How to get your project ready to pitch
10 key ingredients for packaging film and tv shows...
Have a solid script.
Everyone knows you need a good script, but how do you really determine that? If you aren’t sure where your script stands, it’s a good idea to pay a professional script reader for script coverage. I tend to use the fast and affordable coverage service from WeScreenplay to get a feel for where the script is. If the coverage comes back with a ton of notes, then it may be time to go back to the drawing board and do another revision.
Craft a great title
Be careful not to settle for the title the screenwriter gave the project, even if that screenwriter is you. It’s a good idea to see if there are similar titles on IMDb before you pull the trigger. If the similar title is a short or a movie from fifty years ago, it’s probably not going to make a difference. A bad title could potentially loose a sale or actually deter people from seeing the film. I like to create a list of 100 potential titles and then narrow it down to the top five. Once I have the top five titles, I like to ask family, friends, and industry professionals what they think. Having people that aren’t connected to the project can be really helpful, as their insights are more relevant to the general public.
Write a killer logline.
If you aren’t sure if your logline is the best, it can be helpful to use online tools such as logline.it to get advice and reviews from other professionals.
Get a professional schedule and budget created.
If you are planning to raise capital from private investors, it’s a good idea to have a solid budget in place so the investors can see where their funds are going. If you find yourself in this position, feel free to reach out to me and check out my services and pricing on my website.
Make some attachments.
Significant attachments can often help move a project forward. You don’t need to attach the whole cast or crew but key positions such as a Director, Producer or Lead Cast member can be very helpful when speaking to investors or networks.
Know your distribution strategy
Whether you plan to take this project theatrical or streaming it’s a good idea to have either a sales agent or distributor attached early on so that they can help you navigate the distribution process. Occasionally they may be able to help you to sell foreign pre-sells for certain territories that could be critical when securing financing.
Create eye-catching poster art!
A great mock poster can really get people excited. Even before someone reads the script if you have a solid visual art piece it can really inspire them to consider the project. You might consider hiring someone on Fiverr or asking for referrals in your network for a good designer.
Develop a Pitch Deck or Business Plan.
If you are creating a project for investors then you will need a solid business plan with a budget top sheet, financial projections and more. On the other hand, if you plan to pitch your project to a streamer such as Tubi you may want to consider waiting on the financial portion since the streamer may dictate the budget range they hope to work with once they are interested. I prefer to call the later Pitch Decks since they don’t really dive deep into the business side of things.
List the project on IMDb.
It typically is pretty straightforward but if you have never done it you can add a new title with the help of this article. Listing your project on IMDb will legitimize what you are doing and give you creditability. Don’t post mediocre poster artwork on there or actors that have no creditability. Only post critical people at this stage like the Writer(s), Director, Producers and any named cast members that are willing to be attached.
Create a one-sheet.
In addition to having all the fancy materials ready, such as a business plan and key art, having a simple black and white one sheet can come in handy when you are in pitch mode. On a one-sheet, I typically list the title, director, producer, writers, key attachments, logline, short synopsis, length of project or format, genre, target audience, and rating.