“Nobody’s going to care about your little art project.”
These harsh words were said to a good friend of mine who is now a successful filmmaker and fulltime writer on a scripted drama, and thankfully, he was gracious enough to pass them on to me.
They sound harsh. And they felt even harsher when they were said to me after I’d showed him my pitch for a show, but they’re true. And thankfully I was aware that he was saying them to help, not to hurt.
The reason I bring this up is a lot of people have great ideas. But sometimes part of the strength of the idea is in the person’s pitch. And that’s good. You NEED to have a strong pitch that can pique people’s interest…
Your pitch material has to, needs to, must, MUST, MUST, be able to stand on its own. It has to convey how good the show is beyond your personal pitch. It needs to be great even when someone else is giving it, and it has to be great when someone is sending your pitch materials up the ladder and you don’t have a chance to fill in the blanks.
Someone pitched me a show today. It sounded good. The person pitching me had it well thought out and I asked what her next step was. One Sheet? Sizzle Reel?
Nope. She was confident that the strength of the story would get her show made.
Here’s the thing: you may get to pitch to an Executive and they may like it, but they still need to pass it up the ladder before you gain any traction. And then that person needs to send it up and so on and so forth. By the time your show gets the opportunity to get green-lit it will be so far away from you, you won’t have a chance to add your “personal touch.”
A lot of people will need to hear your show’s pitch (with you not in the room) before you get your show made. If your pitch doesn’t have pitch materials equal to or better than your personal pitch you’re finished.
The Execs are not going to care about your project unless you provide them with the ability to care about it and the desire to make others care about it too.