Temping at heat... Mixmag feature... pitch book

This week, I shall mostly be temping on heat magazine's TV desk. I've done this before, and greatly enjoyed it. I'm generally allergic to office work - being chained to a desk when it's not in my house tends to induce cold sweat. But I'll happily make an exception for heat - it's an office with great people and a great atmosphere. Very laidback, for one thing - it never fails to impress me how people are remarkably unstressed, considering that they're creating a magazine stuffed full of celebrity gossip each week. Nice.

I have a feature in the current issue of Mixmag, on the popular beat combo Klaxons. Went to Cardiff a while back, to do a l'il on-the-road piece with them. Lovely fellows and very entertaining.

Good heavens. I'm very positive today. Must be Adrian Mead's influence.

Also wanted to recommend a really good book about pitching: Selling Your Story In 60 Seconds by Michael Hauge. I attended a pitchfest affair at the LA Screenwriting Expo in October, and this handy read really helped me prepare. It was a sell-your-screenplay-in-five-minutes-to-an-exec type deal, and by the end I was pretty addicted to the rush of it. Among Hauge's recommendations are convincing the pitchee that you have a personal connection to your script - even if you don't strictly have one. Interestingly, I found that doing it this way helped me realise one of the things the script was about, which I hadn't considered. I also practiced by videoing myself saying the pitch in my hotel room, using a digital camera. Didn't feel stupid at all, no sirree. Ahem.

In this particular case, the script's protagonist is a teenager who ends up fighting to save the world. So I started my pitch by saying that I was seeing someone with teenage kids, and it fascinated me how every little problem seemed like the end of the world to them. Everything's magnified. But what if it really WAS the end of the world, and they had to step up to the plate? This seemed to grab most execs' interest, so I'd say it's a fairly valid way of couching a pitch. I also found that if you departed before your allotted time slot was up, leaving them with a single-sheet synopsis or the actual screenplay if they'd requested it, the look of gratitude on their face was very obvious. They were being given a 60-second breather before the next pitcher lumbered along.

One of the pitchers at that event, was a woman with a guitar. I never got to hear her musical pitch, but I'll wager it was a doozy...

1 comment:

Lianne said...

Thanks for the pitching tips. Interesting about personalising the pitch - I think Adrian said something about that too ("owning it" is I think how expressed it). Have you read Eileen Quinn and Judy Counihan's book The Pitch? I'm debating whether or not to shell out for it.