Film Industry

How To Pitch A Movie: Your Guide On How To Pitch Your Movie Idea

Photograph of the blog post author, Sam Jones

Sam Jones

24.6.2021

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A movie pitch is how screenwriters present their ideas to executives and producers in the hopes to gain investment. They are what catches the attention of interested parties and are the first step in getting a movie into production. Being such an important aspect of a movie’s conception, we wanted to give you a guide on how to pitch a movie idea. 

what is your story movie pitch

Having a great storyline for a movie is only half of the challenge in production companies recognising your ideas. A pitch is what showcases those ideas to gain funding for a draft.

Your pitch has to be engaging and intriguing to the people who will help make the movie, covering the main plot and crucial factors. 

Having such a critical part to play in a movie’s making, we want to share with you the ins and outs of movie pitches. We will look closely at what a movie pitch is and give you the knowledge to pitch your very own. 

Often a movie pitch is the bridge between reality and dreams for writers, the make or break moment that dictates whether their ideas become a feature movie or stay an idea. Having a good pitch is fundamental for a screenwriter’s success.

In this article, we will go through what a movie pitch is, the types of movie pitches and how to pitch a movie idea. Be sure to stick around until the very end so you don’t miss out on any key information!

What Is A Movie Pitch?

typewriter and pens stock photo

Film pitches are used by screenwriters and directors to pitch their movie idea to studios and investors. Their purpose is to gain that all-important initial funding to kickstart a movie into production. 

You need to present the fundamental elements of the story, giving a good feel for what the movie is about. The main characters, plot, and premise should all be briefly covered giving an overall idea of what can be expected. 

With high competition from other writers to grab the attention of investors, your pitch needs to be outstanding and no corners should be cut in preparing one. 

Types Of Movie Pitch

There you have it, that’s the basics of what a movie pitch is! We always hear of movie pitches in passing, now you have some knowledge of them. Continuing, let’s take a look at different types of movie pitches and see which is best for you to pitch your movie idea.

When discussing how to pitch a movie idea, the type of pitch will depend on the situation that presents itself. 

We will first look at the different types and later discuss their content. 

Elevator Pitch

man pitching to an audience

The elevator pitch is most commonly used within the film industry lasting from 30 seconds to 2 minutes, hence the name ‘elevator’. You present a brief overview of what your movie is about, usually verbally to the intended parties. 

Not only does this give potential investors an idea of what they are buying into, but a look at how confident you are in your concepts. 

This pitch should start with a hook, grabbing the immediate attention of the listeners. Following this should be a brief overview of the main plot synopsis, including the main characters and their intentions, making sure not to reveal unnecessary details. 

To finish, you should conclude your pitch either covering the ending to the storyline or leaving the listeners in suspense, it’s entirely up to you!

Most importantly, be conscious not to include minute details, only the essentials should be covered. Keep it brief, engaging, snappy, and intriguing. You should know your elevator brief inside and out, you never know when an opportunity will arise for you to present your pitch. 

Standard Pitch 

man pitching a movie to audience

Also known as the standard pitch, this is a more detailed look at the plot usually lasting 20 minutes. Generally, this is used for callbacks from investors or studios to get a more detailed insight if they are interested. 

Despite lasting longer, keeping the standard pitch brief and engaging is still essential, never drag out a pitch to fill time. 

This allows you to pitch your ideas more meaningfully. Covering your storyline in more detail enables a more in-depth feel for what is to come.

Even though the plot itself is of course important, other factors should be considered for a standard pitch. For example budget, cast, show deck, and contact info to name a few. 

Depending on how developed your concept is will determine what you include. Basically, instead of just presenting the concept, you can also cover any major external factors. 

Always keep in mind, even when covering the more mundane aspects, always be brief and engaging. Even though this information is less alluring, your ability as a screenwriter should mean you can still intrigue the buyers whilst pitching this content. 

How To Write A Movie Pitch 

Writing a pitch is different for every movie and should reflect the direction of the story. Now we will present how to write a movie pitch successfully. 

The guide covers everything needed for a standard pitch and should be adapted for an elevator pitch only covering the most important points. 

Introduction 

woman pitching a movie to a group

Starting your pitch with how you came up with the idea is a great way to ease the buying in. Diving straight in with the title doesn’t reveal any important information.

How you came up with the idea gives context to the story and expresses your passion. 

The Essential Aspects

how to pitch a movie plan

If you believe the title is essential to the story, now reveal this with the longline, theme, and genre of the project.

Focus on revealing the essential aspects of the story. Who are the protagonist and antagonist? What emotions will we feel towards the characters? What is the catalyst for the main outcome? Is the plot based on a real story? 

Only consider the important factors, the buyers will have heard thousands of pitches, they only want what makes yours stand out from the crowd. 

Also covered in short the filming aspects of the movie. Discuss the cinematography, lighting, music, and any other aspects that will significantly impact the overall project. 

Conclusion 

typewriter with paper flying out of it

Write a compelling conclusion to round off your pitch. How you do this is entirely up to you but should be considered closely. 

Only reveal the end of the story if you think it is fundamental. We can be too tempted by the excitement of our concepts and rush into the ending of the plot.

Instead, leaving the buyers in suspense can have a more meaningful impact and allows them to experience what the audience will during the final product. 

Either way, make sure your conclusion is compelling and rounds off your pitch clearly and concisely. 

Proof Of Concept 

film projector stock photo

A short proof of concept film can solidify your pitch. Showing that your ideas translate well onto the screen can tie the knot with buyers. 

Giving them a brief insight into how the film will look and feel aids their interpretation of your pitch. Especially if the cinematography is centred within the film, a visual representation will benefit your attempt to showcase your idea.

Comp Films 

movie clapboard stock photo

Comparing your film to another can highlight the opportunity for marketing success. However, never compare your film to another creatively, this only reduces the originality of your project and will discourage any buyers. 

Simply compare the movies statistically and express the potential for audience scope and financial gain. 

Including A Champion

people working with a camera on set

A champion is someone who supports your project, usually a producer or actor, they are supporting evidence that your ideas are received well by people within the industry. 

If professionals are already on board for the project, others are more likely to follow. 

How To Pitch A Movie 

You now know how to write a movie pitch! But now you’re probably wondering, how can I pitch my movie idea to potential buyers in person? 

Who Are You Pitching To?

universal studios logo

Pitching a film idea is a daunting task but there are certain things you can do to increase your likelihood of success. Research is initially the most important part when deciding who to pitch your movie to.

It can be tempting to go to a Hollywood studio that has produced blockbuster after blockbuster in the hopes your film will follow. 

However, buyers are likely to stick with what they know best, going with films that are similar to their previous investments. Find potential buyers that have worked with movies similar to yours and know what they are looking for. 

When you have found your target buyers, tweak your pitch to be personal to them. Research extensively into their work and find any information that might aid your presentation. Do you want to know how to pitch a movie to Netflix? 

Research into the typical types of film and TV Netflix supports, try and find any other screenwriter’s experience with them.

Finding Opportunities 

audience stock photo

There are multiple means of networking with film industry professionals and finding the right people to make your project a reality.

Attending film industry talks and festivals can be the best way of finding new buyers. People can present opportunities to you that you never previously considered. 

You must have a solid pitch ready for any moment. The opportunity to present your pitch to a potential buyer might arise at unexpected times.

You should have your elevator pitch prepared and ready to present to any interested parties. Never turn down an opportunity to showcase your concepts! 

Prepare

empty cinema seats

Being prepared is everything when it comes to a movie pitch. You need to be able to present your pitch perfectly, your content needs to flow, and cover everything we’ve discussed. Make sure every crucial aspect is covered, and then go back and do it again!

Rehearse your pitch time and time again. Every single pitch you present is an opportunity to make your dreams come true. No matter if your project is the holy grail of films, a sloppy presentation will ruin any chance of you progressing. 

The only aspect you can’t rigorously prepare for is the following question. Remain calm and collected, answer them as briefly but detailed as possible. 

Now You Know How To Pitch A Movie 

businesswomen shaking hands

Do you now feel ready to pitch the film idea that has been residing in the back of your mind for years? We hope so! But maybe you still need a little more time to prepare. 

No matter how amazing your concert is, your project will get nowhere without a good movie pitch. You should spend considerable time perfecting your pitch and making sure your presentation is flawless.

This could be the opportunity you need to turn your ideas into a blockbuster movie so don’t waste it!

Concluding, being brief and enticing are the most essential factors for your brief. Always remember buyers will have heard countless briefs before and won’t be so invigorated simply by your plot summary.

You need to stand out from every other movie before yours and prove that your movie is not going to be a flop. Being overly prepared and rehearsing your pitch will give you the best chance of seizing the moment and obtaining the desired result. 

Have you pitched a movie before? We’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below. Be sure to share this article on social media and tag us @musicgateway!

We hope you enjoyed this article and are feeling like a movie pitch pro! Why not check out another article on our blog? Here articles on How To Make A Movie Trailer, How Long Does It Take To Make A Movie? and Production Coordinator Guide to get you started!

Are You A Filmmaker?

Need financial backing to support your project? Our film investment can back projects of all sizes from independent short films to major releases covering all corners of the globe. If that wasn’t enough, promote your work, list your upcoming films and allow fans to pre-order or buy them with your very own Showcase site. Finally, with our concierge and service and extensive music library, allow us to help you find music for your film. Check out our Music Licensing service to get started!

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