Hello filmmakers, do you think it's possible to approach a big production company in order to pitch them a story and get them to finance the writing of the script?
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In the old days, maybe, but as an unknown writer, it's highly unlikely that you would be paid to spec a script based on a pitch.
If you have a body of work and track record, then yes, absolutely. But the production company would most likely not be the financier. The prod co would attach as producers, and "take the pitch into" studios and financiers with you. The studio/financier would be the "buyer" that pays you to write the script. To sell a pitch, however, you need a pre-existing body of work that demonstrates success and credibility.
My pleasure, Rafael.
Ditto Regina. Great guidance. I would suggest every screenwriter/filmmaker develop a strong body of work. The greatest challenge we all face is time and money. Spend it wisely.
... this is actually how a lot of the people I know sell shows. They pitch a concept before writing a single line of dialogue.
@Thomas - and these people are already successful screenwriters with a bunch of screenplays? Or they have an agent which means the same, because no newbie has an agent.
@Elisabeth, it totally depends on how you define "newbie."
Well, if it is possible without any agent and without having a bunch of sold and filmed screenplays - then I would really like to know how one can sell a not yet written script just by a logline or idea. I mean it, because this would really motivate me additionally.
Just as an example, some people define "newbie" as someone who does not have any Hollywood ties yet. Others might define newbie as someone who has an agent/manager, but has yet to make any money as a writer. Or someone who has only been hired for non-WGA work and hasn't yet been hired by a major Hollywood financier. Or someone who has only staffed on 1 TV show - that person is still a relative newbie compared to the showrunner, right? Et cetera. My point which I stated above is that a writer can sell a pitch if he/she has a body of work that is credible. There is a range of what can be considered "credible." It might be a TV staff writer (a newbie at the bottom of the TV show's writing staff seniority list) or a far more senior writer.
Hi Regina, are there any examples of pitches with a body of work which is credible. I do not think I could write ever a script since I am not a native english speaker or it will take 10 years to stay and learn in the US. My two Sci-Fi ideas are great since I pitch the film-audience in The Netherlands. " We all watch 90% Hollywood films and we know what we like" . I am a Technology person and in our branch I have learned when you create an Idea from scratch you first create a MVP or proto-type which can prove the product is viable. Then you interest the investors. Is there any comparable case to promote film Ideas in Techy-way e.g. create a animation or film poster
Hi Dev, if you look at Deadline.com, Variety.com, and HollywoodReporter.com, you'll see stories of credible writers selling film and TV pitches almost every week. I'm not going to take the time to list the most recent pitch stories for you, as San Diego Comic Con news coverage has dominated headlines this week. I just Googled "Deadline.com pitch sale" and got this result http://deadline.com/2014/02/fox-chernin-buys-pitch-from-black-listed-twi.... Best of luck!
Hi Dev, if you're an established writer or writer/director, then you can sell a pitch based on a very concise description. For example, if you're Judd Apatow, you can say, "Steve Carell is a 40-year-old virgin." If you're not Judd Apatow, it's very hard (nearly impossible) to sell a pitch based on an animatic or film poster.
Thanks a lot for your time.
@Rafael, while you've been given sound advice by some industry gurus, I will still attempt to pitch the idea using a well written treatment. At worst, you will hear a bunch of 'Nos'. You will make some interesting discoveries during those attempts that will come in very handy later down the road.
A 1 page treatment?
A one page is a good start. While you're pounding the pavement with it, continue developing the screenplay. Pitch it to EVERYBODY...even your mailman. Use everyone for 'target practice'. You'll get better and better at selling your idea. At some point, the universe will get out of your way and the seemingly 'impossible' will happen. Someone will take it off your hands. Just. Don't. Quit. You should read Stallone's story. :-)