How to Pitch a Movie or TV Show

And now for something not cool: A guide to what in many ways is the most important element of showbiz life – pitching. This fine article won’t tell you the ins and outs of buttonholing buying bigwigs at parties or even how to make those buyers your pals so you can be at the parties, but what’s here is solid. Definitely what you need to know.

pitch-meeting-tvwriter.comby Amanda

Pitching: All working writers have to do it at one time or another, but in the aspiring writer world, it’s a topic often mentioned but rarely parsed. Which is a shame, because if presenting your ideas (or your take on an idea) is essential to the professional writing process, perhaps we should talk more about it. Luckily, there are few illuminating resources and demos available. This blog collected some good pitching links in 2011, but we felt it was time for an update.

The Hollywood Pitching Bible, by Douglas Eboch (writer on Sweet Home Alabama) and Ken Agaudo (producer on The Salton Sea) is a no-nonsense, cut-and-dry examination of pitching movies and TV shows. Segmented into brisk chapters, the book covers everything from pitch structure, room etiquette, and even what ideas you should be pitching in the first place. Already boldly assuming that the reader lives in LA or NYC right in its forward, The Hollywood Pitching Bible feels like a sharp weapon by your side as you brave the intimidating arena of pitching. It’s worth a look.

Note from Amanda: If you’re specifically looking to pitch TV, also check outSmall Screen Big Picture by Chad Gervich. He outlines exactly what goes into a TV pitch – and when I pitched a show to a TV studio, the advice I received from my producer was exactly in line with what Chad wrote.

I haven’t pitched a ton, so the following is certainly not a list of rules you must follow (everyone pitches differently)…but in both TV and feature pitches I’ve done, I’ve structured them this way:

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