View Full Version : Is there a better way to pitch?

01-02-2014, 05:09 PM
Watching these Amazon pitch videos...like the one found here:


I've pitched and done similar. And from what I can tell this is 'the way' you pitch. But for me, I tune out. I have a hard time listening to someone tell a story this way. Hell, I don't like books on tape. And even if the pitch is done well, I usually don't connect. It leaves me cold. And feels cheese-ey.

I'm assuming this IS the way it's done. What do you think? Does it work for you?

I wonder if there's a way to strike up a more personal tone and have less of the 'one man show' aspect going?

01-03-2014, 12:00 PM
I'm really glad they uploaded this to YouTube. For the past year, I've been working on pitching, and there really isn't any samples out there.

I have a hard time listening to someone tell a story this way. Hell, I don't like books on tape. And even if the pitch is done well, I usually don't connect. It leaves me cold. And feels cheese-ey.

I feel the same way. Doing a pitch where you have to say things like "WHAM... then this happens" feels super goofy to me. I'd rather just have an intelligent conversation with the executive about the characters and story. Though the people helping prep for the pitch always seem to be pushing us that direction.

8bit Llama
01-03-2014, 12:10 PM
It's just about getting the other people excited for the story you're telling. If you can do that by just talking to them about it in an intelligent way, then do that. If going into the story like they're doing it there feels cheesy, then don't do it. Whatever it feels like the room needs. I think showing excitement is the key element, because that's what people are going to respond to. If you're just casually telling them the story, they're probably going to check out.

01-06-2014, 01:49 PM
For some reason I've been really waiting for him to break into If I Were a Rich Man any minute.

Nothing can go well when you're trying to emulate a style of expression alien to you.

01-06-2014, 03:04 PM
I was in a situation once where the execs asked for every, literally every, beat of the story but this isn't common. That said, it's really easy for me to fall into the trap of describing too many details in the plot, so you have to gauge when to be more atmospheric and when to drive home key story points. That takes a lot of practice and skill. But when a pitch works, you can tell. It's pretty clear to me when I've lost someone, and most of the time it's because I've went into too much detail. When it's interesting but also simple to understand, you get the best response. People are often looking for the cleanest way into the story.

01-06-2014, 03:48 PM
The problem with those filmed video pitches is that they're the equivalent of a filmed stage play.

There's a whole bunch of stuff that works really well when you're in a room with someone, but doesn't when filmed. If you've ever seen a play filmed from a vantage point in the audience (even with good audio, even with a "good seat") you know that it's just fundamentally not the same.

You can see in the video how the director and editor are trying to tackle that problem with some cutting, but to me that just calls attention to the artificiality of it all. There's no reason for those cuts other than just to cut, so they call attention to the problem rather than mask it.

It's different when you're in the room. You're connecting to someone, telling them a story, having a conversation. It's hard to put a finger on but it's just different, in a way that really matters.

01-06-2014, 04:35 PM
I watched about 20 seconds of that video, and gave up. So it wasn't working for me, and I doubt it would work that well for anyone else. Ronnie already pointed this out, but the whole concept of doing a video like that is wooden and unnatural.

Generally speaking, pitching - any pitching - is about *interacting* with people. You want to raise excited discussion, instead of doing an endless monologue. If the other people in the room feel like they are already participants in the story, and the film, then you're winning.

Some people are just great at handling other people. If you're not one of those people, it might be a good idea to team up with someone who is. If you don't have a co-writer, then maybe your agent/manager/etc. can be the guy who warms up everyone, and keeps the spirits high, while you're the specialist who can answer detailed questions.