The Anatomy of a Pitch Video
The issue we are breaking down today is the pitch video. A pitch video is a short 3-5 minute visual asset for a filmmaker seeking to raise funds. Here's my thoughts...
One Quick Thought:
The issue we are focusing on today is the pitch video.
A pitch video is a short 3-5 minute visual asset for a filmmaker seeking to raise funds. It is an asset that is underutilized and undervalued especially when it comes time for fundraising, crowdsourcing, or seeking community investment with a platform like Wefunder.
There are a number of reasons why pitch videos are crucial from first impressions, to clearly conveying information, and more. But, my favorite reason is that a pitch video conveys to potential investors your excitement and vision for the project. In addition, it is selling your project for if, if you include solid “Calls-to-Action”. Personalizing your pitch video with your authentic self, business plan, and strong visuals will be one of the most powerful tools in your fundraising arsenal.
Now, let’s break down our pitch video for THE MEET CUTE MURDERS
Opening - The Greeting
Quick Intro - This is where first impressions matter the most. I find it beneficial to begin all pitch videos with a direct-to-camera shot, using our Director to appeal to prospective investors. I believe that, if you can capture the essence, the magic, and the excitement of your director— then your potential investors will see it too. Nothing better than solid first impressions! The best advice I can offer you is to succinctly describe your concept in an exciting manner.
Early Call-to-Action - A Call-to-Action is a direct ask from you to your viewer. It is a request for the viewer to commit an action after they watch your video. Again because most online videos are abandoned by the viewer within the first 30 seconds, a Call-to-Action placed upfront and early on is tactically smart. It gives you, the chance to re-enforce and bookend your ask of the viewer.
Spotlight the Team - Another asset is the strength of your team. I would urge you to put faces to the names so that prospective investors see real people with passion are behind the project. This is also a great time, to highlight the ATL,1 their past successes (at festivals and in distribution), and why each given person is committed to the vision.
The Middle - The Business Section
Explain the Who, Why, Where, When, and How - This is where you what to explain the details of the project. Walking your viewer through the ins and outs, as well as the benefits of why the investor should care. Think about this as the actual explanation of the investment, the terms, the ROI,2 and any other reason that might entice a prospective investor. This is summed up as the business section. The “Business Section” should include this one key element— your recoupment strategy. Namely, how you plan to make your money so you can pay back your investors.
Closing - The Ask
The Ask - This is a crucial part of any pitch video that far too many filmmakers forget to do. The whole purpose of the pitch video is to be a primer for any future follow-ups between yourself and your viewer. That’s why every pitch video needs an ask. It can be for investment, networking, or even just spreading awareness online. However, without the ask— your project is dead on arrival. So, my advice is to always include and ask as well as practice your person-to-person ask too.
Quick Recap and One Last Call-to-Action - Finally close on a quick summary of the project. Highlighting the best aspects of your team, business plan, and recoupment strategy. Don’t forget to end on one last Call-to-Action.
If you are looking to download a copy of our pitch video script (with our notes) as well as a template for how we craft our shorter videos click on the button above. You will be redirected to Gumroad for a free download!
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“ATL” - Above-the-Line which refers to any of the individuals most closely involved, and who shape the direction of the project/film. ATL can refer to directors, producers, actors, and more.
“ROI” - Return On Investment.