Pitching Your Screenplay

With the Screenwriters Conference in Santa Fe coming up next week, here are a few notes on how to present your script and to organize a pitch to Producers.  Hope some of you can join us the end of May. 

To present a Pitch you need 3-4 Presentation Materials.  Each takes a good amount of time to put together. Present the Logline, Leave Behind, Synopsis or Treatment of your story idea.

1.    Logline: One (or two) sentence description of the story (Think blurb in TV Guide or film poster)
2.    Leave Behind:  One page sheet with your logline with all your contact information. You can include bulleted information about yourself—awards, publications

3.    One Page synopsis:  Introduce time, place, characters, the dilemma of the story, and the basic conflicts.

4.    In addition to this, you can write a Treatment of the story, which is a 3-4 page synopsis of the actual conflict and action of the story.

Even if your story idea is interesting and has potential, the manuscript must be ready to present.  If it is filled with basic errors such as first letter capitalizations of character names, omitted punctuation, periods and commas, make all these corrections before anyone reads it. 

The material has to be perfect to be presented. 

Basic formatting rules must be followed.  Novice errors often hasbasic film script violations.  The greatest is telling the actor how to deliver a line. The second is saying that someone is going to say something, example “Brodwick goes on to say, excitedly.”   

A 50 min TV film has a 5 Act Structure which therefore allows for commercial breaks. To catch a producer and audience imagination, create a title that gives a colorful image for the story.

All drama is based on conflict. There must be conflict on every page and a major conflict and resolution in every scene.  Study Sid Fields’ Screenplay and The Screenwriter’s Workbook.  For formatting and basic screenwriting techniques study The Screenwriter’s Bible: A Complete Guide to Writing, Formatting, and Selling Your Script by David Trottier.  Also Linda Segar’s Make a Good Script Great.

Contact me at info@SoupKitchenWriting for more tips.  Anne