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Tyler Onorato
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Tyler Onorato

General Discussion & Sharing  - 
 
Some comments on pitching, via Matt Hawkins Facebook page (President & COO at Top Cow Productions, writer of Think Tank, Tales of Honor, and many other great comics)

Some pitching advice:

1) understand that no one will be that excited to read your pitch. This is because we read so many bad ones that the expectation is that it won't be good. If we're excited after we read it that's a good thing.

2) it may take a year for someone to read your pitch. Editors, writers, publishers, agents and managers are busy people. Proper follow up is once a month check in unless the person tells you differently. If they tell you check back in August and it's May then check back in August. Best thing is to use the same email thread. When I see I told someone something already there's a guilt factor to push it to the top of the list.

3) everything matters. Punctuation, grammar, spelling my name right...we get that you're sending it out broad but what you need to get is that when reading these things we're looking for a reason to say no. For this reason I encourage people NOT to use dialects in samples or pitches sent out.

4) keep it short. No one wants to read your 10,000 page story bible. Most places have submissions guidelines on what they want to see. These may differ from company to company. You should modify your pitches to target companies and give them what they're asking for. Again, as mentioned above we're looking for a reason to say no. The more you give, more likely find a reason.

5) know who's reading it. If you send me your children's super-hero romance story set in the Stone Age you clearly never researched what I'm interested in. Look at the companies that do material similar to what you're pitching.

6) have a logline. If you can't pitch your story idea in a couple sentences you're not cut out for this business. You have to be able to pitch your idea in less than a minute or two tops. Why? Because you need to grab people's interest. Think Tank is the story of a slacker genius who designs weapons for the military but doesn't want to do it anymore...but they won't let him quit because he's too valuable. It's okay to use other existing franchises to explain your concept.

7) understand that no you're not the only one with that idea. It is so common to receive multiple very similar pitches. Why? Zeitgeist. You got the idea because you saw X movie, read Y book, saw Z internet meme and x+y+z = the high concept core of your idea. This is fine, btw. Just execute better. 

8) less plot, more character. Convoluted plots are bad and don't make your story smarter. Twists are great, but don't overcomplicate. Every great existing movie out there can be pitched in less than a minute and you get the basic idea. Try pitching Alien then try Prometheus. Alien = simple plot, great characters and execution. Prometheus less so. When you pitch, pitch the character, who they are and why we care. That's more important than your beat be beat plot.

9) be prepared to "hurry up and wait". If someone responds asking you to tweak your pitch with some notes you get to do this. Just because you turn something back around in 24 hours the person reading it might take months to get back to you. Variety of reasons, low priority, busy, whatever. In this situation when someone engages you at all, ask them how you should follow up.

10) be courteous and understand that you don't really matter to the person on the other end (yet). Hard pill to swallow, but humble goes a long way. If you get angry, that's understandable. Happens to me every week. Go work out, walk around the block, yell in your car...whatever. Taking that out even partially on whoever is reading your thing just gives them a reason to ignore you.

11) pitch verbally to friends and family. If they get lost or ask questions that's YOUR fault not theirs. Even if you answered the question they have already, it wasn't clear enough. You should listen to these and adjust. If you feel like you did answer that question, answer it twice in two different ways If you see people tune out, remember where it is and try and adjust. Again, keep it short. Movie pitches are usually 10-15 minutes long. Don't do voices in verbal pitches.

12) thank the people that "pass" on your project. Most people don't respond at all, they're giving you the courtesy of a no. It is okay to ask why, but if they don't respond to that don't follow up, let it go. If they give you a reason ask them if you can adjust and resubmit.

This is not a complete list just some things I think about.
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AL Washington's profile photoGerardo Giorgini's profile photoTyler Onorato's profile photo
2 comments
 
Thank u very much for putting this up!! ur straight forward and didn't beat around the bush.
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Tyler Onorato

Week 1 Activity  - 
 
Here is my week 1 assignment/rough draft proposal document.  Let me know what you think!
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Amy Vander Vorste's profile photo
 
I love the idea here!  This is a fun  way for families to share about being prepared for natural disasters.  Kids could even come home asking about things in the comic and start a family discussion on it.  Brilliant!
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I don't use Google+ much because I don't want it to become the next facebook or myspace.
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Tyler Onorato

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rstevens 3.01 (@rstevens) tweeted at 8:03 AM on Thu, Apr 25, 2013:
There really should be a toggle on @twitter to view a person’s tweets with @-replies turned off. Blog mode?
(https://twitter.com/rstevens/status/327422604598181888)

Get the official Twitter app at https://twitter.com/download
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Tyler Onorato

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Sounds like a movie I'd enjoy.
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Have him in circles
16 people
brandon leonard's profile photo
Matt Hawkins's profile photo
Arkham Edies's profile photo
Jered Lawday's profile photo
Elizabeth Hall's profile photo
Kami Onorato's profile photo
Sam Gomnicck's profile photo
Brian Michael Bendis's profile photo
 
Here is my Pinterest board.  This should also include a map of Las Cruces, NM, the location for issue 1 of my series.  Original image notes/credits are the parenthesis after my comments.

http://www.pinterest.com/tyleronorato7/mcmooc/
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Tyler Onorato

General Discussion & Sharing  - 
 
Curious, and maybe this has already been asked (point me to the thread, if so), but has anybody else on here participated in the Top Cow Talent Hunt either this year or last year?  Thoughts if you did?
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Tyler Onorato

Group Assignments  - 
 
Starting a bit late, but catching up now - I have not yet been assigned to a group.  Can somebody please help me out?
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Sam Gomnicck's profile photo
 
Hey +Tyler Onorato you need to make up the week 1 work. I have put you in group 5 with +Jered Lawday, he will help you with next steps!
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Tyler Onorato

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Tyler Onorato

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Have him in circles
16 people
brandon leonard's profile photo
Matt Hawkins's profile photo
Arkham Edies's profile photo
Jered Lawday's profile photo
Elizabeth Hall's profile photo
Kami Onorato's profile photo
Sam Gomnicck's profile photo
Brian Michael Bendis's profile photo
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Theoretical Historian...and hopeful comic book writer
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