By Kristin Reiber Harris
In Women Make Movies’ recent virtual program, Creating a Pitch Deck, Look Book & More, Olivia Klaus, an experienced filmmaker and graphic designer, shared her process in creating the perfect pitch deck for a film project. The objective is to design a deck that is evergreen and adaptable to an ever-changing environment.
The pitch deck is an excellent opportunity to highlight your skills as a storyteller. The deck is telling the story of what your film is about, how you plan to produce it and why you are the one to tell this story. A critical component for storytelling in the pitch deck is images. As Olivia says, “Images, images, images.”
In addition to making her Google Slides pitch deck available for filmmakers to adapt to their own films, she described the process of designing the document from A to Z including many tips and tricks. Her pitch deck covers these topics; logline, synopsis, topic summary, artistic approach, timeline, distribution, audience, social impact, bios, funding, budget, prior work, rough cut and questions. Visuals are extremely important, so a friendly reminder to take production stills and behind the scenes shots, even if they are done on a phone.
As she built out this sample deck, page by page, we were repeatedly reminded of the value of strong graphics in addition to photographs to make information about budgets, timelines and even subjects to be interviewed accessible. She shared lots of good examples. She believes funders frequently leaf through a deck first before they read it. The visuals will set the tone and ideally peak their interest.
The inspiration page pulls together images from other films, photos of locations, and other visuals that support the look of the film. She suggested including posters from films that reference your approach and indicating how your film will differ. Her example was “Our film has the story approach of Film A as it meets Film B with the twist from Film C.” Show posters with graphics that indicate how the various film styles coalesce in your project.
It’s very important to use the pitch deck to blow your own horn and brag about your accomplishments and those of your team. When you reference film festivals, use the graphics from the festival. Images, images, images. Team bios can include photos and you will want to include images of your subjects and talk about their accomplishments.
Not all filmmakers are comfortable with their design skills. A number of sites are available to assist with examples of great design or templates to adapt. For inspiration from other creatives, Olivia suggested Pinterest, designspiration.com and motionographer.com– a great source for video that can be embedded in the pitch deck. Canva.com, keynote.com, and Google Slides all provide templates and are relatively easy to use. Of course Olivia recommended working with a professional designer if possible.
The Perfect Pitch Deck is all about getting what’s in your head on “paper,” telling a compelling story, and emphasizing your team’s accomplishments to communicate why you are the ones to tell this story. All this with as many images as possible.
Thanks Women Make Movies and Olivia Klaus for this informative presentation with the bonus of a starter template.
Welcome to NYWIFT, Eileen Wolter! After working as a motion picture lit assistant at CAA, working on the Universal lot, and writing lots of coverage in LA, Eileen brings her creativity to us in New York! She holds a BA in Art History & Film from Vassar College, studied acting as The Atlantic Theater Company and The Actors Studio/The New School, and studied writing at UCLA, NYU, Sundance Collab, Stowe Story Labs, and NJ Play Lab. Eileen tells us about her fascinating family history, covering Fashion Week for Comedy Central in 1993, and attending SNL dress rehearsals.READ MORE
Welcome to NYWIFT, Jaya Mahajan! Originally from Mumbai, India, Jaya is a filmmaker with Executive Producer credits for documentaries and factual shows that have been on networks such as CNN, BBC, Discovery and the National Geographic Channel. She spent the initial part of her career as a business reporter and producer with CNBC and Bloomberg. More recently, she has been running an award-winning production company, creating films and documentaries and teaching journalism students in Malaysia and Singapore. Jaya recently moved to New York and is looking forward to focusing on projects that highlight and amplify traditionally underrepresented, diverse, and marginalized voices.READ MORE
Welcome to NYWIFT, Jillian Fisher! Jillian began her career as an intern with the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival. Three film festivals, various day jobs and a very particular set of skills later, Jillian created a public relations company. When a few movies came knocking on the door of one of her clients (the City of Kingston, New York), Jillian answered. After assisting the productions with locations and negotiations, she turned her attention to scouting locations full time. Over a decade later, Jillian still loves the creative aspects of scouting, but is now also pursuing producing her own projects.READ MORE
Welcome to NYWIFT Pallavi Bakshi! Following an incredible career in investment banking and equity research, Pallavi Bakshi is now part of Disney Streaming’s Strategic Finance team. Any given day might include reporting to executives, preparing data sets or market research. She has worked on projects for iconic brands in the Disney portfolio, including Marvel and Pixar. Pallavi shares more about her dynamic days here!READ MORE