I’ve currently added two new websites to my Digg Reader.
Within a couple minutes I’ve learnt a few things about the pitch, which is the event in which scriptwriters present their screenplay to a producer.
The nature of the industry has changed. Getting recognition is no longer about “who you know.” There are so many scriptwriters and scripts out there that, in order to choose from the plethora, producers are going to sponsor films that match their production company’s specific target. The names on your reference list now have nothing to do with your script pitch. These days, it is more about research. Not just research about your movie (Interstellar went to the stars and back with this, there’s even a whole book behind their science), but about the production company that will give you the money to film your film.
The quote from Scriptmag.com below sums up this principle well:
“I’ll give you a hypothetical example to illustrate the difference between a great pitch and the right pitch: I sit down with a decision maker at a mid-sized production company and pitch a wonderful Family Comedy, with a Small Budget for teens 11-16. The script is great. The target audience is ideal. The budget level is perfect for the type of film I want to make. That sounds like a great pitch! There is only one little snag; the company I am pitching to, makes Family Comedy, Studio Budget films for teens 11-16. Did you notice the difference? The budget levels differ. Maybe it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but your talking about the difference between making Napoleon Dynamite ($400K to make) and Night At The Museum ($31M to make). If I am pitching Night At The Museum to a company that can only finance Napoleon Dynamite; I am not making the right pitch.”
What budget of films do you usually watch? High budget (think Mission Impossible) or low budget (think Upstream Colour . . . that’s right, you’ve probably never heard of it)?
Featured Image: Christopher Nolan (writer and director) et al. onset for Interstellar in Alberta