Life’s a Pitch and then you cry!
On Friday the 2nd October, Screen Training Ireland and Film in Cork brought writer/director David Keating to run a one-day pitching workshop as part of Indie Cork.
The 12 participants were composed of writers, producers and directors – some of which were fine tuning their pitching skills in preparation for Indie Cork’s Ronan Phelan Script Award; others, like me, simply hoping to gain a better understanding of the daunting task of pitching.
I’ll be honest. I didn’t know what to expect from the workshop. Pitching is a topic that has been touched on in numerous workshops and classes I’ve attended over the years but I’ve never fully grasped it.
David’s instructions, however, were clear, focussed and firm. Many activities were things you’d expect to find in an actors workshop – things that essentially brought us out of our comfort zone. There was a combination of barrier-breaking exercises which encouraged us to sink more comfortably into our surroundings and our skin; breakdowns of the key components of pitching and a focus on thinking outside the box and looking at innovative ideas to make your pitch memorable.
The group itself was fantastic and a sense of support and comradery was quickly established. This was in part due to David’s disposition and style of teaching. The workshop itself, being a mix of tutoring and experiential learning, was engaging throughout and ended with participants making pitches themselves, receiving invaluable feedback in the process.
I left the day feeling inspired and invigorated. Pitching doesn’t seem as terrifying as it once did and yes, life may be a pitch, but you don’t need to cry!
And so, here are the three main tips I’d like to share from the day:
- There’s no right way to pitch! There are so many styles and techniques you can use, but they’re all pointless if they don’t match you and your personal aesthetic.
- You are one of the most important components to your pitch. Always remember to introduce yourself and your role in the project. Be yourself. If you’re naturally shy, don’t try to be loud and extroverted. If you’re naturally showy, then be naturally showy. Once you recognize your individual personality and style, you can look at ways of fine-tuning this to your advantage.
- Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and use things that may help your pitch: Lookbooks, stealomatics, audio clips, props, pictures, costumes. It’s your time so use this time to make your pitch memorable.
And finally, just as a bonus tip: Start strong and end stronger.
Happy Pitching everyone!