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The Pitch (Part 1 of a 4 part series) “Pitch Preparation”

September 11, 2012

Here are my notes from my Pitch Class today. An absolutely fantastic lecture on the elements of pitching from the very beginning all the way to the end. Every single point was covered and broken down in this. It’s worth it’s weight in gold.

These were ideas from the great Howard Rosenman and Gail Katz. So yes, look at their resumes and IMDBs. Solid gold.

I split them into a couple of different parts but take a read of these and I’ll give my thoughts later.

As always I apologize in advance for spelling or grammar trip-ups, these notes were take quickly.

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This is about how to pitch a feature film.
We’re going to discuss, the important of an outline and a treatment. You really have to know your story.

Basically pitching is storytelling. You have 10-15 minutes, maybe 20.

The most cardinal rule of pitching is less is more.

How to get ready for the pitch. How to get into the room. How do you get there and who do you call and how does it happen. They will go to agencies and agents will make the calls and set up the pitch. Or a manger. Or a lawyer. Or a producer. Somebody that is going to help you get into the room.

Them saying yes to getting into the room is 3 quarters of the battle. Sometimes a pitch that is heard will be a favor pitch. The agent calls in a favor to listen to a pitch. As a producer, there are a lot of mercy pitches. Sometimes things come out of those pitches.

Research the company to know what they are buying and what they have been making.

The first five minutes are the schmooze and you must use some way to get a way to get a connection.

The buyer will have have sometimes a number of pitches a day.

You have to research the room. With the Internet, you can find the info. A commonality. Same college. The same town. Present a connection and point of reference. Also know all the movies this person is working on or has worked on. Try to avoid criticizing and condemning anyone in Hollywood while you’re there. They don’t want to know your opinion or politics.

Many times they will have an idea of the pitch before you walk into the room.

You must memorize your pitch. It’s not a good idea not to. Get a partner to memorize a pitch. For Howard, it takes 6 months to perfect a pitch. He does it over and over till he can do it by sleeping. Don’t over memorize it. Try to be fluid. Make sure to have note cards with certain words highlighted so you can get back on track when you forget. Gail has to look at note cards. Howard has to look at note cards.

Make sure you have a pitch with some charisma. Or get a partner who does. Also make sure you have your outline handy.

How to dress? Know your audience. Very rarely do Hollywood execs wear suits. Agents always wear suits. Sometimes they wear suits. They won’t be wearing jeans. Be very near. Never wear a hat to a pitch. For dress, try to look more creative then businessy. Some guys like to wear nice clothes and tennis shoes. Try to look neat and a little better then the execs that you are pitching. The guys Gail pitches with are usually wearing jeans. Dark jeans. Dark nice tight jeans.

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End of pitch preparation notes.

Hope these help and I will chat attend of the week my thoughts are on this specific section of them.

-S

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