by John Pokorny
At this meet up, four indie filmmakers from across the country (Kiki Flynn, John Hoyos, Marquis Smalls & Annunziata Gianzero) came to NAPTE to meet with key industry professionals for real life tips on getting their content out and in the hands of the right person. Some specific questions executives from entertainment companies asked these filmmakers, (which you should ask yourself as well when it comes to wanting to sell a script, film or idea) are:
*What is the angle & point of view of your pilot, trailer/teaser? (Is it a comedy, drama, documentary etc.) Although this may be obvious to you, it’s not necessarily obvious to the people you are pitching to- so keep that in mind.
*What is so special about your project? Think about this for a minute. The people you are pitching to see concepts all day, everyday. What makes yours unique? Why are they going to want to follow up and continue the conversation? (Or are they just going to say, “Thank you for stopping by, and good luck.”)
Don’t forget: When answering questions in a pitch, don’t be too open ended. Be specific.
Other quick questions you should ask yourself when it comes to what you want to get out of a meeting with key industry professionals are:
*What are you looking for from the pitch?
*Are you looking for a Brand sponsor?
* Do you want an Executive Producer to help guide you through the production process?
*Are you looking for additional funding to develop your project on your own?
*What help do you need from the network?
Some additional words of advice from executives for content creators to consider are:
* If content is too edgy, brands may stay away from the uncertainty. (i.e. nudity, profanity, uncomfortable topics etc.) However, if you know your audience and the network is open to your content- then edgy content may just be the thing you need to get your foot in the door.
* When pitching, make sure your presentation is short and poppy. Hit the 3-4 minute sweet spot.
* Make sure you always find a way to focus on character relationships. You don’t have a lot of time, but they are essential to any good story.
As a content creator, always ask yourself:
*How can you build your audience before the initial meeting? If you can build an audience beforehand (via social media, online, regionally etc.) and already have a following for your content- you’re already ahead of the curb. By doing this you become more attractive to the studios, since they can then build on your already existing audience.
Lastly, never forget: Don’t let a simple “NO” stop you. Keep moving forward, don’t take “no” for an answer, just concentrate even harder on your creation and take the feedback your receive from each “no” to make your content better.
So what is to come in 2012? Well, that’s up to you to decide.
Image above: Host, Moderator and content creators at NATPE’s Big Screen, Little Screen