Ready for another round of 20 Questions with the High Concept King? Steve Kaire once again tests your mettle. 15 or better correct is a great score!
True or False:
1) You should always take a journal with you to every pitch meeting.
True. Record the date, name of the company and what projects you pitched to them as well as their reactions.
2) With enough practice, you should be able to pitch any story of yours in one sentence.
3) If you sell a spec script, proceeds go into your Writers Guild Health and Pension fund.
False. Only contracted sales, not spec sales, go into both funds.
4) Writers who pitch well are able to sell projects the first time they pitch to a company even if they’ve never pitched to them before.
That’s false. It’s rare to sell anything the first time you pitch to a company.
5) Get the names of assistants and secretaries of companies you’re pitching to.
True. Be polite and friendly to them so they’ll put you through to their boss.
6) When you contact people you want to be in business with, be persistent but not annoying.
7) Every company has an agenda that a writer coming in to pitch isn’t aware of.
True. There are certain types of projects they are staying away from but you won’t know what they are.
8) There is more theft of material in the film business rather than in TV.
False. The opposite is true.
9) Before any pitch meeting, call and find out exactly what kind of material they’re currently looking for.
10) Being a successful screenwriter is more about how good a writer you are rather than anything else.
False. Your talent is important, but so are your connections to the people who can get projects sold and produced.
11) High concept scripts sell for more money than non-high concept scripts.
12) Bringing in a poster of your movie won’t help sell it.
False. When pitching, having your potential buyer visualize the movie poster can help in fostering a sale. But beware: that poster better be of professional quality or there may quickly be a smoldering, self-inflicted bullet wound in your foot.
13) Showcasing your short films on YouTube won’t help your screenwriting career.
False. Anything that gets your work and name out there can help.
14) Produced film and TV scripts can be purchased online.
That’s true. You can also find them for free on sites like Drew's Script-O-Rama.
15) Below-the-line refers to behind-the-scenes talent.
16) There is a limit on how many writers can be brought in to rewrite a sold script.
False. The studio can bring in as many writers as they want. There is a limit to how many writers the WGA will allow to share credit, however.
17) Most new TV series begin with a proposal, a list of characters and six story line episodes.
18) Associate Producer credit is essentially a throwaway credit.
True. It’s given out as a favor like to the director’s girlfriend or the producer’s brother-in-law.
19) The average film budget is $75 million these days.
False. It’s closer to $40-50 million.
20) A star who lends his or her to a project is contractually bound to appear in it should it get made.
That’s false. They can back out before the deal closes.
How did you all do? If you got every one right, then pat yourself on the back and go get 'em, tiger. If you knew several, then way to go! If many of thesed stumped you, definitely start reading the trades regularly. Becoming a savvy student of the biz is key to making it as a writer in TV or film. Keep up the good work, and I'll see you all back here in 30.
Steve Kaire (HighConceptScreenwriting.com) is a Screenwriter/Pitchman who’s sold 8 projects to the major studios without representation. His top-rated CD, “High Concept--How to Create, Pitch and Sell to Hollywood” is available on his website along with original articles and national screenwriting contests.
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