The Doc Fix


Regularly updated articles on story structure and analysis; tips, thoughts and useful bits and pieces.

A Simple Technique to Sell Your Idea

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Sometimes a simple idea can contain a huge amount of information. I came across one from the 'design guru', Stephen Baily, and it is wonderfully simple.

When you pitch, you need to both reassure and excite.

Ensure the person you are pitching to knows that, at a minimum, your programme cannot fail to 'work' - there is an audience, you know how to tell it, you have the crew or contacts to make it happen, you are reliable, and so on.

You want to reassure them enough so they don’t say ‘no’.

Then, make sure they can see the idea's potential - how it could be far more than this. How it could break out, how there may be a massive audience for it, how it could be something extraordinary.

This is about making them want to say 'yes'

The first is solid and should be entirely risk-free. It's about you showing what you can do.

The second - the potential - is an unknown and depends on you stimulating their ambition, excitement, and vision of how things could be.

It's emotional and not based on facts. How could it not be? It's about stimulating their imagination.

The ability to tell a story is a foundation of both.

You should be able to pitch your story so well, make absolutely clear that you have every possible skill needed to bring it to life. Don't - even slightly, mentally - shrug your shoulders when it comes to how you might tell it. Your approach might change, but you need to show that the skills are completely in your control.
And as for excitement - you are saying that whatever comes up, you can turn it to your advantage. You can take every new opportunity and turn it into gold.
In our course, we are about giving you the skills or creating a narrative that is fundamental to both sides of the pitch.

When you have them, the pain of selling your idea disappears. You know what you are doing, and it comes across to everyone you work with.

Our course isn't for everyone.

You have to be ambitious. You have to want to become a great documentary maker, and you have to be honest with yourself about what you can and cannot yet do.

We have boiled down the approach so that in 12-weeks, you'll be confident in every skill to turn your idea into a great documentary narrative.

What we teach isn't complex - but it requires focus and ambition to master.

If that's you, do get in touch with us. I'll be delighted to talk through your current story with you and help you with any problems you are having. Then, if it seems that you would be suitable for the course, I'll tell you everything about how we work.

All the best - Nigel