Pitch 101 Question: How Do You Know You Have a GOOD Idea?

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Content creators, let's face it, we all think our ideas are the best! (Who else is guilty of this? I know I don't stand-Ialone here.) But, How do you know you really have a good idea? I laugh at myself when I think of all the American Idol Audition Round ideas I have had, with my mom, family and best friends in tow rooting me on. Many of you are familiar with the reference. If not, it's where contestants who were auditioning for the show waited in line for 3-4 days to be seen by the auditors, only to sound like an injured seal. And even after their entourage overhears the audition, they can't quite figure out why their beloved family member (the singing seal) didn't make it. (Hilarious).

I have been that singing seal for content. Thankfully, I've gone outside of my family and friends to get advice on how to create better content. I am a work in progress. I spoke to an executive at a network, and I asked him what was the difference between a good and great pitch, and among a lot of great answers, a few stood out. He said it's important to make sure the concept aligns with what the network is seeking. Which is to say, no matter how good the idea is, if it is not the type of show the network or production house is known for doing then it won't be great for that company. So we should all be researching before pitching. He also said there was a difference between an executive asking you questions because they are utterly confused about your concept, and one who is asking questions because they are digging deeper. One is good, and the other is...so bad.

What he said made me think, “Well, how can one know?”

So, I'm asking all of you content creators to tell me, How Do You Know

You Have a Good Idea?

TIP:   GET SCRIPT COVERAGE FOR YOUR   SCRIPT TO MAKE SURE WHAT YOU THINK   IS GOOD, IS REALLY GOOD!

WHAT IS SCRIPT COVERAGE?

It's a written report done by a person who specializes in analyzing and grading scripts.  He/she then does a report that grades the write on:

Concept, Plot, Characters, Arcs, Dialogue, and Structure.

 

Mind-Mapping Your Project

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Creating Your Film or Television Project by Mind-mapping

I've been asked lots of questions from people about not knowing how to start their film or television projects. Many of you have amazing ideas that you want to someday share with a broader audience, but feel overwhelmed as to where to start it. In my book, #100Pitches: Mistakes I've Made So You Don't Have To, I talk about the strategy I use to develop my projects and pitch them. It's a 3 step process: Create, Prepare, and Pitch. With every step, I do a mind-map. I've decided to briefly walk you through a process of how I create the world of my projects through mind-mapping. In the book, I go into a more detailed step-by-step process (I do this in my pitching bootcamps as well), but below I describe the nuts and bolts and give examples.

The first thing I suggest doing is mind-mapping your project to simplify it! For many, a film, TV, or even book project is too big to look at as a whole. It's overwhelming. So, what you need to do is break it down into chunks by mind-mapping.

Start by writing the title of your project in the center of a page. Then start brainstorming everything you want to include in your project by drawing lines from the title to your thoughts. Don't hold back; just dump your thoughts freely. If it is a film, digital or tv show, it can be characters, themes, scenes, locations, moods, background, style elements and many other things can be included depending on your project. If it is a book, it can be chapter titles, themes, situations, and/or anecdotes you want to tell.

After you are done, you will begin to chunk all of the things that are similar together. You can either draw a circle around all of the things that fall into the same category, or you could categorize by giving everything a title and putting under the title everything that goes together.

Examples:

Chapter titles/topics:

  • When I started my journey
  • Discouragement
  • Rising above obstacles

Anecdotes if a book:

  • Story of my childhood
  • Story of my biggest challenge

Act 1:

  • Opens with Amy Adams packing to leave for the marines
  • Amy goes out for one last soirée with friends
  • Amy's boyfriend dumps her

Act 2:

  • Amy grows close with others in her unit
  • Amy in marines, sees her best friend gunned down, she never said she loves him.
  • Amy gets hurt in an attack

You get the point!

Spend time mind mapping your project. It will help get your thoughts together and the project won't seem so overwhelming.

I hope this helps some of you. I pray it alleviate any fears you may have about starting your projects and preparing to pitch.

Feel free to join my private pitching Facebook group HERE!

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back! 

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I feel like this is a much needed message right now. 
I was on the phone with a friend last night and I told her I was jealous of her discouragement. 😊
I was jealous because I know so well how much ish happens right before success comes. 

It's funny, I can see her success so clearly perched right behind the chaos and confusion. She's so close.

I think about Joseph (in the bible). He went through soooo much, yet he reigned in every situation. Right before each successful moment he had there was chaos and confusion. And God was with him through it all. 

My message to all of US, is to just keep taking one small step and then the next. Keeping making constant and never ending improvements. Don't let the big picture overwhelm you. Focus on the things you can....pick one thing to focus on... Then another.

Your success wasn't promised without chaos and confusion. But it will come if you keep pushing pass the ish.

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!

 

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