Screenwriting : Pitching Movie Ideas by Eric Barnett

Eric Barnett

Pitching Movie Ideas

Hi, my name is Eric and I wanted to know about pitching screenplay ideas. Is it possible to just to have an idea to pitch to a producer/movie studio and then write the screenplay/have the screenplay be written by someone else? Would pitching ideas only be acknowledged if I have written screenplays before and had them produced? Who would be the best person to pitch my ideas to and are their sites that have contests where people can pitch movie ideas? I know there are many questions to answer but I have always wondered whether it was that easy to pitch my movie ideas or if it is harder than it looks.

William Martell

No. When you pitch a story, you are actually pitching your expertise as a screenwriter to write that screenplay. So when you read about someone landing a deal off a pitch, it was because the producer had read a bunch of their material (screenplays) and wanted to work with them, and have hired them to write a screenplay based on that pitch. Despite at least one book that says otherwise, there is no actual way to sell an idea to Hollywood. There are millions of ideas. Hollywood wants finished screenplays or great writers (who they have found from reading their finished screenplays).

Matthew Barron

Almost all the pitching invitations I read or submitted to have required a finished script up front. That is, if they like your pitch they want to see script within days. The only time my pitch was acceptable without a finished script was when I pitched to a company from an idea they already had and were looking for a writer-for-hire. I would be very nervous pitching to a producer without a finished script in my back pocket. I'm not sure how others would feel though.

Danny Manus

No. No one is really going to buy a pitch and hire someone else to write it. they might as well just come up with their own ideas for free. and since you can't copyright an idea, you'd just be opening yourself up to them taking it. why would they really need you?

Eric Barnett

Thanks for the advice.

Phillip "Le Raconteur" Hardy

Eric: I've pitched several ideas that producers liked, where I didn't have a script yet. What I did have was a good title, compelling idea, logline and a synopsis with a complete story told in 2 pages. That being said, I also quickly wrote the scripts while the interest was high. I would never come up with an idea and have someone else write it. Therefore, if you can work quickly and with a solid level of precision, you may have a fighting chance.

David Levy

Eric, Take the advice given and run with it. Write the script, logline, and all the other materials you need to gain interest once you pitch it. Only few can get away pitcghing a concept with no witeen material behind it, and we are not those people.

Tony Cella

Directors and producers often come up with ideas and hire screenwriters to turn them into scripts, but not the other way around. Established screenwriters, like Phillip or John August, might have better luck.

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