It’s All About the Sssizzle

HOW SIZZLE REELS CAN HELP YOUR PITCH In reality TV, if you don’t have a sizzle reel, you don’t have a show. It’s that simple. Since reality shows don’t have traditional scripting, these brief video presentations are the cornerstone on which all unscripted shows are built. Interestingly, the best practices for the reality world have now become essential marketing tools in every medium. And with post-production technology becoming increasingly more cost effective, the barriers to creating a great sizzle reel have been dramatically reduced.  When every word counts, sizzles help you get to the heart of your story by saving valuable time. No more need to risk losing a client’s interest with a longwinded explanation of what can be conveyed through visuals. The benefits of using a sizzle reel in a pitch are manifold. First and foremost, they save time by getting ideas across quickly. Rather than typing out a comprehensive vision for a project, rather than forcing key decision-makers to read lengthy descriptions, a 1 to 3 minute reel immediately sets up the mood for a project. In terms of establishing different reference points, they allow you the filmmaker to frame the conversation. Would you rather have your project remembered as the next Inception or the next What Dreams May Come? A carefully edited mood reel will define the tone, cinematography, casting, performance, production design and visual effects.  If you’re not particularly great in meetings, sizzle reels can do the heavy lifting for you.  Imagine yourself deftly pulling out your ipad, pressing play, and letting the video punctuate your pitch. Many sizzle reels are structured to feel like...

Look Books Get Double-Take

DON’T GET LEFT BEHIND IN THE LEAVE-BEHIND GAME With their low-tech, tactile appeal, look books-even when sitting innocently on a coffee table- are the ultimate stealth-tease to draw attention to your work after you’ve left the room.  The nickname ‘leave behind’ has significance; these books allow you to leave behind a lasting impression of your talents and your project, and they make your point even when you’re not there to do your whole dog and pony show (or to press “play” on a sizzle reel). Look books offer an executive the attractive option of flipping through a visual overview of your story rather than paging through a lengthy, time-consuming script, or (even worse) reading coverage that someone else wrote. What’s more, look books are easily passed from one office to the next, and on up the food chain, allowing you a measure of control as to how your project is articulated when the junior execs are internally pitching your work to the key decision-makers. In our humble opinion, flipping through a look book should be an immersive and captivating an experience as watching a really great trailer in a theater.  Their benefits can go far beyond building great word-of-mouth momentum for your project. If thoughtfully and strategically crafted, they can become a vehicle to display your creativity and vision to help you communicate with your producers, actors, and crew. Picture magazine design schemes, blueprint floor plans and CAD illustrations: there is no end to the different motifs that can be applied to add sophistication and visual interest. As long as the concept stays within the framework of your project,...

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