“An elevator pitch is a sales tool that helps you get the meeting you get the investor immediately interested in your film.” (Levinson, 2013). It took me a while to fully grasp the idea of an Elevator Pitch (and i didn’t fully get it- i’ll explain later). When assigned to create an idea for a short film and then pitch it, i was a bit frightened. I’m not very good at creating stories and even worse at explaining them. So i did a bit of my own research to see what was really required of me and discovered “The 7 Keys to a Great Pitch” (Scriptmag, 2012). The 7 steps they outlined are:
- Never try to tell your whole story
- Focus on revealing the essential elements of your story
- Begin by revealing how you came up with the story
- Leave the buyer in suspense
- Finish your description with a title and a log line
- Follow the log line with a question
- Answer the buyer’s questions succinctly
So with these 7 elements, i set out to write my own elevator pitch. As this was a pitch in front of classmates and not a potential buyer, some of those steps weren’t too relevant to me. For this example, i wanted to be fairly clear and concise with my story and how it ended, as i’m not a scriptwriter, i’d need a person on board to do the scripting and it was important for my fellow students to understand where my vision was heading.
I believe the most successful pitch was done by Maureen. Her idea was captivating and unique but she was able to present it in a very professional way. She began her presentation by handing out photographs to the audience. Although this is very untraditional with an elevator pitch, it definitely provided an extra element to help the audience connect with her story. She had thought of almost every aspect of her film, had began writing and scheduling and was able to answer every question that was asked of her with clarity and confidence. By using more visual references rather than text, we were able to listen to her and not be distracted trying to read. She utilised almost every element of a successful elevator pitch.
Although her pitch was filled with confidence and reference material, it also became very difficult to keep up with her story and her idea. As she had gone into so much detail already with characters and sets etc, i became lost in the story world. I believe a few of my classmates felt the same as many questions were asked. She had put so much detail and thought into every element of her story and potential film that she lacked the brief and attention-grabbing feature that is required of a pitch. This being said, I instantly connected with the film idea and story world as it was something unique to me and sounded very interesting to work on.
As mentioned previously, i definitely did my own research to try and understand more about what was asked of me however when it came to my actual pitch, there were some strengths and some weaknesses that are worth mentioning.
For my own pitch, i believe that one of my strengths was that my idea was fairly clear and simple to execute. I had figured out most of the details of my shooting, including possible locations and props. I tried not to explain that too much during my pitch so i wouldn’t confuse the audience. My pitch went for the desired amount of time and i spoke about each element just enough so the audience would comprehend it but was also intrigued. Overall i believe that it was a successful idea and i had a realistic goal set for it.
There were a few weaknesses however as i am not the most confident presenter. I struggled a bit with how i spoke and tended to ramble if i looked away from my notes. It wasn’t as ‘catchy’ as i hoped and this made the audience loose focus slightly. I also don’t think i was as clear as i could’ve been because there were lots of questions at the end. That being said, i was able to answer them confidently and with answers that were satisfactory.
Overall i believe this pitching experience was extremely helpful and i know that i’ll keep the skills i learnt for future projects.
CaroliScriptmagcom. (2012). Script Magazine. Retrieved 16 November, 2016, from http://www.scriptmag.com/resources/pitch-festivals/7-keys-to-a-great-pitch
Wright, J. A. (2013). Animation Writing and Development: From Script Development to Pitch, Burlington, US: Focal Press.