FAQ

Pitch A Movie or TV Show Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the difference between a log-line and a synopsis?

A log-line or logline is a brief summary of a television program, film, or motion picture often providing both a synopsis of the program’s plot, and an emotional “hook” to stimulate interest. It is short, precise and usually includes a “hook” that would inspire the reader.

A synopsis is a brief summary of the major points of a movie or TV show. It is a short document usually a page long, that summarizes your story, in such a way that readers can rapidly become acquainted with your story without having to read a script.

Are non-US citizens eligible?

Yes, in fact a very large percentage of successful pitches come from international clients. Cultural diversity and concept originality are assets to a successful pitch.

Can I request to write the screenplay for my idea?

Yes. You can request it. We respect the integrity of original ideas and solid concepts.  We cannot guarantee that the studios will approve a submitted screenplay once the pitch is accepted, however, we will do our best to get an offer for you.

Can I submit a screenplay instead of an idea?

No. The pitch process begins with a log-line summary of the idea, which contains 2-3 captivating lines that briefly describes the concept of the film. Pitching has a top down design that starts from interest in the concept. You will submit your screenplay if you have one but you will also need to have a log-line and synopsis. Even respected writers that are clients or ours need to have a good pitch to attract interested producers to read their screenplays. Once the concept has been approved, studios are more apt to request a screenplay.

Can I have an acting role in my idea?

Though we can secure an audition for you, ultimately the studios retain casting rights.

Can I request to produce my idea?

Yes, you can request it, but it is very unlikely unless you have a solid and proven record of the production company.

Can I have creative control?

Most probably not. Creative control is maintained by investors and studios as it is crucial for the successful completion of the project. You might get creative involvement, especially if you are an expert on the subject matter of your concept but not creative control.

Can an idea ever be 100% secure?

The only way to secure your idea 100% is to make it happen first. An idea cannot be copyrighted as it is not a work of art but just an idea for a work of art. Screenplays or the actual end product of an idea would be the actual work of art that can be copyrighted. But even if you have a copyrighted screenplay, copyright law clearly states that if a similar concept reaches the market that was conceptualized after the original copyright but was NOT influenced by the original, then there is no copyright infringement. To clarify further, lets assume you are the inventor of post-it notes and you properly submit and copyright a clearly defined concept along with a prototype but are not yet into production. A year later, another person from another country that had the same concept WITHOUT BEING INFLUENCED in any way, directly or indirectly and launches it into the market, copyright law states that there is no wrong doing. In this analogy, the concept would be the idea, the prototype would be the screenplay and entering the market would be when your movie is on the screen.

Given that no idea can ever be picked up without exposure, acting fast and getting it out to the right people first (the right way) can make a huge difference. MoviePitcher has developed the first protocol with thorough procedures that enables exposing ideas to studios, networks and production companies while adhering and complying to copyright legislation. This results in minimal risk for our clients both proactively as well as retroactively.

You do not need to copyright or take any other action before submitting your idea. We will issue you a registration certificate as part of the Start Pitching Package.

 

What is idea registration?

Once an idea is submitted, we immediately register the idea into a timestamp database. We then send you an idea registration certificate that serves as your proof of submitting this idea to us with a timestamp. This is the first level of securing your idea, and in the event of any legal dispute, formal request may be made for copy of your archived work to be turned over to any legal representative, court clerk or arbitration board for verification of established date of creation for your creative work.

Do I have to sell my idea once I get an offer?

No, upon interest from a production company, we will negotiate the best possible offer on your behalf in terms of money, screen credit and creative involvement where applicable. Upon securing an offer, we will send it to you along with our experts advice. You will have a grace period of one week to review it, ask any questions and decide if you want to accept it. If you feel that the offer is not right for you, you can reject it and we will continue to promote your project.

Do you own my idea once I register it with you?

No, clients retain all rights to their concepts. You only sell the rights to your idea if receive and accept an offer. MoviePitcher.com is not an agent and our service is non-exclusive. This means that you do not have any exclusivity agreement with us for any period of time, enabling you to promote your projects though other means. Though you are entitled to submit your idea through other sources or agents simultaneously, we advise you to keep us informed to avoid any overlap in production.

What if someone registers a similar idea to mine?

That is why we send you the registration certificate with a timestamp. Legally, the idea belongs not the the person who conceived it first, but to the one who can prove it. That is why many people mail a registered envelope to themselves with their ideas and keep it sealed for proof. Our service offers you better results, because not only do we send the certificate via email as a solid proof, but we also verify that information upon request. The post office will not.

Your timestamp is a legal registration certificate which proves ownership of your ideas.  Movie Pitcher will send you an email certification with proof of your timestamp.

How long does it take to receive the payment once the idea is picked up?

We inform you of the good news the same day that we are informed. If you accept the offer instantly, it takes the studios about a week or two to finalize all the legal and accounting procedures with us. We then mail the check to you that might take another week for destinations outside the US. It’s safe to estimate 2-3 weeks, but we will keep you informed of the status along the way.

Can I resubmit the idea if I have improved the pitch?

Yes, you get a free update per idea so that you can incorporate any changes to your pitch after your review is complete. After your initial free update, you can update your project as often as you need for a fee of $4.99 per update.

Do you take a percentage of my option money?

Yes, we charge 15% of the option money that covers our pitching costs and helps us sustain a low signup fee. In a way, we also invest our time an effort in order to reach our common goal that is no other than to sell your idea.

Should I submit a script if I have one?

Yes. Having a script always increases the chances of selling a project. If a producer finds your synopsis interesting, they will ask if the script is available. It is to their benefit to review a ready made screenplay for an idea they are interested in as it could save them a lot on developing a screenplay from scratch. If they like your screenplay, they will make an additional offer that is above and beyond the option money.

 

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