PITCHING – BEYOND THE ELEVATOR
by Michael Chasin
The elevator doors slide open—and Spielberg strides in.
You have thirty seconds—to dazzle him with your brilliant idea.
You do—and are invited in for a formal pitch meeting.
Pitching—beyond the elevator—is, like it or not—a required skill for a filmmaker.
And like any other skill, it should be learned and practiced, practiced, and practiced.
Customarily conducted in an office—with the decision maker behind her desk—it will start with a few minutes of small talk with your cue being, so what-a-ya got?
Your pitch—will appear off-the-cuff—but in fact—was well rehearsed.
Your excitement and passion should shine through—with your goal being to get that person on the other side of the desk—as excited as you are.
Delivered verbally—it will tell the story in linear form—just as it would be viewed.
Your pitch—will contain a strong hero, a worthwhile goal, increasing obstacles, a ticking clock, and a theme—which not unsurprisingly—are the ingredients of a great script.
It will mainly describe the story—with only a sprinkling of dialogue.
You will communicate the tone of the story—and will describe vivid, compelling characters—that almost seem alive.
Your pitch will focus on the first act and move into the second act and stop—at a crisis for your hero.
If all goes well—it will cue a what-happens-next from the other side of the desk—and you will likely again—see Spielberg.