THE INSIDE PITCH: Query Letters
February 9th, 2014
The arrival of query letters is a daily occurrence. Hundreds a month. They most often arrive through e-mail, but the USPS still delivers a healthy amount too. Today I received one with a Triboro NY postmark - which encompasses Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. I grew up in SINY, so it caught my eye.
When I flipped over the small envelope, there was a protruding piece of film strip. The end of the strip had been folded into the envelope, allowing the rest to hang out. The sealed envelope flap kept it in place. (When I inspected the film strip up to the light, it revealed Naomi Watts and KING KONG.)
I opened the envelope to find nothing but a blank piece of blue paper, the size of a business card.
But the outside of the envelope was adorned with a tiny stamp - three simple Youtube search words - which led me to a video. I was greeted by a young man with an accent who opted not to pitch his project but to explain instead how several of his ideas had transpired into big Hollywood movies conceived by others. He felt certain that his latest idea would also be commandeered by Hollywood, and he was giving me the opportunity to snatch it up before someone else stumbled upon the same concept.
I didn't find his pitch as interesting as I did another video which documents his preparation for the query assault. Over 1000 of these little envelopes proliferated the town.
I suspect his strategy won't be all that successful, but he clearly demonstrates an active desire. (He just needs a script to back it up.)
But all this prompts me to ask: What have you done today to get a step closer to success?
Here's the initial PITCH.
To pitch to Christopher Lockhart live on the radio, CLICK HERE.
About the Author
Christopher Lockhart is a Hollywood executive, producer and teacher. For the last 16 years, he has worked within some of the entertainment industry’s most esteemed talent agencies searching through piles of scripts, books, articles, old movies and pitches in search of projects for "A" list actors. He started at ICM, where he worked with legendary talent agent Ed Limato, ran the Story Department, and facilitated the Agent Trainee Program. Later he moved to the venerable William Morris Agency, which eventually merged with Endeavor to form WME, the world's largest diversified talent agency, where he currently serves as Story Editor. He has an MFA in dramatic writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He has taught at Los Angeles Valley College, UCLA and is currently an adjunct professor in the MFA program at National University. He is an award winning and Emmy nominated producer with credits that include THE COLLECTOR (2009) and its sequel THE COLLECTION (2012), as well as writing and producing the documentary MOST VALUABLE PLAYERS (2010) for Oprah Winfrey. He is a member of the Writers Guild, the Producers Guild, and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He has read over 35,000 scripts throughout his career.