Pitching a movie or a TV pilot to the big 6 in Hollywood is an art that requires skills, networking, solid background, good strategy, timing and above all a good film or TV idea. If you have connections in the film industry especially in Hollywood marketplace, you can have them market your script or even arrange a meeting with one of the executives. Without specialization and going through processes, it is improbable to achieve great things in movie business. A screenwriter, director and producer should give the pitching job to those who are specialized in pitching a film or script TV pilot to industry executives, but it costs money.
If you don’t have that much money, you can send your script to screenplay contests. You still have to pay for the entry to various good screenplay contests. There are a lot of scams out there. Do your research and find ones that are not scams.
Back to pitching: It doesn’t matter if you want to sell the script or get one of executives to co-produce the project with you. I hear or read some guys brag about pitching to Netflix. It’s not easy to get the foot in the door. Pitching to Netflix is hard, unless you’re one of the Hollywood executives. Don’t believe whatever some newcomers say. There are a lot of good scripts out there, why would they want to read your script? Who are you? You have to have something of value attached to the script like an A list actor, an A list director or an A list cinematographer. If you don’t have any of them, it is hard to sell.
You can certainly choose the more difficult path, like one of the producers I know who made her film with $800K budget and sold it to Sony for $5 million. But not all of us have money to make the film. Film institutes and private film funding companies never support an indie filmmaker, although their motto is to support us, but at the end of the day the major film production companies get the turkey. You have to make several movies with track record of sales, and only then they maybe want to read your one page pitch.
We all hate writing pitch because they are hard to write and considered not creative in the same way as writing our screenplays.
Pitching an idea is hard. Because every executive producer has a different taste, if you pitch personally you have to have enough practice to hook them from the start. If you send them a written pitch, good luck with that.
In the film industry, if you specialize in writing screenplays, you need a pitching specialist. Hollywood is a too competitive marketplace and based on my experience, film productions in Europe and the other countries look at what is trend in Hollywood. So if your pitch pleases some of the executives in one of the Big 6, you can be sure your idea or screenplay will please distributors around the world as well and you get more pre-sales distribution agreement.
How to pitch your movie to Hollywood? To be honest, it costs you money, time and effort. The best advice I can give you is to hire a trustworthy specialist to get your pitch through executives. I recommend registering your idea first and getting copyright for it. When it comes to pitching, it is better to choose a company than a person. If you choose a company, their pricing will be too competitive. You can also hire pitching services that are right for you.
Can A Good Pitch Guarantee Success?
No. To be honest with you, a good pitch doesn’t necessarily prove that your script is good, but it has a better chance of being sold. The difference between the two is that nobody (not even the top studio executives) knows whether a movie is going to be a hit even if you attach an A list actor or actress in Hollywood.
A bad pitch doesn’t mean a script is bad either. This is why many executive producers make mistake and decline bad pitches. It is better to give them the script, but very few would read the script. This is why I recommend hiring agencies who would pitch your work to executives.
In the history of movies, there are films that were pitched bad but hit the box office and made millions of dollars for their producers and distributors.
Here is an example of Bad Pitch, Good Movie Forrest Gump,:
“ while not intelligent, has accidentally been present at many historic moments, but his true love, Jenny Curran, eludes him.” Forrest Gump, IMDB rating 8.7
Good Pitch, Good Movie
“When a gigantic great white shark begins to menace the small island community of Amity, a police chief, a marine scientist and grizzled fisherman set out to stop it”. JAWS, IMDB rating 8.2
Good Pitch, Average Movie
“ A “National Geographic” film crew is taken hostage by an insane hunter, who takes them along on his quest to capture the world’s largest — and deadliest — snake.” Anaconda, IMDB rating 4.4
What is a good pitch anyway?
It is the one that makes the audience want to watch your film. A good movie doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to win an Oscar either.
When you write your logline put yourself in a viewer shoes. You have to hook them from the beginning and make them wonder what will be the outcome.
You don’t have to explain the end of your film in your logline, but elaborate in your synopsis.
I recommend conveying your sense of excitement as a writer in a project — but it needs to be backed up by hard evidence. If you write a horror script, your pitch should sound scary or if you write a comedy, your pitch should be funny