Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Pitching is fun...

I pitched my script yesterday, and it was fun as hell. In our advanced screenwriting classes, better known as 434s, writers, directors, and producers, all get a chance to pitch their script to the professor. So about thirty of us pile into a room built for twenty, and listen as folks pitch their ideas for scripts. It takes about two and a half hours to finish, but it's cool because you get to hear about some really good script ideas. I have to say that those of us writing scripts for the Sloan have some wonderful ideas. We've all weaved science into our scripts, and it comes organically. It should be a good competition.

But pitching is fun for me. When pitching, the person needs to have a clear idea of what their story is, and then tell it in a way where people can grasp the story. But having said that, you don't have to be, in the infamous words of Tom Cruise, glib. It's more important to be concise. I learned the lesson about two years ago when a friend and I pitched to a producer at Endemol. We had a reality show that they were interested in. We talked, and talked, and talked too much. Never again, I thought, as we left.

But the key to pitching, lecturing, or anything else that requires one to speak in front of crowds is to realize that it isn't life or death. If you flop, no one is going to recommend your immediate execution. You just try again. It's the same way I approach film school and my scripts. A lot of what I write will be crap. Well intentioned crap, but crap none the less. What I understand is that if you work hard on that crap, filet out the good parts and work from there, and then start writing something that's good, then you are WAY ahead of someone who believes that everything they write is already gold.


MaryAn Batchellor said...

Sounds great. Congrats on your pitch. I'm a terrible salesperson and while I've not had a live pitch (unless over the telephone counts), I know for a fact that my written pitches suck. Period.

Lawrence said...

My suggestion. Start with a simple who, what, why, where and when. Maybe write a sentence on each. And then stop. You'll feel confident that you know those things, and then you can answer any questions. Once you become more confident, then you can begin to expand your pitch until it is more well rounded. Hope that helps?