February 17, 2017 at 3:01 am #3868
Animation Pagoda StaffModerator
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For people pitching a project idea, it is recommended to first create a solid script, concept sketches, prototype models, or a presentation to really sell your idea to others. Also, make sure your proposal is realistically achievable and manageable. Ambitious long-term projects are the hardest to make work.
The initial planning, setup, and advertising is the most important phase. Most projects fail if they drag out for a long period of time without showing significant progress. If you want to attract new members to help you with your project, make sure your ads and promotional materials look professional.
Social media and networking play an important role in the development of many projects. Communities and friends can offer support, ideas, and feedback as the project develops.
If you don’t have a network of supporters, start building one. Keep in mind that you don’t need to be the most popular person on the planet. A few close friends and mentors will typically be more helpful than thousands of Facebook subscribers.
Making the Most of a Shoestring Budget
When just starting out, it is unlikely you will have the capital needed to invest in making your project a reality. This is an obstacle that cripples the majority of projects before they ever get off the ground.
The first thing most people try to do to get funding is start a crowdfunding campaign, usually without going through the necessary preparation. When that fails, they might try advertising on forums that they are seeking collaborators for a project. That generally doesn’t go very well either. Desperately resorting to taking out large loans, selling your car, or begging for money might provide enough revenue to commission some temporary help, but if the pitch doesn’t go through you’ll be stuck with a bunch of debt and no means of completing your project.
Acquiring grants is not easy. Studios rarely just hand out hundreds of thousands of dollars to people who don’t have a ton of experience working in the industry, and most large scale kickstarter campaigns realistically require extensive social media presence.
In other words, unless you win the lottery or inherit a large sum of money, you’re not going to get funding for your project without working for it.
Doing the Legwork
Realistically, the level of commitment and planning required for one individual to develop a decent pitch on a shoestring budget ranges from several months to several years.
Network with people to see if they are interested in your pitch before even thinking about asking for financial backing. Put out feelers into some prospective producers and studios who distribute products or services similar to your idea. Talk to your friends to see if they might be willing to work on the project sometime in the future, but don’t force anyone to commit to anything yet.
Draft clear project outlines, goals, expenditure sheets, and a pipeline schedule. And keep developing your idea with writing and visual representation. When the time is right to attempt a pitch or gather your contacts together to begin production, you will know. Don’t rush things. Patience pays off.
Finding Reliable Collaborators
In general, it is never a good idea to try and attract other people to your project if you don’t have the financial means to compensate them. Nobody really likes working for free, and offering joint ownership or stakes in the business is inadvisable.
The best advice is to try and find people who will work on one-time commission work for a price, and friends who might be willing to go the distance on a long-term project for little or no pay. Invest in some commissions to develop concepts and promotional materials. Then when you are practically broke, try to see if people are interested in maybe working on the project part-time.
It’s important to find collaborators who are genuinely interested in the pitch subject matter. These people will put in extra time and effort to finish the project. Long term commitment is hard, and people may drop out of working on a project at any point, so always thank the ones who help out. Staying positive and having fun will keep projects going much longer, so try to make the experience enjoyable for everyone involved.
The logline/elevator pitch is one concise sentence that summarizes your entire pitch. It is mandatory for most screenplays and studio pitches.
Gather feedback on your idea and try to get as many supporters as possible before attempting a kickstarter campaign or pitch to a big studio.
Don’t neglect advertising. It doesn’t matter how amazing your pitch is if nobody knows about it.
Budget proposals also play a big role in pitches, so keep figures reasonable. Set stretch goals that are achievable with whatever resources are available to you.
Submitting Ideas to Publishers
Studios, publishers, and investors receive hundreds if not thousands of proposals every month. Very few ideas are one-in-a-million, and the concepts that are unique might not be marketable to mass audiences.
The sad reality is that many pitches are not even given a chance if the creator is not an industry veteran with inside connection.
Never send an unsolicited script or pitch to a studio. Most publishers refuse to read scripts in order to avoid potential lawsuits if the studio develops a similar idea. To get in contact with a potential investor, hire an agent or attempt to schedule a pitch meeting through whatever means necessary.
Don’t be too disappointed if a pitch doesn’t work out. It happens. Try again or adjust your plans so they are more achievable. Learning how to pitch ideas effectively will be an asset in the professional world.
If one studio doesn’t like your idea, try getting in contact with another one. Keep doing that until you find someone who is interested. Learn from mistakes, and don’t give up. Good ideas get rejected all the time, but eventually they can pay off if you keep trying.
If you do manage to acquire funding, congratulations. The next step is to implement your idea. This is a massive undertaking in itself, so be mentally prepared for what you are getting into.
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