Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pitching is an audition

I thought a lot about pitching today as I listened to short film pitches from my scriptwriting students.  Most of them actually didn't pitch the story.  Rather, they described the way the story would work.  They described the effect the story would have.  But for the most part, they didn't tell the story.

It's like auditioning for American Idol and describing the effect of the song you'll sing, instead of singing the song.

Pitching is difficult.  You need to know your story inside and out and you need to be able to tell it in an engaging manner.  You must become a storyteller.  Go inside these story and perform it.  It's risky.

What I heard today was about standing outside the story and describing it, rather than performing it.  It was safe.

Performance equals risk.  That's what a pitch must be.  A performance that takes a risk.


Anonymous said...

Dear Sugith, as one of your current students I feel that you have taken a step too far by impeding on the expected confidentiality of our classroom. Not only have you posted this without consulting your students, but you are continuing to degrade the learning environment in which we have to endure with you (and yes I say endure). I heard that actually teaching your students how to pitch a story before expecting them to do it off the bat helps a lot, especially when your going to post about it on a professional website. Never before have I ever been so disappointed with a person who was expected to advance my knowledge and understanding of concepts. I want my money back.

Sugith Varughese said...

I fail to see how any confidentiality was broken since no school, name or pitch was identified in the blog.

Making your comment anonymously let's you hide behind anonymity while making an unfair accusation of me publicly.

Anonymous said...

Why would he have to consult his students? If anything, this post is an extension of the lesson. Pitching IS hard. And it IS a performance. Practice. Know your story. You get better. Good advice.

Anonymous said...

From another anonymous student.

Each week your class comes my way and I get sick to my stomach. You often verbally berate other students in my class for just offering their opinion. You contradict yourself in my notes more times than I can count.

You clearly hate your job here.

Please leave,


Anonymous said...

I always appreciated your insights and criticisms, Sugith. Like many others, I consider you to be one of TFS' greatest assets.

Speaking as a former student, I see nothing wrong with what (or how) you've posted here.

It would be the school's loss if you decided to leave.
-Matt Steadman

Alireza Ronaghi said...

I don't understand the reason for the outrage, asking you to leave, or wanting their money back.

I felt like these guys have been to a show, and they're reacting to the last comedian's act... it's sad.

"Scripts" is a difficult course. But it's one of the few classes that actually teaches you something. Only a couple of other teachers take their job as seriously as Sugith does.

This is so disappointing.
And by the way, there's nothing wrong with the post here...

Alireza Ronaghi

Michael Katz said...

Very easy to make anonymous and gutless comments. Obviously some people have no real world experience.

Sugith is a fantastic educator, he gets the point across. The information sticks. In an industry like this, I prefer his methods, than some milk toast, walkover teacher that makes everything like a fairy tale. Instead of the realistic approach that Sugith takes.

He teaches with structure, I can now go through, dissect stories and understand how story is made up. How proper scripts are put together. Not perfectly, but getting better each time.

My grammar is not so hot, but I get the concepts.

If you cant handle Sugith, prepare to be out of a job, or be ready to be a starving artist.

Michael Katz

John Belnap said...

I'm with Katz, and whats a professional website ? lol