Turn your feature film idea into a proof-of-concept that gets attention

You’ve struck gold with a feature film idea. Now you need to turn it into a proof-of-concept that gets attention so you can turn it into a successful film.

A common way of doing this is to make a 30-60 second proof-of-concept to show at pitch meetings. But that’s going to see you struggling to get in front of the right people and even less likely to get a ‘yes’ from any of them.

Let’s go through the more productive – and profitable – alternative.

The new way to get eyes on your feature film idea

It’s more productive, profitable and fun to convert your feature film idea into a fully fleshed out short film. 

It may feel like a detour, but it’s a much more effective way to spark interest in a feature-length version. 

Take your idea and develop it into a full three act short film. Getting this made and releasing it at festivals is actually easier – and more successful – than getting into the room with the decision-makers to show them you’re 30 sec proof of concept. 

Read more: 5 steps to getting your short film off the ground

Seeing the full story developed and played out, even if a short format, is a more convincing pitch than any logline you can craft. 

Pitching using a short film

A festival release is the best option for using it as your short version as proof-of-concept. Don’t go for an online release, as you might compromise the idea. 

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When you’re attending festival screenings of your short, you can pitch the feature film version to anyone and everyone. This is the best time to pitch a feature, because your brilliant short will still be fresh in people’s minds. 

If you’re emailing to arrange a pitch meeting, having had a festival release will make a major difference. You’ll have screenings, selections and awards you can include in your pitch deck. This is the stamp of approval that’ll get them paying attention to your idea. 

Read more: What Hollywood doesn’t want you to know about filmmaking

When pitching based on a short, the bulk of your pitch should explain how a feature-length version will develop the story presented in the short. Include subplots and any additional characters that you’re planning to include in a feature version. 

Include details about your festival results and the interest you’ve developed since releasing the film on the circuit. 

This is the proof that decision-makers are really looking for. The proof that people are interested in your story and will watch a feature-length version. This is what translates to sales at the box office. 

Bonus step: have back up pitches ready

Getting into the room is the hardest part. Don’t run the risk of wasting the opportunity that you’ve worked freaking hard to get.  

Have a handful of backup pitches ready to go, in case they don’t love your idea.

Read more: Why you need a slate as an indie filmmaker

You don’t need a full presentation for each of them, you just need to know the details:

  • Logline
  • Synopsis
  • Estimated budget
  • Key target audience
  • State of development
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It doesn’t matter that your short film is about a completely different story. You’ve proved that you can create quality content that people want to watch, which is the biggest hurdle to overcome. 

This is the new age way to pitch projects easily and successfully. It’s also a much more feminine way of letting the attention come to you via your films, instead of constantly emailing, calling and following up. 

Got any more questions about pitching your idea? Dm me here or schedule a free 30 minute session.

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