Voyage Media has some golden rules for pitching networks:
1) DO COMMIT
You can’t sell something that’s only halfway there. Invest the needed time and money to let them know you take your work seriously and you’re not messing around. Go big or go home!
2) DON’T WAIT
TV Pilot season is peaking a little later, but that doesn’t mean you have any time to lose. Cable TV accepts pitches virtually year round. It can take a few weeks to rewrite scripts and create sales materials. Start NOW!
3) DO GET VISUAL
Old-school writer wisdom says all you need is a script. Increasingly in the industry, projects vision is shared via the use of imagery. It’s just the way of the future. Get used to it, old-schoolers.
4) DON’T HAVE TO BE THERE
You might not get a pitch meeting right away, but that doesn’t mean they won’t look at your stuff. So send them something that pitches your story right, whether you’re there or not.
5) DO REWRITE THAT TREATMENT
The treatment is short, but it’s as important a sales tool as your script, and it might be read by more people. Don’t be ashamed to have it professionally rewritten by one of our treatment pros. After all, it’s still yours!
6) DO CONSIDER A LOOK BOOK
Just having your reader flip a few pages can help them see your big idea and your project’s appeal to audiences-whether you’re in the room explaining it to them or not. Lookbooks have helped companies like Jerry Bruckheimer Television and Universal Music Group, and showrunners like Chris Levinson and the Hughes Brothers sell shows to networks and cable providers from ABC to HBO.
7) DO YOUR RESEARCH
Find out what’s on the company’s slate before pitching to them. Find out what they are looking for and whether they have anything similar in development or production.