By Priscilla Jimenez
Filmmaker / Los Angeles, CA
Pitching is quite a hot topic of debate. Having been on the creative end of a pitch both at a creative agency and as an independent filmmaker, pitching has multiple forms of investment. When I used to work at an agency, we would constantly pitch for new projects. At the time, I never thought much about what the costs of pitching were because I was a fulltime art director at a motion design branding studio, so no matter what I was getting my salary. After I decided to go freelance, pitching became this thing that costs time, money and resources. However, whether you are working for someone or for yourself, pitching is important because you can show your work and secure a project (if the fit is right) before you get into the nuts and bolts of working with a client.
Now the caveat here is that you might actually pitch and invest time and resources and STILL not walk away with the job. This can be demoralizing because pouring your heart and soul into a pitch and not getting the job might cause some feelings that our ideas are not good enough. It’s all part of the creative process which is healthy: rejection is healthy, security is healthy.
Think of pitching as going out on a date, you put your best foot forward and present yourself in the best light and then it’s up to the other person (client) whether or not they want to proceed with you. It has no bearing on you and your work, it might just not be a good fit. So pitching is a healthy form of putting yourself out there as a creative and in the best form of return you’ll get a client who likes what you have to offer.
CRAFTING A PITCH
As previously mentioned, a pitch, in my opinion, is like going out on a date. You spend time carefully picking out your outfit, maybe even think about a few things you want to ask the other person or say about yourself and then hopefully the dialogue is continued. Crafting a pitch is fairly similar.
Generally speaking, a client will put out a request for proposal or RFP. From there you will put a pitch together to meet their requirements with your style to achieve the completion of a project. A pitch is generally a fully fledged out project for the needs of a client. It’s generally an investment with a hope for return on investment. In essence you are actually working on the solution without pay being involved. This can seem scary but even if you don’t land the gig then you at the very least get a great body of work for your portfolio that can showcase your skillset for future clients.
Overall, a pitch is working towards wrapping up a project and sometimes working on the ideation of a project with hopes of showing off your talent to secure the job. Sometimes this can seem controversial but ultimately regardless of the outcome, you come out with a great body of work.
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