YOUR CHOICE -
As a screenwriter, your choice of film premise is your calling card. It's not your witty dialog, nor your clever descriptions. Not your knowledge of structure and subplot and subtext. Essentially, You must choose your pitch very well. In the basic sense doing your pitch is choosing your concept. The most common mistake with many writers is that they choose a poor concept which in turn leads to a bad pitch idea. Months, even years are lost trying to elevate a film idea that by its nature probably had no hope of ever becoming a movie.
STEPS TO THE PITCH -
QUERY LETTER - If you don't have 3 months to write a typical feature film script only then we suggest you first send a query letter to a studio. In a query letter you are trying to write a proposal for a script. This technique does not work for many first time writers because the studio has no guarantee that your script is any good. But there have been cases where it has worked.
Typically, a query letter has to consist of three different sections. The first paragraph is there to ask the studio if they would accept your proposed script. The body of the letter is a pitch for your story, including plot devices and a basic script breakdown. The third and final paragraph is the there for you to briefly mention your credentials and previous writing experience. You should also remeber to end the letter by telling the studio you will call them in a week.
(Synopsis and Treatment) - You can also consider writing a synopsis or treatment. A typical treatment is usually 5 pages in length. This is used to explain the concepts and outline of your script in more detail and get the attention of the producer.
(Script Setup) - Once the studio accepts your proposal to write a script. You should make sure your first page is very important and a page turner. The first page should be written as one of the last writting tasks. You must remember that if you're not interested in your own script, why would someone else be? When you get to the 3rd page of your script your ending will have to be already setup. To get the chance to pitch the script the producer and or director make sure they get the basic premiss of your script.
- (Gross Irony) - If you pitch your script to a studio executive you have to understand that the studio may already have a similar script in development or production. Sometimes it comes down to luck. If you're the first one with a new inspirational concept, you will probably get to make the film. If your script is better then the other guys then schmoozing is the key. You have to constantly impress the studios and be very sociable. The film industry is about people, so if you can't network, learn it.
- Good luck in the pitching process.