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Life's a Pitch

AFTRS-Australian Film Television and Radio School

About the Course

Improve your creative pitching skills in EVERYTHING you do but especially pitching for screen - TV, Movie, Digital and live events in this two day intensive. The course is run by two executive producers who have pitched & been pitched to in most genres, at public broadcasters & the major networks in three continents, The UK, The USA & Australia. They’ve both worked at the major independents, at networks & now run their own companies.


In this two day, hands-on practical course, you’ll learn the 3 essentials of pitching:

1) How to research & write a perfect pitch document - you’ll see examples, rework your own project & leave with a document that will do the job.
2) How to create a perfect sizzle reel / promo - again, you’ll see examples & we’ll help you script your own project
3) How to deliver a pitch perfect pitch - with real practical advice from what to wear to how to beat nerves & deliver every time. We’ll role play with you & deliver feed back (kindly!)

At the end of this you will be pitch perfect.

You’ll see real industry examples of what works & what doesn’t. You’ll hear from the great & good from top Australian Network Executives, you’ll do exercises on recognizing a USP (unique selling point), you’ll pitch your own ideas to us & each other & work up your pitch documents so you are ready for world domination.

The course covers:

  • Understand network needs & deliver them

  • Understand what is keeping commissioners awake at night & how you are the answer to their problems

  • How to understand the difference between the networks & their audiences & thus their style of pitching

  • When to collaborate with a major indie & how to choose the right one to collaborate with

  • What to look for in a co-development agreement

  • How to write the perfect pitch document, cut the perfect sizzle & deliver the perfect pitch

  • What not to do

  • When & to attach talent to your project

  • How to approach talent

  • How much your idea will cost & how to create a ball park figure per episode / project

  • Plus, you’ll get a few tips for your finance plans

This is a very practical, intense, fun workshop, essential for anyone who develops & pitches, so essentially, everyone in media.

WHY DO YOU NEED THIS COURSE? If you are asking for money or a slot, you need this course!

We will take you through the complete journey, from your original idea to delivery

• You may have the best idea in the world but if you can’t deliver it, then why bother?
• You need to know what the networks want
• You need to know how to research what they want
• Who to contact at which network
• How to make your pitch appropriate to their wants, needs & their demographic.
• How to deliver your ideal creatively & clearly
• What is a USP, why do you need one & what is yours?
• How to make your pitch appropriate to the market & also to question if there is a market for your idea
• Emotional involvement - how important is passion?
• How to describe your idea in the nutshell - how to deliver the perfect pitch document and what it should include - a breakdown of the format / idea etc?
• What makes a good sizzle reel & when they are appropriate?
• Which broadcasters will take a paper format
• Whether to attach talent to an idea & how to approach agents?
• How to deliver the perfect pitch - what to wear, what to say, how to say it, how many ideas to pitch, in which order & how
• How to be practically technically ready for a pitch?
• The dreaded follow up - phone, email & how long to wait - learning how to be keen but not a nuisance

And we’ll finish off with a ‘no question is too stupid to ask’ safe space session at the end where you can ask us anything about anything ).

No pitching experience necessary. Simply come to the course with an idea you need to create. Non-disclosure agreements will be signed by all participants - no-one will steal your idea.

You don’t want to waste your time, so we plan to assault you with information. You will have some ‘homework’ on the evening of day one, so you can get huge bang for your buck on both days.

You should come with a developed idea you would like to pitch. A workbook will be provided, however it would be helpful to bring along a laptop if you have one.

STUDENT FEEDBACKAlison and Maz are outstanding tutors and clearly very successful and experienced industry –respected professionals. I felt very privileged to receive lots of insightful guidance.
Alison and Marion went over and above, very approachable and sharing as much information as anyone can dream. Outstanding presenters and course!

This course is taught by two of the most experienced pitchers in the Australian business - ALISON BLACK & MARION FARRELLY - between them they have been responsible for budgets in excess of 250 million. Alison specialises in documentaries you generally love that make a difference to society & in direct contrast, Maz has made most of the shows you love to hate that have been responsible for the general demise of civilized society. She also developed Q&A for the ABC. Between them, they think they have most unscripted genres covered.

MARION has worked on the initial creation, development, reinvention & show running, of some of the world’s biggest brands in three territories:
The X Factor, The Celebrity Apprentice, Q&A, Big Brother AU, Big Brother UK, The AFL Recruit, The NRL Rookie, The Farmer Wants A Wife, The Big Breakfast, Light Lunch, Your Kids Are In Charge, Friends Like These, Strictly Come Dancing It Takes Two, Friday Night Live, My Favourite Book, LA Pool Party & Restoration.
She has worked in LA, made shows for most of the major networks in UK & Australia & her shows have won British BAFTAs, National Television Awards, Royal Television Society Awards, TV Quick Awards, a Bronze Rose de Montreux, an Australian Logie & ASTRA
Maz is an expert in Entertainment & Reality TV & was a regular panelist on Reality Check, ABC Australia.
Previous roles include Executive Editor of Format Entertainment at the BBC UK, Director of Television Content, Fremantle Media Australia & Director of The Media Tribe Australia.
Maz currently runs her own company, Absolutely Farrelly which specialises in creative content & strategy.

ALISON is a Logie winning producer with extensive experience of working in sensitive environments.
Changing Minds, a series she created & produced, was described by the Sydney Morning Herald as ‘probably the most important programme in the history of Australian broadcasting.”
Her first major project after moving to Australia was Choir of Hard Knocks, which she series produced whilst at the ABC. She followed Choirmaster Jonathon Welch as he


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