Pitching For Documentary

02:34 Dragons Egg 0 Comments

Working Wednesday: Pitching For Documentary

Many don't know what they need or where to start when looking to get their documentary ideas off the ground.

Your idea may be exactly what you want to show to the world, but don't get too caught up in the message. You need to make your story compelling, remember you're pitching for investment, the potential investors are going to want to back something that will make a profit. You need to think how you want your audience to feel when they watch it, so it's also a good idea to think about who your demographic may be, and where the documentary will be shown.

Assembling the team:

You have your show stopping idea, and now you need to get the ball rolling on getting financed. You need a good team around you. Gather a few people who will be enthusiastic and passionate about the documentary, some with good "business heads" to help with the pitching and others who are industry professionals to give you advice. If you can get someone with contacts in the area you are pitching on board, even better!

The power of Social Media:

Don't underestimate the power of social media. If you can gather hype about the documentary this will really help your fundraising case. You are showing there is already a demand for it, and if there is a demand for a product the sales will follow. It will be the shining point of your funding pitch. Plus you already have your audience lined up when you release the production. 

Use your production skills:

'Death by powerpoint' is a well known thing, so don't commit it. It comes with serous consequences, it will put your financiers off backing your production. The chances are you are not the only one who is going to be pitching to them, so stand out from the crowd. You are a creative so use your skills. Make a trailer that is gripping and toe curling, and if you can't do that tell them a story that they can't wait to be a part of.


Don't forget that your track record matters, no one will hand over big budgets to a novice, so make sure you have the right team on board to make up for your lack of experience. If you are a seasoned documentary filmmaker then remember to stay humble and stick to the story. 

But the most important point is not to loose your fire. You wanted to make this documentary for a reason, and finding funding is a full time job. It can take months or even years. But don't loose sight of what you're trying to achieve, keep pushing and the right backing will come at the right time for your project.

Good luck.