Project Greenlight Producer Alex Keledjian on Delivering an effective Film Pitch
Recently, producer Alex Keledjian of Project Greenlight stopped by Los Angeles Center Studios so he could pay Film Connection a visit and host pitch meetings with apprentices Mar Doster and Grannt Gilbert. It was a very productive time! Alex had lots of great advice for our apprentices about the art of the pitch and so we’ve decided to share a few of his insightful points:
1) Find common ground. Favorite films, people you’ve worked with, industry pros whose work you like. Be positive and talk about who you are, where you’re from and what you like to do. Then, ask them what they like to do and listen. Also, if you’re not originally from LA or NYC (assuming that’s where you’re pitching) talk about your first experience there, keeping it upbeat and entertaining.
2) Get up to speed on the industry-vocabulary and you’ll understand what that producer is really telling you. Particular phrases give you the red flag telling you the producer is not interested. If a producer tells you your script is “well-written” it probably actually means “it’s un-sellable” and similarly, “it’s great!” can really mean “it sucks.” If you’ve heard those words in a pitch meeting, then you probably have to work harder on revising your script and pitch technique.
3) Adopt a can-do attitude. You want to say things like “I’m here to help” and “I appreciate your input.” Be appreciative and positive. Keep the positive energy and thoughts flowing at all times. If the conversation gets dull (it never should) change pace and bring up a new idea, something fresh to keep the flow going. You can prepare these ideas ahead of time and have them in your pocket, ready to go in the event you need them. DO NOT, however, spurt random ideas when you might be doing just fine building rapport as advised point number one (above). Spurting ideas will make you look excitable, distracted and undermine your credibility. In other words, be mindful of your timing.
4) Sit up straight. Your posture should say “I’m eager, excited and ready.” Converse your ideas openly without an ounce of haughtiness. Remember: your body language speaks volumes about you.
5) Keep your plot points straight. Bullet-pointing each plot point can help a lot when it comes to staying on point. I you’re pitching a TV show, go ahead and name each of the episodes if you like, though most of the time they’ll be easy enough to follow.