A pitch is where you, a writer, a person used to working long hours all by yourself, a person usually socially awkward with bizarre idiosyncrasies, a person who chose writing for a living because you can’t express yourself in words, a person who is the furthest and farthest thing from any type of salesperson, must now sell your idea.
Never have a meeting. Always have a conversation.
Tim Clague (emphasis added)
Less than a week to go until DateNight 1.1, and the familiar tendrils of fear and self-loathing plait my intestines.
I’ve searched my archives for articles and posts on pitching. Recommended reading: from the US, Kay Reindl and Murderati; from the UK, Danny Stack and Tim Clague.
I’ve drafted leave-behinds. Single-page distillations of the project*, not only do they succinctly describe the project (‘It’s a situational comedy about a jive-talking skateboard’), they’ll be a crutch for whatever I end up blathering (‘Did he just say it’d contain coarse lang- whoa!‘), and will quite handily include my contact details.
I’m practicing smiling. I’ve been told that I come across as rather serious and unsmiling. I’m looking to strike a balance between confidence and humility (‘Yeh, shucks – I so rock’) that won’t unnerve people.
Which leaves the spiel. An interesting observation: instead of writing to be read, I have to write to be heard. And as with dialogue writing, it’s not just content I have to worry about (the leave-behind is a big help there), I need to ensure that I provide sufficient motivation:
... A jive-talking skateboard.
Called Samuel L Jackson.
Producer can only blink rapidly, momentarily struck dumb.
And his sidekick, a laid-back surfboard. Called John Travolta.
The Producer leans forward:
Tell me more.
* Despite my complaints about synopsising, those hateful little documents have been quite helpful.