14 Things You Can Do to Bring Power and Success to Your Pitches

Most of my career has been focused on istening to pitches for new films and books in my role as founder of Michael Wiese Productions. I would guess that I have heard ten thousand pitches. I’ve put together this list of Things You Can Do to Bring Power and Success to Your Pitches.

1. Rehearse

Rehearse your pitch imaging that you are in the producer’s office. (Try to imagine their actual office with a neat desk, chairs, awards, and posters from the producer’s films on the wall. See yourself healthy and energized, making a great pitch. See the producer laughing, smiling, and listening deeply. Even though you may have never seen the actual office, this imagination exercise will give you confidence.)


Your objective is to create a connection with the person being pitched. It’s not only about the script, but is about working together.

Don’t start pitching before you’ve made a connection. If he or she isn’t present, (like talking on their cell phone) then you are wasting your time. Wait until they are available and ready to listen.

3. Be a mind-reader.

Get into the producer’s head and gain an understanding of how his or her worldview (their likes and dislikes, their interests, etc.) Know in advance where you have common interests.

Your overall objective is to have the producer like the script and take the next steps. Stick to your agenda.

4.Increase the value

Ask the producer ‘how can I increase the perceived value of my project?’ You may garner some good ideas from this but even if you don’t, you will have brought the producer into a creative exchange. (It honors them, acknowledges their wisdom, and gets the ball rolling.)

5. Don’t be intimidated

Don’t be intimidated by the power, fame, or wealth of the producer. In actuality, they need a project they can say ‘yes’ to. Remembering this will keep you focused on maintaining your personal power.

6. Stay in the “now”.

Use body language to energize the space. “Own” the room. Secretly throw out your power to every corner of the room. Control the space.

7. Don’t talk too much.

Do a short one- or two- minute pitch including the title, genre, log line, and any attachments. DO NOT TELL THE WHOLE STORY. Short and pithy is better. When you see that they’ve got it, stop. Wait for them to ask questions. You want to draw them into asking questions. When they do that, that’s an indication of success.

8. Be humble. Be grateful.

9. Research

Research who you are pitching. Use Google and IMDB. Identify what you like about his or her work. Being truthful, praise their work.

Make sure your project fits the kind of films that they produce.

If you can’t answer a question, write a note and tell them you’ll find out, then do so and call them back.

10. Don’t submit derivative material.

11. Create a ‘leave behind’

Create a ‘leave behind’ (a poster, a book, a CD, tchotchke) that will remind them about your project when you’re gone.

12. Know your project inside and out.

If you are pitching with a partner be sure you are both working off the same page. Contradicting your partner looks amateurish.

13. Dress for success.

Better to be overdressed than underdressed. Being well groomed says to them that you are serious about wanting to make a good impression. It shows that you are already successful.

14. Most of all, have fun.

Listening as I have, to pitch after pitch, I have come to realise that the best way to bring Power and Success to Your Pitches is to exude happiness.

Michael Wiese
©2018 MWP

Michael Wiese presents his acclaimed Pitch Cinic at Raindance.

The post 14 Things You Can Do to Bring Power and Success to Your Pitches appeared first on Raindance.


Embrace Failure to Find Success: Jon Daly & Gil Ozeri on Becoming Comedy Performer-Writers

Here’s how a background in improv set the course for two of today’s most exciting comedic filmmakers.

The Upright Citizens Brigade is responsible for the introduction of many talented artists to the world. Of course, UCB founding member Amy Poehler is perhaps the most well-known of the improvised comedy school’s alumni, but over the years, the group has launched careers for the likes of Donald Glover, Nick Kroll, Kate McKinnon, Aziz Ansari, Aubrey Plaza, Adam McKay and more.

The common theme in this thread? These figures aren’t just comedians, they’re creators. Donald Glover has the critically acclaimed Atlanta, Ansari struck it big with Master of None, and let’s not even get started with the myriad of insane projects McKay has birthed unto the world. The same can now be said for both Jon Daly and Gil Ozeri, whose short film Men premiered on Super Deluxe last week. Both Daly and Ozeri credit UCB for the start of their creative careers.

“Keep making stuff, constantly make stuff until you find out who you are, and then know that who you are changes all the time, so you have to keep finding who are.”

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No Film School

How Warner Bros/DC Can Learn From the Success of ‘Wonder Woman’

Wonder Woman

Well, Warner Bros can breathe a sigh of relief. Wonder Woman is a resounding success. The Gal Gadot-starring, Patty Jenkins-directed film made history by making $ 100 million in its opening weekend, the biggest opening for any woman-directed movie. The reviews have been glowing, and audience reception seems overwhelmingly positive. Wonder Woman is a bona fide hit for the studio, a home run that Warner Bros certainly needed. With the first well-received DCEU movie under their utility belts, all masked heads are turned to the next DCEU offering, Justice League, opening in November. Let’s look at how Warner Bros can learn from the success of Wonder Woman as they take the next big leap in their cinematic universe. ›››

Continue reading How Warner Bros/DC Can Learn From the Success of ‘Wonder Woman’


Can AI Predict a Movie’s Success? Algorithmic Screenplay Service ‘Scriptbook’ Causes Major Backlash

Is AI the future of screenwriting? Not if screenwriters can help it.

“Subjective decisions lead to box office failure,” reads a tagline from the new algorithmic service ScriptBook, which claims to predict a screenplay’s critical and box office success.

For a price of $ 100 a pop, ScriptBook users upload their screenplay to be analyzed by ScriptBook’s patented software, Script2Screen, which generates an AI-based assessment indicating the commercial and critical success of a project, along with “insights on the storyline, target demographics, market positioning, distribution parameters,” and more. ScriptBook trained its algorithms to detect patterns that compelling storylines have in common based on a dataset of scripts which have had a theatrical release between 1970 and 2016.

“The added value of our technology,” the website further reads, “lies in the improvement on the current, human decision-making process throughout the spectrum from script to screen, limiting false decision-making while maximizing the potential.”

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No Film School

‘I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore’: Macon Blair on Trying Directing After Success in Screenwriting

“I had no expectation that I would get a chance to make a second movie.”

Macon Blair’s first film, I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore, which took home the prestigious Sundance Jury Award and premieres this weekend on Netflix, will not be his last.

Blair comes from a lifetime of watching and making movies with his childhood pal Jeremy Saulnier. He leveraged skills gleaned from his successful acting and screenwriting career for his debut, a “soft-boiled” crime drama into which he crammed every movie he wanted to make—in case he didn’t get a chance to do it again.

“If anything doesn’t work, there’s no one to blame but yourself.”

Blair sat down with No Film School to talk about working with well-known actors, not shooting coverage “willy-nilly,” and successfully working a crime drama, comedy, and buddy-romance into one cohesive film.

No Film School: We’ve seen you in acting roles and you have had a successful career as a screenwriter. How was directing for the first time on I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore?

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No Film School

Viral selfie-morphing FaceApp launches on Android after huge iOS success


Android users will now be able to change their frowns to smiles, after a popular face-morphing app launched on Wednesday on Google Play.

FaceApp, which was initially available only for Apple iPhones, had reached one million downloads in two weeks, the app’s developer told Mashable.

Different from the filters we know through Snapchat, Faceapp instead morphs faces by blending in facial features so that it can change a closed mouth to a toothy smile.

Its handful of features allows you to age yourself or change your gender, too. Read more…

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