​​​Getting good at pitching yourself and your project. Veteran ​P​roducers share their best practices for giving a pitch and making it count.
Key Insights

  • Pitching is an art: it takes time to develop this skill, but its roots are in storytelling.
  • When in doubt, speak about the project from a place of enthusiasm and passion. Your energy is contagious and will attract others to your project.
  • Even if it’s not polished, make sure your pitch has meaning and substance. Think about the essentials that you want someone to take away from your pitch.
  • An effective pitch imparts the vision of the project, who the characters are, how the project will be made and told, and how the audience will experience it.
  • We can’t always know what an audience wants: know and believe in your vision and have the courage to follow it.
  • Distinct, original stories will break through if they are well told. Find a story you are dying to tell and will it into existence with every ounce of your being.
  • Dive into your first film. Don't be too concerned with how it "should" be done.

Josh Penn is a producer with the Department of Motion Pictures. He produced BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD (2012), which won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize, the Caméra d'Or at Cannes, and was nominated for four Academy Awards (including Best Picture). more...
Mary Jane Skalski began her career at Good Machine where she worked on the early films of Ang Lee, Ed Burns, and Nicole Holofcener. more...
Peter Saraf’s producing credits include Loving, Three Generations, The Kings of Summer, Me Him Her, Safety Not Guaranteed, Our Idiot Brother, Jack Goes Boating, Sunshine Cleaning, Away We Go, Is Anybody There?, Little Miss Sunshine, Everything Is Illuminated, The Truth About Charlie, Adaptation, Ulee’s Gold and the feature documentaries Mandela and The Agronomist. more...

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