In the last post, we talked about the art of pitching and how it can help you recognize the potential, and the pitfalls, of your current screenplay. In this post, we’ll finish up this topic.
Another way of using pitches is by enabling it as a tool to figure out a way to put in all the conflict, setbacks and successes into the script as your main character works their way through your story. The dialogue needs to pop off the page and the scenes need to be just the right length; neither too long nor too short.
You’re probably nodding your head. Yes, you know all this, you understand that this is what it takes to write a screenplay (plus about a thousand other things not mentioned here). What does all this have to do with pitching and winning contests?
You are the expert on your script. Nobody knows it better than you. You have an insight that nobody else in the entire universe has regarding your creation. Therefore, if you can’t pitch it, then who can? If you are unable to sum up your entire story into a few lines because it is too complex, then it most likely isn’t worth reading. If it’s not worth reading, then there is no way you will win a contest.
Before you protest that the art of pitching is overrated, realize that it’s something you probably do on a regular basis. When you tell a friend about a movie that they have to see, you are pitching it.
“You’ll love it, it’s about this guy who is an ex-sniper on the run from the FBI when he is framed for an attempted assassination of the president….” This is how a pitch for Shooter might begin. If you can pitch your script in a manner that gets the theme, tone and synopsis of the story across, you are on your way to having a contest winning screenplay.
Before you get too involved in writing your story, practice pitching the concept. It will help you refine and simplify your message before you write yourself into a corner.
Still not convinced that you should take a scene from your script and produce, shoot and edit it for the internet? It’s worth revisiting in light of the online contests that are boosting people’s careers. Check out New Media – Part 3; Writing for Your Budget. From $6 to $6 Million, there’s a way for you to get your material out there to help you become a contest winning writer.