One story, four pitches
Everyone insists on how important a pitch is.
But as for myself, I think every writer needs four different and necessary pitches.
First is the install pitch, the initial appeal of a conflicting contrast, a fresh situation around someone in relation with three essential entities : us, his world, and a vital necessity. This pitch is all about strong links. Link between we and him : some special angle about him or his situation must catch our attention. It must be immediate and extreme. But the links between him and his world and his necessity must also be carefully thought : all the plot and theme magnitude depend on them. This first pitch must establish a sound, promising and original set up for the whole story.
Second is the end pitch. It comes sometimes quite late in the writing process. Each writer has his own tempo. But when the end is clear, it must again consist in a strong and potentially heart lifting pitch. It must be both definitive as it closes the narrative cycle of the story, and unveiling a powerful future. This pitch is about the potential story to come for the characters we’ve been rooting for. The end pitch is not a resolution. It’s a promise. For good or bad, it’s an irresistible direction in the life of the protagonist.
Third is the midpoint pitch. Not merely a simple complication but a mind reversing force that the theme will spread from in the second half of the story. The midpoint pitch is a glimpse at the total light or darkness the end will illustrate.
These three pitches are all precisely designed reports of characters, dynamics and events. They have to be crystal clear.
The fourth is about the smell, the tone, soul and mood of the story. Sometimes it’s the one liner under the title. It doesn’t even mention the places, genre or characters. But it sets the narrative contract between the movie and the audience, and for the writer it serves as a light in the storm of development. The essence of this pitch is poetry. It’s a unique verse that bonds the soul of the writer to the right music at play. Here is the key for an inspired and focused writing.
So these four pitches are essential. Not only each one has a specific purpose, for selling the project, structuring it, giving him a powerful theme while staying coherent in the writing tone, but the four of them must resonate with each other, to produce a rich and colourful symphony that will continue echoing in the audience long after the film reaches its end.