21. How to pitch
There’s been a lot of talk over the past few years about how to pitch your screenplay or series. Pitch experts have been popping up all over the place and many writers and producers have attended workshops in order to learn the latest pitching techniques. But what I’ve also noticed is that suddenly there is a lot of anxiety!
I’ve just returned from Bordeaux where I was a Chairperson for Cartoon Movie – two days of approximately 60 pitches given by filmmakers from around the world. Some of the films were at concept stage, some were in development and others were already financed and well into production. As for the pitches? Well, some were really strong while others were weak.
Now I don’t mean to say that it isn’t important to learn how to clearly present your work and I know there are some experts out there that will teach you to do just that.
But I have some strong thoughts on this topic which I hope will help relieve your anxiety when it comes to pitching, and what I believe it comes down to is this:
A great show is a great show is a great show and a great script is a great script is a great script!
You can give an impressive pitch. You can ‘wow’ somebody with your confidence or with a song and dance routine. But at the end of the day, although they might be entertained, they’re not gonna buy a thing unless your work stands on its own. It’s your writing that’s gonna sell! It’s your characters and stories, your strong creative vision and expertise that will get you where you want to go.
I am not a great pitcher, but what I am is a strong writer. I decided a long time ago to let my work pitch itself and my advice to you is to do the same.