Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Tale of Two Pitches

I want to be very clear about something: I like to see new pitches. I want to LOVE everything that crosses my desk. I want to be the first person to see the NEXT BIG THING. So I get really excited when I see something great - and I'm really disappointed when I see a lost opportunity. I'm not trying to be mean - I'm just being honest. And maybe a little selfish - because I WANT to love your work.

I've received two pitches in the last couple of days. Coincidentally both were from teams of filmmakers in the U.K. Those were the only similarities - except for the fact that both teams claim to have studied my blog and wanted my feedback.

The first to cross my cathode-ray screen was from a duo calling themselves "tea and cheese". I thought their pitch was pure gold. Flawed, but pure gold. It had everything that I wanted to see in a pilot and online bible. It told me who the characters were. What they were trying to do. Who was trying to stop them? How, Where, Why, etc. And it was stylish and fun. I laughed out loud a couple of times.

They'd pitched the idea all over L.A. and it hadn't sold. I could see why - there were similarities to another (hugely popular) show. But their technique and material was impeccable. Brilliantly put together. Great dialogue and timing - as good as - if not better than the other, hugely popular show.

I suspect that I haven't seen the last of "Tea & Cheese".

Then something else slithered over the transom. Again, from a team in the U.K. and again, they swore that they'd studied the blog.

The video was cool. A team of heroes in a post apocalyptic world - struggling to stay alive. Yeah. It looked good. It looked very good. But...

Okay. Who are these guys? What happened to Earth? It IS Earth, isn't it? Who are the bad guys? They look cool. What do they want? ..and Why? I mean, if they've destroyed 99.9% of humanity, why worry about one guy with a rusty sword?

The pilot didn't answer any of the questions - and wasn't a strong enough presentation to make me want to see more. I don't remember the characters names or even the title of the show. They put all their energy into the video - with no thought as to the content of the show - the result? Utterly forgettable.

I don't mean to be harsh - but if you're going to pitch something - DO IT RIGHT. Otherwise you're wasting everyone's time and your money. The pretty pictures will be wasted unless you put your focus on the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY and HOW of your series.

I hope that I haven't crushed anyone's dreams. Well... maybe a little...

Now get back to work!

1 comment:

  1. This just in:

    "Well Steve, you're off the christmas card list!

    So far the reaction to our film has been overwhelmingly positive, so a little bit of balance is a good thing and like you say you may be wrong.


    Of course I could be wrong, FC. If your Mum and the nice lady down the street think your project is "the best film in the whole world", well - who am I to argue?

    Run along and play - and don't give another thought to what advice someone with 30+ years experience might offer.