How to Pitch Your Movie

By Michael Schilf · June 23, 2010

So you find yourself lucky enough to be “in the room”. This means you have an agent/manager who got you there, or you know somebody who knows the right people. Someone has read your script – probably the assistant to some junior creative executive. And that someone liked it enough to give it a recommend.

Finally, the senior creative/development executive walks in – or maybe there’s a team. They’re easy to spot: designer jeans, hundred dollar shirts, no ties. They haven’t read your script. They don’t have time, because their lives are a series of never-ending meetings.

And so it begins: the pitch. You give them the logline, the synopsis, the whole lot, wrapping it up with the complexities of theme. And then it’s over. You go home and wait. They never call. But why? Because you tried too hard… to sell, sell, sell! Big mistake.

Hollywood is a meetings town. And in your first meeting, the goal should never be about pitching your movie. The goal is simply to get the next meeting. Sure, you’ll mention the script a bit, but the pitch is really about making a common connection. People want to work with people they like. So your job is to make them like you. Make them want to see you again. Make them want you, not just your script. And when a new project comes along, if you’re lucky, your name will be on their minds. Success in Hollywood really is all about personal relationships. And pitching your movie is a marathon, not a sprint.