View Full Version : What to expect during a pitch meeting...

08-19-2004, 11:32 AM
What can you expect to be asked at a pitch meeting? Are the questions centered around your story alone or do they ask questions about you as the writer? Any information/pointers would be grateful.

Writing In The Margins
08-19-2004, 12:08 PM
"Would you like some water?"

"Do you need your parking validated?"

JakeSchuster aka Ostroff
08-19-2004, 01:19 PM
A lot depends on why you're there in the first place. If the exec has seen a writing sample, he (or she) will probably begin by saying what interested them about it. Then he or she'll ask what you're working on, what else you've got. As you do your pitch the exec may interrupt and either say something like "right, then she's the one who kills him, huh?" in which case you've written something he's already figured out, and you can go back to your car and sit in freeway traffic.

Or he or she may ask questions: "So how does it all turn out?" or, "It's kinda like a Sherry Lansing thriller, right?'"

At which time you shake hands and leave.

Don't sweat over this too much. It's just a casual conversation, a way for them to see what you've done, what you're interested in doing, what genres you like best.

As for the water, on a meeting I went to last year one exec had a table full of beverages. I asked for water. He went out and brought me a glass of water. I should've stuck with what he had.

08-19-2004, 02:20 PM
Are you talking about a pitch meeting or a "meet & greet"?

Jake's version is more for the meet & greet. If you're going in for an actual pitch, there's not a lot of small talk and you (or the producers) generally get right into it. Usually, this is someone that the writer has already established a relationship with.

As far as the pitch itself, definitely be prepared to answer questions about anything and everything regarding your story. You should know it as if it has already been written and it helps to be the type of person that can think on their feet.

JakeSchuster aka Ostroff
08-19-2004, 03:34 PM
Mine were a combination of both. All had seen a script, had liked it, had, in the end passed, and asked to meet me. I walked out of one with two possible assignments (one of which was dropped by the prodco, the other assigned to another writer), and all of them interest in further work. On each occasion I pitched. All of my meetings lasted longer than thirty minutes, and one went over an hour.

But we chatted in a preliminary way before we got down to business. So the atmosphere was friendly in every case, and each exec was interested in seeing more work from me.

08-19-2004, 04:13 PM

I am talking about pitch meetings for a specific project. Like the writer is attached to a project that is a pitch. Together with the producers, they go out and pitch all the studios and financing entities.

It's much like a spec going out except instead of reading, the executive is listening. All of the meetings are set up ahead of time like a spec going out and the exec(s) know(s) going in what the pitch is about in general.

JakeSchuster aka Ostroff
08-19-2004, 06:35 PM
Gotcha. Those are usually under a time stricture (I forget the rule of thumb), and obviously less casual. Others on this board are far more knowledgeable than I regarding this.

08-19-2004, 06:38 PM
My writing partner and I are taking a feature pitch out right now. For this one, we're running at about 14-16 minutes. We're staying on the short side of things just because that's the best way to pitch this particular story. And also execs seem to appreciate a shorter pitch. We let them ask questions if they want to hear more.

08-20-2004, 02:20 AM
Thanks for the help. I was gearing my question more towards a meeting after they read the script and had an interest in the project.

Is it common for them to ask you about other projects, ask about your writing experience and things like that? How long is the average meeting?

08-20-2004, 06:49 AM
we'll give you a quarter a word.