Screenwriting : Just signed up for my first ever pitching session. Any suggestions from those of you with experience? What to say/do and not to say/do? by Carl Plumer

Carl Plumer

Just signed up for my first ever pitching session. Any suggestions from those of you with experience? What to say/do and not to say/do?

Yikes! Just signed up to pitch my horror script and I am SO F***G NERVOUS! It's not until mid-April, but already my pulse is increasing and I'm feeling dizzy. I think it's stage fright. Okay, so how do I get over myself and make a good impression? All tips and suggestions are welcome!!

Bill Costantini

Stage32 has a good template for pitching - ask for it. Also...practice, practice, practice. Film your practices. Make sure your pitch is entertaining and evocative enough to not only keep the attention of the producer that you are pitching, but to make them want your story. Talk visually, so they can "see" your story as you're pitching it. Remember, these people are professionals who hear pitches from professional writers. You are competing against professional writers who have done dozens, if not hundreds, of pitches. Your pitch needs to be professional-quality. Some other things you should know about drama (A-story, B-story, C-story; MacGuffin; transformative arcs) in case they ask you, or in case you don't already know. They may also ask you: "Who is your audience?" "What is the mythology of your story?" "What is the tone of your story?" "Break your story for us." "What are the main beats?" "Is there a set structure?" "How does the mid-point connect with the resolution?" or worse "Why doesn't your midpoint connect with your resolution?" (That better not be the case.) Speak (and understand) the lingo. Go in with great energy and a great story. If you don't make those things clear, you will be grilled, and can look like an amatuer or a clueless hack if you don't the answers to your own story. Good luck, bro!

Carl Plumer

Thanks, Bill, this is perfect. I'll grab the template, too. Clipped this to Evernote and printed it out as well. Cheers, brother!

Terri Viani

Carl, I don't have a ton of specifics because I think a lot depends on who you get and what your script is but I will say go in knowing your story inside and out and believing in it. Have confidence in it! If you aren't confident about it the executive won't be. As already mentioned, get the template, practice practice until you don't sound rehearsed at all and if you can, have someone role play an executive in a practice pitch. That person of course won't know what the executive will ask, but it'll help you boost your question-fielding confidence AND get you thinking of things about your story you may not have before. And I can tell you that I was suuuuper nervous about my first pitch but man it was a HOOT! Great time, and the person I pitched too looked like he was having fun too. So, try to have fun with it and keep a playful spirit.

Carl Plumer

Terri, that is such great advice, especially about having fun. No one has ever mentioned that before! Now I'm (almost) looking forward to it! :D

Beth Fox Heisinger

Hi Carl. :) There's been a lot of discussion on the site about pitching. You can easily do a 'general search' by topic in the Lounge and all related threads will be listed. Here's one thread that has a lot of information and great discussion about pitching: https://www.stage32.com/lounge/screenwriting/Pitching-16. Also, Joey Tuccio has done various webinars giving pitching prep tips. Here's an audio webinar that may be helpful to you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cu2aM7Dhu4M. :)

Carl Plumer

Thanks Beth. I heard Joey on Pilar's podcast and I think it's great. Thanks for the links. I'm downloading Joey's webinar audio to my iphone right now.

Other topics in Screenwriting:

register for stage 32 Register / Log In