Monday, March 1, 2010

The Pitch

My absolute least favorite part of the entire process of writing/production is the pitch.  Why?  Because it's talking to someone you don't know, usually, about a project that's foreign to them.  It's like speed dating, and I'm no good on a first date.  Heck, I've been with my wife since I was 21, I couldn't remember how to act on a first date if I wanted to.  The only misery I have to remember the process is when I have to either pitch a project or go to a networking event.  

Still, the sticky wicket of the whole situation is that if you want to succeed in this town, you have to be good "in the room" as they say.  It might seem idiotic to think about, but if you can't pitch your project well, it probably won't get bought/made/optioned/looked at.  

Often, I hear my bosses talk about the difference between being good "on the page" and being good "in the room". Both are equally important, but think about it this way:  being good on the page gets you into the room for someone to hear your idea, but being good in the room gets your project bought. 

Why is this?  Well, because if I buy your project, I have to sit in the room with you, give you notes, talk with you, have meals with you, and generally be your best friend for the next few months to few years.  In addition, when I buy your project, I'm hoping to build a relationship with you that lasts for a long time.  Why would I want some dour apple that's a pill to be around for the next year?  I want fun, interesting, funny, exciting people who'll make me laugh, generally make the development process less he**ish, and who'll be amenable to change.  Development is enough of a headache with someone you like.  Trying to deal with someone you don't get along with is downright impossible.

To sum up, being great on the page is one thing, but it's certainly not the only thing.  It might not even be the most important thing.  After all, if you're a writer, you dang well better be good on the page. I wish I had advice on how to do this better, but unfortunately, it's just something you have to do.  Just like writing, you have to pitch and you have to get out there and meet people.  The more you do it, the easier it is.  End Rant Now.

No comments: