Any elevator pitch
ing for a new movie idea to a potential producer
that fits into the following formula.
A riskier twist on this relies on a higher-order formula.
It's like Known Successful Plotline with New Element.
Example: "Boy meets girl, girl turns out to be mermaid."
Robert Kosberg, describing Splash.
The hope is, in a memorable few words, to convince the listener that the new concept will replicate the effective elements of the successful movie and still draw a new audience with the new element. A more complex variation follows.
Another formula connects an old idea to a new audience.
It's like Known Successful Movie for the Significantly Lucrative Audience Untargeted by the Known Successful Movie.
Example: "Dangerous Liaisons for the teen set," to describe Cruel Intentions.
The phrases are often used as a negative commentary on how formulaic
and greedy Hollywood
is, concerned with profits
at the cost of complexity
ty, and rich storytelling
. But Robert Kosberg
, known in Hollywood as the "Pitch King", cited a real evolutionary need, which he calls the High Concept
It started out when Barry Diller and Michael Eisner and other executives were at ABC doing television movies and they realized that forty million people were tuning in to watch TV movies on any given night, based on one or two sentences that were written in TV Guide that boiled down the entire plot.
Additionally, he explains, you might be pitching to a small guy in the studio, and what you say to this guy has to be memorable and simple enough that he can accurately retell it up his power chain so that you can get a meeting with the real decision makers. Truly, memetics
For the hopeful, Kosberg's real pitch formula (yes, he has one) looks like this.
Set-up, complication, and the resolution. I don't think the Hollywood studios are particularly looking to re-invent the wheel. There is a satisfaction that comes from a story that has that inherent beginning, middle and end that goes all the way back to fairy tales and Greek tragedies, they all had that structure. I don't think we're going to get away from that in the near future. There's nothing wrong with that. It works.