1992-the-player - jaws in space online pitching weekend

This message was intended solely for writers and film-makers, until I realised that pitching and persuading is something that everyone in the media has to get good at.

And then I thought, everyone else in the world needs to be good at pitching and persuading too.

So I thought this week we’d look at why most people are crap at it.

Be a better salesperson than the local drug dealer

As someone once said to me, selling has a bad rep with many people, but if you want to get listened to, you better be good at it.

Or, as he went on, if you’re a parent of teenagers, you better be a better salesperson than the local drug-dealer.

And the truth is, most people are rubbish at it.

The reason is often very simple. They think about it the wrong way round.

What do they want?

Most people think of pitching and persuading as doing something to someone. Trying to get them to do something that’s good for them, but they won’t listen.

Whether that’s cleaning their room, doing the recycling or indeed buying your film script.

But that’s not it at all.

If you want to pitch to anyone – friend, spouse, child, parent or film producer – you have to start not with what you want but with what they want. What do they want in life?

In particular, what problem can you help them solve?

Selling boils down to one simple idea: be enormously helpful.

Whatever you’re “selling”, think about who you want to get on your side and how your shiny new idea can help solve their problems.

Then they might just listen.

Online pitching weekend

If you’re pitching a screenplay to a producer, you better know what that producer wants. And how your script can help him or her get it.

Or to put it another way, what are the producer’s problems? And how is your script going to help solve them?

That’s one of the things we will be looking at on the online pitching weekend.

I’ll also help you create a sparkling one-line pitch for your project.

As well as how to build in extra juice to your pitch. How to find your own personal logline. How to find the people you need to pitch to. How to sell even if you don’t have an agent. How to take a pitch meeting. How to develop strong rapport. How to answer the most difficult questions. How to avoid the biggest mistakes that will sabotage your pitch.

And much, much more. I’m putting this on for the renowned film-makers’ organisation Raindance, by special request.

Based on my best-selling book Jaws in Space, but with extra material, personal feedback, a forty-page free workbook and the chance to workshop your own pitches till they shine.

But a warning: it’s the only time I’m going to be running it.

“Attended the workshop on Saturday, made the pitch on Tuesday, did the deal on Friday.”
Dan Sefton, TV and film writer

Saturday-Sunday June 27-28 2020. Book now as places are limited and, as I say, I’m only running this workshop once.

Full details here