As part of our continuing collaboration with the MAKING COMICS folks, we’re running pros’ critiques of students’ pitches. Here’s Damon Gentry:
The advice is specific to this pitch — but universal to anyone who wants to break into the field!
The video for Bobby’s Tale is adequately produced. The ideas presented are interesting, and the art looks nice! I think the best way to punch up this pitch would involve streamlining and eliminating unnecessary elements.
There’s a big no-no at the opening of the video, in that there is no need to inform the viewer that Bobby’s Tale is a working title. This might sound like a small thing, but showing indecision or lack of confidence anywhere in your pitch can be highly detrimental. Your attitude speaks volumes, and why should a potential reader or publisher place their confidence in your work if you sound unsure yourself? Make the absolute best first impression possible! WITH CONFIDENCE. (Fake it if you have to.)
Given the flexibility of 3-5 minutes for this video project, I would personally strip my video down to a tight 3:00 minutes, always. Time is a commodity. Don’t waste a single second of it. If you haven’t caught someone’s attention in the first 20 seconds, they’ve probably stopped watching. Hit the ground running! Make a list of the character/story/world-building ideas you have presented by order of importance, and start trimming out the stuff at the bottom of the list that isn’t absolutely crucial to your pitch.
Do you really need that much info on the world you’re building? Could you combine your supporting characters into one summarized “cast of characters” shot? When in doubt, cut it out. Don’t be too precious about anything that isn’t the focus of your story (make sure you’ve identified a clear focus!). Bobby’s Tale looks like a fun comic, good luck!!