The Project Pitch
“This is going to be awesome!”
Now that you have your tools for the story, you are going to need to pitch for the production itself and how you plan on executing it. You have scheduled the film, budgeted it out to the Penny, hopefully for pennies; you have made your contact excited and passionate about the idea for the film, and now you must talk them into helping you make it. This is the more complicated part, and the reason you have been reading this guide in the first place! So here it is.
Independent Lasagna Mission Statement:
To make high quality feature films in a collaborative fashion for a “No-low Budget film” where all parties involved are equity partners in the film and to sell/distribute those films for no less then $50,000 to $100,000 dollars apiece.
I will get into more details concerning the equity breakdown in the business sections but basically, time is money, if you have simple and straight forward script with a super short shooting schedule, you can get group of passionate people together who are willing to dedicate their time to a project because A – they love film and making movies and B – they want to be a part of a feature film that could potentially make them a few bucks in the future while building their careers and resumes. You don’t want to sell them on these aspects but impassion their passion for greatness! Get them as excited as you are about the prospects of the project and the future. You simply want to make a movie for basically the cost of food!
First things first, acquire your producers; once you have a producing team in place it is best to start crewing your post-production crew first. Just like Financiers want a completion bond – your work for equity crew will need some assurance that the film will be completed. And if you already have an editor and sound designer in place it will definitely help sell them on the project.
Pitching the Pitch
Now that you have the ins and outs of your project down and have structured them accordingly in your mind, its time to practice it to the point that it becomes second nature to you.
Once you’re ready, it’s time to get out there and start actually talking to your prospective comrades. Every pitch will go slightly different based on who you are talking to. Some people might be more interested in how you are going about making the movie then the actual story. Others will be more interested in the movie itself… just go with the flow, allow it to be natural and make sure you structure your conversation’s around what makes them excited.
Remember you are passionate about your project; make sure you let that show; it can be contagious. The more passionate you are, the more excited people will get when you talk about it.
Once you have them hooked, it’s time to get some initial commitment. Offer to send them a script. If they are willing to read the script, and actually do, then you have succeeded in sparking some serious interest in your project.
If you don’t hear anything in a week or so, follow up to see if they have had a chance to read the script, and give them an update on how the project is coming along. This way they know you are serious about wanting them on board and they see that you are motivated in making it happen.
If they haven’t read the script yet, simply repeat the above…
If they have read the script get feedback from them, and assess their level of interest. Assuming they want to jump on board, move onto the second stage of commitment and get a verbal yes and begin discussing what their equity share will be, you again will need to sell them on this aspect. (More details about breaking down equity under the business section.)
Once you have come to an agreement move on to the third stage of commitment and sign a contract. (More about contracts under contracts)
When you have successfully pitched an investor/crew/cast member for your film you have taken the first steps towards making your film a reality.
Now get out there and start pitching!