Making a pitch
Charlotte Moore commissions and oversees production of documentaries from the independent sector for the BBC. She oversees a variety of films including observational documentary series, factual dramas and documentaries, and is responsible for the New Talent strand Fresh for BBC Three.
As part of a master class organised by BBC New Talent for new and aspiring documentary film makers. Here Charlotte talks about starting a film and in part two she covers the importance of story.
Q1. What should you bear in mind before making a pitch for a film?
Think about it from my point of view and think about how you can get across what you're trying to do and why, in the most concise and exciting way.
Q2. How do you know where pitch a film?
I think watching television, and understanding which channels are making what
documentaries, is absolutely crucial. You need to really understand what people
Q3. How can you give your film idea the best chance to be commissioned?
Don't send the same idea to everybody, tailor it accordingly... The same content can be moved and changed, cut and re-thought, in many different ways.
Q4. What would you say to someone putting together a proposal for a film?
You need to think 'what makes this idea stand out on the commissioner's desk?'. I think you should be very explicit about what you've got when you put together your proposal. It might be unique access to characters or a situation - but be honest!
Q5. What do you want to know in a proposal?
In your one or two page proposal you need to tell me whether this is an observational documentary, a polemic, how much is it going to be authored, is it a journey...
Part Two covers the importance of story and characters.