Why Should You Create a Movie Pitch Deck?
There’s several reasons why you need a pitch deck for your movie, but the main one is to communicate your vision clearly. Let’s discuss how.
Let’s say you’re beyond making short films and smaller projects using out of pocket funds and whatever you can afford on your credit card. This next project you direct or produce is going to need some real money and support behind it. Money from potential investors and/or distribution.
If this is the case then you’re probably going to need a pitch deck at some point.
Decide if it's time to create a pitch deck yet.
First off - what is a movie pitch deck?
I’m glad you asked.
A pitch deck is pretty much just a presentation or a series of slides that summarizes your project.
This is not an in depth document that’s gonna put everyone to sleep, but more of a high level summary that answers the main touch points about all the essential questions needed to bring your story from script to screen.
Realize the importance of a movie pitch deck.
Why does a movie pitch deck matter?
Damn these are some great questions you’re asking!
Executives, investors and agents will sometimes ask if there’s a pitch deck before even reading your screenplay. This is really common with studios and networks.
That’s because the pitch deck is easier to digest than your 120 page screenplay they’d have to read and breakdown themselves to determine if it’s something they can even take on.
The difference between a movie pitch deck and everything else.
All pitch decks aren’t created equally. You’re not going to use the same format of a pitch deck that a startup company like Uber and Airbnb did when they were trying to raise money and get the company off the ground.
A movie pitch deck has different touch points that need to be covered. It needs to be visually engaging and it needs to evoke emotion. Remember, you’re asking the reader or potential buyer for a lot of money and they need to be excited after they’re done.
The way you design your pitch deck will need to accomplish a few goals. It needs to:
- Prime the reader to either want to make a financial investment, collaborate through distribution or come on board as an above the line position (producer, lead actor, etc)
- Enable them to see your vision clearly
- Understand who or what’s involved to bring it to life
What topics need to be covered?
The main topics you will show throughout the pitch deck are:
- Key Art for the project
- Your One Sheet
- Log Line
- Why your project needs to be made (or why your story needs to be told)
- Main Characters in the story
- Producers involved (The Team)
- Top of the line Cast
Some optional slides you could include are:
- Movie or Television Comparables
- Confidentiality, Disclosure and Risk Statements
- Market Projections
- Director’s Statement
- Producer’s Statement
- Writer’s Statement
- Distribution Strategy
- Marketing Strategy
- Unique Competitive Advantage
In my opinion the movie comparables will at least give them an idea of what you’re going for, but just make sure you use successful projects as your examples. That off the wall movie with the d-list actors you thought was cool that nobody else has ever heard of won’t really get investors excited to cut you a check.
Creating your movie pitch deck.
The key to having an effective pitch deck for your movie is to make it visually appealing. Here are some ways you can make an effective pitch deck that will grab the reader’s attention:
- Hire a graphic designer using an online service like Fiverr
- Use an online do-it-yourself service like Canva that enables you to drag and drop images using templates
- Use whatever graphic design software you have access to (only advisable if you’ve got some graphic design skills beyond using clip art crap)
- Use the template I’ve created in Keynote and PowerPoint where you can customize however you want
Whatever route you take, I’d advise strongly that you do not spend an arm and a leg having this created. “An arm and a leg” may mean different things depending on your budget and what you deem to be cheap versus expensive, but personally I wouldn’t spend over a couple hundred bucks to have this done if I were outsourcing it.
While the beautiful designs will definitely need to be engaging, keep in mind that it’s your project and the content within the pitch deck that is going to make or break you.
I’ve pitched to several distributors in the past with success, so I have a good idea of what works. I even had one of my projects get me a meeting with a distribution company just based solely on the key art I created in photoshop. Quick disclaimer — I have a background in design and advertising, so there’s that.
I promise you that investors or studio execs won’t care how much you paid for your pitch deck, because if the project is weak and you haven’t done your homework — all that tells them is that you know how to waste money on the wrong things. They will not value the beautiful pitch deck over the story you’re trying to tell.
Using our movie pitch deck template.
I’ve created a movie pitch deck you can customize to your own needs using Keynote or PowerPoint. Inside each slide there’s some guidance on what to include on each slide. This way you aren’t just winging it.
From there you’ll be able to export your movie pitch deck as a PDF, slide show or whatever the software allows that’s appropriate for your situation.
The template is based on a fictitious movie in the action thriller genre and you’ll notice the imagery, fonts and style caters to that vibe. Alternatively, if you have a different genre such as a comedy, drama or horror, then you’ll need to make sure your imagery and fonts match that style.
Below are a few images of what the template looks like and a couple of ways it can be exported.