The Art of the Film Pitch

Established and budding filmmakers gathered on Saturday at the American Film Market (AFM) for the annual Pitch Conference. Many writers and producers were given two minutes each to pitch their projects to a panel of experts including Virgin Produced's Tobin Armbrust and Independent Producer/Agent, Cassian Elwes.

Armbrust and Elwes also shared advice and insights throughout the conference.

Tobin Armburst, who is President of Virgin Produced, shared these thoughts:

"The takeaway of a pitch is that one logline; and the person you are pitching to has to turn around and pitch to someone else, and they will want to be able to distil it into a logline, they won't want to deal with all the details. The one thing that movies need to have is a character or characters in the heart of them that you can identify with.

Some people come up with ideas and reverse engineer them into a podcast or comic book to start; then make it into a film when financially feasible. The angle is the most important thing; find an angle and seize on that and use that as the thing that you tell the story through that lens. Things can be dramatic yet still have a concept that you can gravitate to"

Cassian Elwes added:

"We spend our lives pitching to people; people come to us with ideas and the way they pitch is so important; passion is KEY; it all gets pitched from one level to another, we take a pitch and pitch it to someone else; it takes so many levels to work its way up. So, unless it is a really great idea that was pitched in a great way it will never make it to the next level.

Baseball films are worth absolutely nothing overseas; it's all about how you sell your films internationally and finance them, and you need a story that will work and make money internationally.

I like biopics that pick a moment in someone's life and tell a story in a short period of time; this is how you hook an audience; it's much easier to get someone to understand the story and you tell the story in a more interesting fashion."