It\'s "Go" time
What’s in your Pitch Packet Pocket?
It was in 2002 or 2003 as I remember, and I'm walking to the elevator on the umpteenth floor of a high rise building on Wilshire Boulevard near Doheny, when into the elevator to join me struts none other than Art Linkletter. Now, Art Linkletter was a seasoned radio and TV personality dating back to my grandparent’s time and worked in both of those mediums for decades. He was a man of class and a real pro. Beautifully groomed, pressed brown suit and a tan. When I saw him, having already felt like I knew him, I blurted out, “Art Linkletter, dude, you look great”. Art simply pointed at his suit and self and said, “ninety”. On the way down to the lobby he told me a quick bit of his philosophy, diet, exercise, faith and how he carried himself and I bought in and when he stepped out of the elevator, he looked at me again and with the coolest twinkle and thus reiterated, “ninety.” And 90 seconds was all it took to convince me. If he had a show for sale, I would have bought it, that is, if I had the money and he promised to put me in it. Point is, the first elevator pitch I ever heard was from Art Linkletter, and it was in a real elevator.
Fact of the matter is, as writers, entertainers and creators we are always pitching, all of the time, whether we know it or not. Anytime people ask you what are you up to or how’s the mock organic chicken with gluten free carbonara at Veggie Grill, you are pitching.
This is especially true for our creative projects whether it be a web series, a TV series or a movie, you are pitching. And, what and how you pitch, since you are also pitching yourself, makes all the difference in the world. A lot of writers know their show inside and out yet when asked about it have trouble getting to the heart and soul of it in a timely fashion or it is uneven and wandering. They are caught off-guard. We don’t want that. Pitching is at the heart of getting any project sold, funded or produced. It is a tool, actually a toolbox that truly is the game changer. Why not polish up the pitch packet pocket?
A great, concise 90 second elevator pitch may stir some interest. You’ll know this immediately when whoever you are pitching to says, “tell me more”. Now it’s time to take the 90 seconds and add some of the fresh conceptual details about the show, the world, the conflicts and the characters. This can go anywhere from 5 minutes to 6 Moscow Mules or more (in the room). Then, there’s the written synopsis (or syno-pitch); there's the one-page written pitch document, lovingly referred to as the “one-pager.” These are sent to producers or show creators who are involved in the many online streaming platforms today.