Producing : Need Pitch Advice! by Alex Hanno

Alex Hanno

Need Pitch Advice!

Hello Stage 32!I signed up to pitch one of my scripts this weekend and I realized, even though I've produced projects, this is really my first ever producer pitch, per se. I was wondering if anyone has some good experience pitching (via phone/skype) and can give me pointers, advice or point me in the direction of some good resources to prep with prior to the date. Any do's/dont's? Any quick tips? My main goal is to just not come off like a nervous mess hahaha.Thank you all in advance!Best,Alex

David Trotti

Tell your story like you'd tell a story to a friend at a bar over a beer. You want to keep it fairly simple, entertaining, relaxed and interactive. Don't try to cram in all the details. Just have a basic through line to follow and if a detail hits you as interesting as you go let spontaneity and enthusiasm carry you with that cool nugget, then get back to the main story. Read the room as you go. If you start to get glazed looks, pep it up, move to an interesting beat or just skip to the most interesting/ironic/cool hook your story has. Also you don't have to hard sell it. If it's a good story, your audience will know. Also, I suggest having a one sheet leave-behind with the title, logline, one paragraph summary and your contact info ready just in case, Good luck!

Allen Roughton - Stage 32 Script Services

Hey David! I coordinate the pitch sessions on Stage 32 and have seen how execs react to thousands of pitches. I can tell you t hat David Trotti is pretty spot on with what makes a great pitch. The only things I would add to his answer is to focus on character with the basic through line. Execs want to hear major setpieces, but the rest of the beats only matter in how they affect the characters journey. You need to spend time establishing your story and wrapping it up at the climax, but everything in the middle is about how it affects your characters.For Stage 32 pitches, you do not need to have a one-sheet available, but it never hurts in case they request one. Plus, it's a great way to get to know your script intimately so you can pair down your pitch to the most important aspects.Lastly, be sure to highlight what makes your story stand out. A competent pitch that ends up feeling like many other movies won't garner interest. They need to know your twist on things, whatever it is, to grab their interest.

Art Burton

I concur with the 2 gentlemen above...the best pitch is an elevator pitch and if you can hook them within the first minute! The one-sheet leave behind is also a tool I used before I sat in front of people as well! Best of luck!

Daniel Cooper-Kamodsky

Good in A Room is a good resource. Run by Stephanie Palmer. 3 links below or just search word 'pitch' on her site you will get a few more answers.

Nick Assunto - Stage32 Script Services

Pretend it isn't your story, but instead a movie you just watched that you're really excited about, and you're now telling it to someone who doesn't care about spoilers.

Alex Hanno

Thank you all so much! This is great advice, I can't wait to dive in and start practicing. I'll let you know how it goes haha.

Amanda Toney - Stage 32 Next Level Education

You might like this blog: top 10 pitching mistakes & advice from Shane Black:

Rosalind Winton

SJ Robinson's blog. She received top marks and a request for her script as a result of her pitch and she has some great advice in her blog :)

Doug Nelson

My advice is simply do it. If you fall down and stub nour nose, get back up and try something else - learn from your failures. Others can offer their take on the process, but in the end it all boils down to you as the Pitcher and the Pitchee. Best wishes & let us know how it turns out. Remember: A swing & a miss is one step closer to a hit.

Marjolein Smit

I think it is scary but fun. There are a lot of helpful videos on You Tube about pitching. Good luck !

Marjolein Smit

Hello Alex. Leave some time for questions! There are a lot of videos on You Tube about pitching. Will you let us know how it went? Greetings Mack

Alex Hanno

Hey Everyone! Thanks for the ongoing advice, the pitch went super well (especially given it was my first). Truly appreciate all the help!!!

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