You’ve developed your characters. You’ve written your pilot script. You’ve put together a whizz-bang Proof of Concept video and pitch document.
What could go wrong?
I’ve seen comedy concept pitches implode after one simple question…
Before you pitch your comedy concept (it might be a sitcom, short, web series, sketch show or movie), there are some simple questions to which you should know the answers. Because there ‘s a strong chance the people to whom you are pitching will ask them.
Warning – simple questions need simple answers. The longer it takes you to answer a question, the less sense you are making.
Questions 1 and 10 are doozies.
Question 1 – You’ve said what it’s about. What’s it really about?
Question 2 – What is universal about your show?
Question 3 – Is it a Domestic Comedy, Farce or Satire? (If it’s a hybrid, how?)
Question 4 – Is your series aimed at giving the audience what they want, or giving them what you think they need?
Question 5 – Why this show now?
Question 6 – Why is it funny? (In no more than 30 words.)
Question 7 – Why are these characters important to you?
Question 8 – Why are the characters durably funny? (I.e., are their natures inflexible, flawed, easily-panicked, selfish, limited, exaggerated, self-defeating or antagonistic?)
Question 9 – What is the pervasive problem facing your characters?
Questions 10 – What are you trying to say? (And why is that important to you?)
These are all simple questions. That doesn’t make them easy to answer. But once you know the answers your chances of a successful pitch have increased Immeasurably.
For more tips & techniques for Writing and Selling your comedy, read ‘The Cheeky Monkey – Writing Narrative Comedy‘