My own opinions about pitching have dramatically changed over the last few years.
These days, my advice for anyone who wants to pitch scripts or ideas to studios is this:
Don’t pitch. Make it yourself then create an accompanying trans-media fan experience online.
Now, I know that with most feature film scripts, it’s an impossible task to make the whole thing yourself. So do the next best thing and start with a more ‘makeable’ version.
For instance, you can make a short film version or a graphic novel version, an interactive mobile-app version or just write a good ol’ fashioned novel version. In any case, release it online in small dispensations.
If you go with a text-only novel version, you can also make an audio version and release it chapter-by-chapter as a podcast. If you do a short film, then expand the media experience with short ‘making of’ videos, interviews, audio/ video blogs etc…
You are much more likely to get your project in front of an audience (and that audience would likely include industry folks) if you just make it yourself and get it out there.
If you end up with an original, innovative, engaging, quality project and about 1,000 true fans the studios will probably come to you. Just ask Axe Cop.
If your story is even a little bit popular and not just some secret idea that only you and two other development execs know about, your fans will help to protect the integrity of the idea so it doesn’t get ruined by the studio system.
Of course, it could still get ruined – that’s the risk you get paid to take. But if you ever have to go head-to-head with a studio to protect your ideas, it’s probably better to have a small army of fans behind you.
PLUS, now there’s Kickstarter and it seems like the budgets for projects on that site get higher every day. Is it possible that pitching to studios in the traditional way demonstrates a lack of foresight and, ironically, a lack of faith in your idea?
What do you think?