interested in script work. Should I make a gift basket and stick my books in it? Should I stick to the one show we're there to talk about? I have no idea how to handle this meeting. Should I wear jeans? a dress?

Patrick Freeman

I would definitely NOT stray from the topic of the meeting. To do so, it seems to me, would look like an attempt to upstage the people who got you the meeting. If all goes well, or if someone asks you what else you're working on then go for it. But unless that door is open I wouldn't pound on it. That's just my opinion. With regard to attire? I think I'd treat it like a job interview in that respect.

Bill Hartin

Karen - Good luck with your face-to-face...knock it out of the park.

Shawn Speake

Be loyal to the people who got you the meeting. Focus on making the team and the team's project shine. The rest will take care off itself.

M L.

If you're in the pitch with the other partners, I would figure out a way to politely ask for a separate meeting at a future date to discuss your personal projects as they don't involve your team. If you're the only person pitching, then it's on you to assess how the room is feeling about the primary idea. If that pitch is going south in a hurry, sometimes it's best to have a few backup ideas. They may even ask "What else have you got?" So I'd have a few pitches at the ready. Assuming the other partners have no backup idea, you're free to change course. Being able to read the room is essential. If you can work humor into your pitch style you'll have an indicator if they're paying attention or not by whether they laugh. You start to lose an audience after 10 minutes so don't let a pitch go over that. As for what to wear, I recommend clothes that make you feel comfortable and confident whether that's a dress or pants is up to you.

Karen R. Hardin

Thanks for the advice. I appreciate it. I don't want to try to upstage the team so I'll try to make the pitch I'm making the best.

James Day

Have you practiced your pitch? Know your logline? Do you have different material to pitch if the producer doesn't like what you have. Dress nicely. Be professional, ask how he or she is doing, and listen when they ask questions. You can pitch with all partners, but make sure you cover one another. Everyone on the same page.

James Day

Stick to that one project she's interested in. She'll ask you for other projects if she is not interested.

D Marcus

I agree with James. Stick to the one. If she asks about other projects then (and only then) mention them.

Rich Goldstein

It seems the meeting is based on the one pitch, so stick with that and make it a good one. If it goes well and the producer thinks he/she can work with you there is generally a point when you are asked "What else do you have?" At that point you can feel free to open up, but use caution. You should know what that producer generally works on and only toss out ideas that have value to him/her.

Karen R. Hardin

Thanks for the advice.

I have a full pitch with log line ready to go and I will stick to the one project unless asked for additional projects as you all have suggested.

In the back of my mind I'm thinking "it's just that I have this book", but I will have it on hand just in case.

John Charnay

Dress for success!

Max Malik

Confidence. Take a few deep breaths before going in, and make sure to shake hands with everyone there.

Rachael Saltzman

If she wants to see more, she'll ask. Stay focused.

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