Short Pitch Test 

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It's Strategy Time!!!!

Let's work on creating our short pitch. 

If you were in an elevator going to the 20th floor with Director Ron Howard or Will Packer, or a literary agent what would you say about your project? 

Please include:

Genre

Title 

Protagonist

His/her objective 

Conflict

(Book writers you can do this too for your query letters!)

Getting Pitch Meetings Without An Agent: 7 Proven Steps to Include In Your Email Pitch

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You need to get through some doors but don't have agency representation? I find this to be the biggest pain point for most independent content creators.  

But, now more so than ever, with the future of television migrating to the digital space and influencers creating instant fame with the the touch of a finger and a mobile device, I believe networks need to be a bit more flexible, and are becoming more innovative with finding fresh content for their viewers.

I'm not saying the doors will all start flying open using these seven tips, but I've had some success, as I show you in this post...

When I am in the room, I shine.  The passion I exude when speaking about my projects is undeniable, but it's getting into the room that is the hard part. Pitching is not ALL about what you do in person.   It's first about how you get in the room.  On my journey to pitch 100 times this year, I am learning to perfect my pitch in person and otherwise.  I've had several people ask me questions about what should go into their email to the people and companies they are seeking to pitch.  Below are 7 things I usually include into my email pitches.

The first part of your pitch begins with your first communication. Be it by phone, social media, or email, you have to reel the other person in by the story you tell. If you are like me, you may be full of great ideas, but you don't have representation.  Which means for us; we have to be very creative and think outside of the box when writing for an opportunity to pitch.   I write about this in my forthcoming book, #100Pitches: Mistakes I've Made, So You Don't Have To and wanted to share with you some tips that I use to get into the room.  I'm getting better with each attempt.

Here are a few of the things I like to include in my emails to grab attention:


Choose a subject line that will make them want to read further.

I was told by an urban blogger that they receive hundreds of emails each day, and the first emails they choose to open are the ones with catchy titles. If you have someone who referred you, then I would start with “so and so suggested I reach out to you – 3mm film wants Michael B Jordan to Star. Or, So and so referred me—NAME OF SHOW PITCHING. If you have talent attached, your subject may say, “Jussie Smollett Project Seeking 3mm- 4mm already secured.

2.  Praise them about their recent work in the industry.

I always praise whoever I’m reaching out too on their recent work. I make it a habit to know what the person or company has been doing recently. I’m not saying that it always works, but it’s worked in my favor to let the person that know I am abreast of their great work.

3.  I created this show specifically for your audience.

If it is a actor, company or network, I always let them know that I create this project specifically with them in mind. 9 times out of 10 it’s true and even if you didn’t create the content specifically for them, you think that particular person, network, or company must be right for your project or otherwise you wouldn’t have added their names to your wish list.

Ex: “Hi, I've created a 1/2 hour sitcom specifically for your audience.”

4.  Give the working title, logline and a brief, generic synopsis of your show.

Most networks and production companies do not want a synopsis until after you have signed a release form, but I like to give a synopsis that isn't directly about my show, but how their audience will connect to my show. In other words, you would spell out a problem that the main character would find themselves in in your show. Your story will tell the themes of the show without necessarily saying, the themes of my show are...

5.  In your email, show them through a one liner that you've researched their audience and understand the demo.

This sitcom will appeal to your 44% of 23-30 year old, female demo, but since it's a show about fashion, it will also appeal to your other demo as well; after all, fashion is fashion!”

6.  Also, let them know what else you have in your pipeline (genre's and themes).

They may not be interested in what you are trying to pitch them, but something else in your pipeline may align with their mandate for the year. You never know, sometimes it can be the thing you least expected.  But it's where they are headed. That’s happened to me twice! The thing I was least expecting the company to be interested in was the thing they expressed interest in. 

7. Give a specific date you want to chat with them? This week, Next week, Thursday or Friday.  

Here is a screen shot of an email response I received from an attempt at pitching new content I created.

 

If you enjoyed these tips, get The BOOK and see more of the email copy that I wrote! 


Creatively,
Squeaky Moore

Packaging Your Television and Film Projects

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Have you ever thought to yourself,

"I won't reach ask this actor or director to be a part of my project, because they would never say yes to me."

Well, I want to share with you a conversation I had yesterday with a friend, because I fear that what happened with her, happens to us all.  I want to help put and end to some issues related to packaging projects that we all have or will  face at one time or another.

In this video, get pass these common issues most content creators experience when packaging their projects.

Top 3 Ways to Pitch Your TV Show Idea

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Pitch 101: Tip of the Week

 

 

TIP OF THE WEEK

Many don't know the first thing about pitching a show or film idea. Here are 3 universal ways to go about pitching your idea.

PLEASE NOTE: These are not the only ways.

 

  1. Do a Paper Pitch - This can be a PITCH DECK done on power point, or a ONE SHEET that will be used in the room to help guide the talking points of your pitch.
  2. Create a Sizzle Reel or Pilot presentation- You can film a few scenes or pull highlights from your movie or tv episode that gives an overall understanding of what your show is about.   Or you can shoot the entire pilot.  This leaves the executives no room to guess what your project is about.  They will see exactly what you have in mind. In this case, I think a sizzle is just as beneficial.
  3. Skype interviews - You can pull Skype interviews and show the personalities of the people you have on board. This especially works for Reality Shows!

 

5 Tips for Rising Above “We Pass” When Pitching Your TV or Film Idea

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rise-above Rise Above

Here are 5 tips for rising above the words "We Pass" when pitching your TV or film idea.  

9 times out of 10, you will hear these words if you are a content creator and are selling your ideas for the big and small screen. My first pitch was an emotional roller coaster of wins and losses!

I remember my first pitch as if it was yesterday! By God’s grace, my writing partner and I were able to get through the "Wall of Jericho" without having representation and into the doors to pitch our big idea! So already this was a BIG HUGE WIN! (More on "Unconventional Tips for Getting in the Door" in another blog post)

It was our first TV idea at the time, and we worked effortlessly to create the world of our show and to write about interesting and unique characters and how their worlds collide. The win here was that it resonated with the development person.  His words were, to be exact, (yes, I remember them verbatim. It was my first real validation that I had talent!) He said, "You have created a great world for your characters to live. People usually only focus on great characters!" (That's a tip in and of itself! That is, spend just as much time creating the world of your show, as you have creating the characters.) The network executive had offered us our next steps which were to pitch the higher-ups.

In our meeting, we learned that the network had had a couple of projects in development with similar themes, but the executive felt our show was pretty good and wanted it to go to the next level.  He was so gracious; he offered us an opportunity to prep with him before pitching his team.

We were excited!  I felt I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. All of our preparation and pitch rehearsals had paid off.  Did I mention how excited I was?  If I can be brutally, embarrassingly honest, I'd even visualized myself riding in a stylishly swift new car driving all the way through the gates of my new mansion! (Don't laugh at me, I’m a dreamer, and that’s okay because it helps me as a writer). I knew in the pit of my soul this was it; my breakthrough moment.

Imagine how I felt when we received the email (I shared it with you in a previous post, (Should Content Creators Ask for an NDA?), that the higher ups had decided to "pass" on our show.   No need to imagine.  I can share with you how I felt. I felt like a black hole had come and sucked away all of the life, ambition, dreams, positivity, optimism, and any other words associated with winning, out of me.   Instantly, I completely felt like I had failed.  At least, this is how that “we’re going to pass” registered to me.  Other feelings that followed were: “You're not good enough. You'll never make it. Your concept wasn’t good, and Squeaky don't quit your day job,” just to name a few.

The truth is I was too hard on myself. Just like most people do, I completely forgot about all of the positives and only focused on the "pass."  In fact, I hadn't even thought of a plan b, should I hear the word "pass."  Hell, at the time, I didn't even know that was universal language!

Here's what I would have told myself then to help me get through the paralysis I suffered creatively after this pitch pass.  It's the same plan I think you should follow on your pitching journey.

Prepare a contingency plan before your pitch meeting that answers:  What will you do if you are told, "We'll pass?" Your plan should include:

  1. A follow-up question.  You want to ask for the reasons why they decided to "pass."  You have to be opened to the truth if you want to get better. To help you with your next pitch, understanding the "why" could help a lot and save you time in preparing for future pitches. It could also take away your feelings of failure and any paralysis you may experience.  I recently spoke with a person in development about this, and he confirmed that there is nothing wrong with asking this type of question. It shows your drive.
  2. A list of Gratitude’s. Create a list of gratitude’s before walking through that door to pitch.  Scribe all the things you were grateful for before hearing that dreaded phrase.  You should never forget your wins!
  3. A list of Affirmations. Create a list of powerful affirmations which should include, "I have all the answers within me. This “NO” is not universal.” and pick as many others that will inspire and motivate you and change your thinking around. You want to remind yourself of your power within right away. Never leave your power with the people you've just pitched!
  4. Journal.  Mark Batterson writes in his book, Draw the Circle, "we have a tendency to remember what we should forget and forget what we should remember."  Taking the time out to journal immediately after the pitch will allow you to remember all of the great things that happened and the things that need improvement.  Be sure to remember all of the details: Who was in the room? How did the conversation flow? What you felt worked. Where you felt you needed improvement.  What was said by the person you pitched.  What questions were asked?  What questions couldn't you answer?  How did the meeting end?
  5. Plan of Action. Create a plan of action that you will carry out should you hear that dreaded phase. Your plan of action should include:

  • Sit for an hour or two of complete silence. You need time to think of your next steps so you can be most productive.
  • Give yourself a time-frame to fix all the things you felt went wrong in that meeting and any suggestions made by the network, if you agree with them.
  • Brainstorm a list of people or books that can help as a mentor to you while fixing your issues.
  • Do all you can to set up your next pitch immediately; only allowing yourself the necessary time to fix your problems! You want to do this so that you don’t allow yourself to dwell in the rejection. Trust me feeling paralyzed by rejection is real!  It's said, the way to face fear is by doing the thing you are most afraid to do.  Well, I feel the same about pitching. Face paralysis head on and move past it!

 

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