Pitching ConsultationHelp With Crafting Your Pitch for Your TV Show
There is a lot of advice and instruction out in the wild (and even on this site—see Advice) that can tell you how to build a pitch, hone it, practice and prep it. But not a lot of places offer feedback and in-depth practice on your pitch.
If you’re ready to pitch a series or special or TV movie, but you need help in prepping it, then I’m here for you. Since I first started pitching (almost 25 years ago), I have prepped and pitched scores of projects. Some projects involved pitching a handful of times each, while others were pitched dozens of times. The most times I’ve ever pitched a show is about 40 times — and it sold! In all, I’ve pitched over 500 times. I mention all this as I’ve had dozens of pitching partners and have refined a pitching style that is effective and leaves an impression.
In addition to actually going out and pitching, I’ve also heard numerous pitches — to me, by prospective partners, as well as in practice sessions while mentoring others.
Pitching can be terrifying to the pitcher. You are telling a story but not everyone is comfortable having all eyes turn on them in the room. Some people are naturals at it and can immediately grab the attention of the room and tell and amazing and wonderful story. Whether your story is for a fantastic scripted show, an amazing reality show or an incredible documentary, by pitching, you are telling a story. And your story must captivate and intrigue your audience (the executive or buyer), as most development executives hear pitch after pitch all day long. It is their job to find material suitable for their production company, studio or network, and they know their company’s needs much better than you will.
You have a very limited time to excite the people hearing your pitch, and there is a finite window in which you must impress the buyer or you will lose them. I can help you refine and rehearse your pitch. I can help you find the right “flow”, the right pacing and the right amount of words to use to effectively get your pitch out. You have a short amount of time to get your story — and characters and themes and tone and style and all the other elements you need to express your show properly — out to the buyer.
Practice makes perfect but so does structure and pacing. If you are trying to sell a comedy they’d better be laughing at some point. If it’s drama they need to feel the drama. This goes for all genres — the buyer must get a sense of what your show is. I can help you get there with your pitch.
Writing the Pitch Document
The pitch doc is a guideline for you, the pitcher (whether you’re the writer, producer or director, whatever your role), to use during the pitch. The goal is to ideally have no pages in front of you when you pitch — that you know the show so well that you could talk about for 10 minutes… or 20…. or 30, or for as long as the execs want to talk about it. But ideally does not happen for a lot of pitchers. Some need pages in front of them to occasionally glance at, to help keep them going in the right direction, without losing track of anything and without wandering off the trail too far. If you are a natural born or self made public speaker then you may not need to have many notes or pages in front of you. But most of us do.
My preliminary approach is to have you send me your proposed pitch on paper. I will then go through it and estimate how much work you will need, from a writing standpoint, to get to the point of pitching. Your doc should be 5-8 pages, maximum. I will then send your pages back with notes. (If you don’t have a pitching doc yet, and want me to walk you through a sample pitch doc, then start with the Pitch One Hour Call consultation.)
When you are ready with your revised pages, then you will pitch me via phone, FaceTime or Skype, and I will give constructive criticism and overall helpful input.
Refining the pitch on paper takes times and effort. Practicing a pitch so it sounds exciting and fresh each time you pitch takes time and effort. But once you’ve got it down, it becomes much easier. And no, you don’t have to have everything completely memorized. But then reading your pitch off of pages will never do, either.
During the call, we can also discuss the pros and cons of having a “leave behind”, and whether it’s a good thing to bring props, create a pitch deck, have a “bible”, or have attachments such as actors or directors involved.
I charge by the hour for these services and suggest the following consultation packages for the Pitch Prep and Practice:
- Pitch Doc Notes and One Hour Call: $450.00
- Pitch Doc Notes and Two Hour Call: $700.00
- Pitch One Hour Call (call only, no notes on pages): $295.00
- Additional Pitch Practice Hours: $275.00/each
If you have any questions, please contact me. Once you have purchased a consultation, I will be in touch to A) obtain your pertinent documents and/or B) if the consultation is a call or includes a call, to schedule it when it's convenient for you. Consultation calls can be via phone, FaceTime or Skype. Not all consultations include a call, some are only done via documents and written notes. By using this site you agree to the Terms and Conditions of this site.