What Is A Pitch Deck?
If you’ve been requested for a pitch deck and thought ‘WTAF is that??’, you’re not alone. One of the largest points with this screenwriting malarkey is the terminology appears to alter each 5 bloody minutes.
Put merely, a pitch deck is a brief doc that helps promote your story ‘off the page’. The thought is an agent, producer or script reader can assess your thought BEFORE they learn your script. You might have seen them described on-line as …
Done properly, an amazing pitch deck ought to make them EXCITED to learn your screenplay … Done badly, your pitch deck might make them NOT learn your script in any respect! Harsh however true.
So what precisely do you have to embody in your pitch deck? Here’s a fast overview:
1) The Story (mini model)
Give a brief overview of your story … sure, you guessed it! Start along with your logline. (Download your free logline cheat sheet HERE).
2) The Story (maxi model)
Next up, we want extra particulars of your story, in order that’s your One Page Pitch. (Grab a free one web page reference information HERE).
3) Character Bios
Ensure the reader is aware of the function features of the key characters AND their motivations. (In different phrases, WHO is doing WHAT and WHY within the story). Don’t take too lengthy: 2-4 sentences is sufficient, plus don’t embody minor roles or cameos.
4) Extended Pitch
Are you writing a speculative TV collection, or a film? Because this subsequent half will rely on what your story *is*!
i) … If it’s a spec TV collection
Do NOT write a web page or extra for every episode. Instead, write a logline / brief blurb for every episode, taking us from the pilot to the finale. You ought to purpose for someplace within the area of 60-100 phrases most for every episode’s loglines.
ii) … If it’s a film
Write a ‘blow by blow’ synopsis of your film, begin to end. 2-3 pages ought to do it. (How is that this completely different to a one web page pitch? Well, a one pager is as its identify suggests: A PITCH, not the entire story. This means a one web page pitch normally encompasses Act 1 and Act 3, aka arrange/repay, not main plot particulars).
This is the place you embody the storyworld particulars. Remember, storyworld is for ALL tales, not simply fantasy and sci fi worlds!
Storyworld refers back to the area by which the story operates, which impacts on how it’s instructed … this implies stuff like:
- Other thematic parts
All of the above might all be vital. For extra on Storyworld, CLICK HERE.
5) Writer Vision (And The Rest of The Team, if relevant)
This is the place you write a brief piece about why YOU are the appropriate author to inform this story. Again, don’t go overboard – 200-ish phrases tops ought to suffice.
Also, don’t fall again on tacky stuff that describes AROUND the story like ‘it just means so much to me‘. Tell us WHY this issue, subject matter, location, time period, real-life person etc has captured your imagination!
If you have any attachments – directors, producers, actors etc – you should list them here too. A director’s imaginative and prescient can also be a good suggestion, so get them to put in writing a brief piece too if you happen to can.
6) Target Audience
Who is your speculative TV collection or film FOR? It’s no good saying ‘everybody’, as a result of that’s bullshit. No story within the universe is ‘for everyone’. Even tales for mass audiences like Disney or Marvel aren’t for everybody.
You have to decide and again it up with proof. One of the simplest methods of doing that is by discovering comparables. You do that by …
- Identifying produced tales ‘like’ yours
- Seeing who preferred them and why
3 main items of recommendation although …
i) DON’T choose comparables that did badly by way of $$££!
This is without doubt one of the greatest methods of not solely turning producers OFF your thought, however they will even assume you’re clueless concerning the business. Read the rattling trades and observe the blogs and take note of the BUSINESS of screenwriting! (Like it or not, this biz is about commerce – cope with it).
ii) DON’T choose comparables you’ve by no means seen
I’ve misplaced rely of the variety of pitch decks I’ve seen the place it’s clear the author has simply picked a comparable of IMDB as a result of it *sounds* like their story (however isn’t actually). Never overlook individuals within the business watch a LOT of TV and films (duh). If you wish to get taken critically, it is advisable to as properly.
iii) DON’T choose wildly-inappropriate comparables
If your target market is youngsters, don’t choose a comparable that’s R-rated or an 18. Or in case your screenplay is severe in tone, don’t choose a screwball satire as your comparable. If your drama is lighthearted/really feel good, don’t evaluate it to a devastating one like Blue Valentine.
These would possibly seem to be no-brainers as a result of they ARE … but I’ve seen all the above screw-ups MULTIPLE instances. Gnash!
So, What Makes A Good Pitch Deck?
Agents, producers, filmmakers and traders see actually hundreds and hundreds of pitch decks annually. So, what makes a great one?
i) Your pitch deck ought to be clear and concise
You wish to guarantee that your key factors come throughout rapidly and simply. Remember, you solely have a restricted period of time to make an impression. Don’t make your business professional ‘search’ for what your pitch deck is about. Its major job is to promote your story ‘off the page’.
ii) Your pitch deck must also inform a narrative
Another no-brainer, we’re writers in any case! Make certain it’s simple to observe and specified by logical method. There ought to be a transparent starting, center, and finish. This will assist maintain your viewers engaged and invested in your screenplay’s story.
iii) Finally, your pitch deck ought to be visually interesting
Use high-quality pictures and graphics to assist illustrate your factors. This will make your deck extra memorable and improve the probability the business professional will WANT to learn your screenplay. Just don’t go too fancy and OTT – minimalist is at all times higher.
The one caveat to the above nonetheless is DON’T make your pitch deck a MAHOOOSIVE file. Most submissions are accomplished through e-mail now, so it is advisable to guarantee they’re not too massive (ooh matron) to open.
This means DON’T use MS Word to make your pitch deck!! It seems like crap anyway. Instead, use software program like Designrr or a website like Canva. If you’re garbage at design, take into consideration hiring somebody on a website like Fiverr.
Want Help With Your Own Pitch Deck?
Taking the time to craft a well-thought-out, logical and fascinating pitch deck could make all of the distinction within the submissions course of. I’ve seen good ones get writers conferences and offers … and unhealthy ones that sink writers’ possibilities of getting off the starter blocks.
It’s one of many causes I work very arduous with my Bang2writers to make sure their pitch decks completely ROCK. If you wish to work with me on yours or on anything writing-related, B2W’s books at the moment are open! CLICK HERE for particulars.