Round Table Pitching

Today, I received this email:

Currently, I am writing a mystery novel – my first – and pitched to an executive editor from a film company at a conference late in April. He asked me to formalize the pitch and submit. Being new to the concept, I am at sea.

The idea I pitched had to do with my specific mystery, but for a tv series or film, shouldn’t the pitch be less specific? I have written four sentences that sum up the idea for a series/movie.

I also have written a cover letter to re-introduce myself to the editor. I have the submission packet from the company with standard submission forms to complete, but is there anything else I should

Here’s how I replied: First, some questions for you. What is an executive editor at a film company? I have been in this business a long time and I have never heard of such
a position. If I may ask, what company are we talking about here? Are they reputable? Have they produced any TV shows or movies you’ve actually heard of?

Secondly, most pitches are done verbally in Hollywood, so submitting the pitch on paper seems odd. Even so, when I do a pitch, I usually leave behind a punchy one-or-two page synopsis  — think of it as book-jacket copy meant to entice the reader into buying the book.

Finally, are you pitching a TV series or a movie? They are two very, very different things and require very, very different kinds of pitches. Since I haven’t seen this company’s submission forms, and have no idea what they ask from you, so I don’t know if filling them out is enough.

This sounds to me like one of those round-table-pitching conferences where aspiring writers have five minutes to pitch their stuff to some development exec. I’ve never done one of those things, so I really have no idea how it works.

Leave a Comment