6 Things to Leave at Home When Pitching Your Cartoon
If you’ve been given the golden ticket to come pitch your idea, here’s a quick rundown of what to bring, and what to leave at home:
What to leave home and what to bring to your pitch meetings
Don’t bring a party bus full of people. Your entire support system can stay in the lobby. Better yet, leave them at home. This isn’t the NFL draft. You don’t need your parents, grandparents, agent, siblings, and your best friends crowding the office.
Don’t bring any cumbersome or fragile props that take too long to set up. This isn’t a science fair. The execs will feel awkward watching you struggle to set up your display.
Do bring printouts of your pitch document. But don’t hand them out at the beginning of the meeting. Especially if you’re just going to sit there and read from it. (Please don’t.) Execs can do that part without you. You want them looking at YOU while you pitch.
Bring art—if–it looks great and shows emotion. If you’re a strong artist, it’s okay to bring in rough sketches (as long as they show personality). Bad art is worse than no art.
Don’t bring art if it’s amateurish, or doesn’t accurately reflect the tone of your show concept. Bringing the wrong ‘style’ of art can be a deal breaker, and ruin an otherwise solid pitch!
If you’re an artist, or have some top-notch storyboarding skills, bring an animatic. An animatic is a sequence of storyboard pages edited together as a video. Depending on how polished it is, it can even look partially animated. This is optional, but the great thing about them is that they can truly capture your personality, tone, and timing, especially for comedy and action.
Execs love a good animatic—they’re perfect for sharing with peers and bosses. (And they’re tired of reading.) Don’t worry about having professional voice actors on these. They’re not expected at this stage. Add music if it will help sell your story.
Don’t wear a costume. Seriously. Or hand puppets.
Don’t bring a PowerPoint presentation unless absolutely necessary. You want the focus to be on YOU!
If you have a prototype of some toy, that’s fine, but don’t let it become a distraction. The execs want to see if your concept and characters have enough legs to stand on their own.
If you spend the majority of your time playing with your prototype, that’s a warning sign that your concept is too thin.
Don’t be afraid to call ahead and talk to an assistant. He or she will tell you what kind of A/V equipment is in the pitch room. You might have to bring a power cord for your laptop, or a cord to connect it to their giant TV.
Finally, bring your enthusiasm. It really makes a difference. Not unlike too much cologne.