Do you have a question that you’d like to have answered by a longtime Hollywood literary agent? Send it in!

Question: (from Thomas Zmiarovich)

Aside from a Logline, what other points would you want to
have in a good pitch?  And in what order?

Answer: (Michele Wallerstein)

Pitching projects to strangers is a very difficult task that writers are asked to do with great regularity.  It is a learned process that requires practice and knowledge.  Pitching is actually a very simple stage in a writer’s professional life.  When you sit down to pitch your screenplay or movie idea you need to take a deep breath and jump right in.

A pitch should start with the WHO, WHAT, WHERE and WHEN of the screenplay.  By immediately putting forward this information the listener will not have to try to figure out whether this is a drama or a thriller, whether it is contemporary or period piece and if the setting is California or Timbuktu.  It will allow the listener to concentrate on what you are saying.

After that you will present the story in a brief but interesting style with enthusiasm.  Always give them the ending and a brief description of the main characters.  You might want to have a written page with you to remind yourself of any salient points.  This written page can also be used as a “leave behind” for the listener.  Don’t forget to put your name and contact number on it.

Practice your pitch at home with friends until you have it down pat.    Never apologize and always be positive in attitude about your project.

Michele Wallerstein is a Screenplay & Novel & Career Consultant and author of “MIND YOUR BUSINESS: A Hollywood Literary Agent’s Guide To Your Writing Career“.

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