12 things we learned at the AFM Pitching Conference

Tobin Armbrust, President of Virgin Produced, Producer Cassian Elwes and Pilar Alessandra, Instructor/Consultant of On The Page, speak with the American Film Market Pitch Conference the runner-up, Jennifer Julian, Sweet Relish Entertainment, at the Fairmont Hotel on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016, in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Dan Steinberg/Invision for IFTA/AP Images)

Dan Steinberg/Invision for IFTA/AP Images


This week, the AFM invited filmmakers to pitch their movie projects to a panel of experts in front of an audience of 600 professionals. The event was an eye-opener for people looking to understand how to make an effective pitch where participants were given feedback during the session.

Filmmakers gave their 2-minute pitches on the stage in front of the Panelists and talked about their projects. They were then provided with valuable advice on how they could improve and what they needed to change.

Below you’ll find some of the tips that were shared with attendees.

What filmmakers can do to improve their pitches

  • The clarity of the story, and particularly, the arc of characters is essential.
  • Know your audience and the market.
  • Have the right energy during your pitch and make it positive.
  • Ensure that you provide a Logline, not just a Tagline for your film.
  • Allow the pitch to convey what the right target audience is without saying it.
  • For action-driven stories, ensure that plot points are clear, not just the arc and the characters.
  • When pitching documentaries, know which channel of distribution your subject will suit.
  • Instead of saying your film is a crossover like “Godzilla meets Snow White,” it’s better to use, “In the vain of..”
  • 90% of the pitch should be visual.
  • Know your buyers, and what they’re looking for.
  • Don’t worry about the format of the project, focus on the content, the story.
  • And research the people that you are going to pitch to.

This year’s Pitch Conference was sponsored by I AM FILM and welcomed Tobin Armbrust (President, Virgin Produced) and Cassian Elwes (Independent Producer/Agent) on the Panel along with script consultant Pilar Alessandra as host.

To find out more about this year’s conferences and events, log on to the AFM Website.

subscribe