We hear about and see a lot of pitching tools for drama. Glossy pitch decks. Loglines. Comparable titles. Shiny, sexy mood boards and artwork. But what do you need for a great factual pitch? Story for Pitch Decks course director Emma Millions explains.
Many writers are intimidated by the prospect of pitching. As if writing scripts isn’t hard enough, it feels like we now need to be graphic designers, pro-editors and public speakers to get our story in front of the right people. But we should remember that we are creative people, says Story for Pitch Decks course director Emma Millions.
Amy Jarrold made the leap to TV yet felt she lacked a solid understanding of how successful factual stories are crafted. During lockdown she embarked on John Yorke’s Story for Documentary and Factual online course. Here, she details her experiences and its lasting impact on her work.
You’ve written your story, now how can you test whether or not it’s as good as it can be? John Yorke recommends asking 10 questions to check you’ve got your story straight: an approach as relevant to business stories as it is to dramatic narratives.
You’ve got a great documentary idea, you’ve shot some fantastic material, but are struggling to shape it into a story that works. Experienced documentary maker and Story for Factual TV course director Peter Dale recalls a cutting-room moment when it it all came together.
John Yorke argues in his bestselling book, Into the Woods, that all compelling stories share an underlying structure, no matter their format or genre. So what do the great storytellers of film and TV drama have to teach those who work in factual entertainment, current affairs, and documentaries?