Starving they dont care that youve been writing

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starving. They don’t care that you’ve been writing scripts for five years. They want to know if your ideas can be used to reach their market. Or, they want to know if you are the writer who can execute their ideas into a script. Your strategy—therefore— derives from their needs. What do they need to see in a query or hear in a pitch to interest them in your script? How will they benefit from what you have to offer? This same principle applies to meetings. What is your goal for the meeting? Who are you pitching to? What approach is most likely to succeed with this particular person? We’ll discuss how to gather all this marketing information later. Features and benefits In any sales situation, the wise salesperson presents features and benefits. Features constitute the logical argument; benefits are emotional. This ballpoint pen in my hand now features a retractable point. The benefit to you is you don’t get ink in your purse or pocket. Years ago, I was trying to sell my car and an engineer dropped by. I thought this person would be most interested in specific facts about my car. But his reactions were all negative. During the test drive, however, I turned on some music. And he said, “Whoa, what’s that?” I thought to myself, “It’s your emotional hot button and I am about to push it as a strategy in presenting an emotional argument (or benefit) for buying the car.” Here’s how the conversation went. I said, “What kind of music do you like?” He liked classical, so I started the music and said, “Imagine yourself driving through the Irvine hills. Just you, the road, and Mozart.” Well, he bought a sound system with a car attached. In any situation, try to think in terms of how the producer or agent will benefit, and what turns them on emotionally. For example, in a pitching situation, if there are merchandising opportunities that naturally flow from your story, mention them. If your story presents a role that an “A” actor would be interested in, that’s a feature that provides an emotional benefit to the producer. Be sure to stress the
benefit: “With ‘A’ talent attached, you know the financing will not be a problem. It’s a go.” The “short attention span” obstacle No one needs to tell you that concept is king in Hollywood. Concept also sells in other industries. Marketers need a handle that buyers can grab and hang on to. In the case of my book, The Screenwriter’s Bible , the handle or concept is: Five books in one. Everything you need under one cover (how-to text, workbook, formatter, spec writing guide, marketing plan, and resource directory —all included). Agents, producers, and executives have too much to read. That’s why it is crucial to find the right concept, those few words in your query or pitch that drive the message home. Be able to tell your story, or present a story hook, in 25 words or less.

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