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.
[Ed. note: Olivia’s web design company, Orange Static, designed NYWIFT’s website. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org]
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