The Pitch

This is your team's formal proposal of what you're going to do for your final project.

REQUIRED READING: Bernard Chapters 8, 9 and 10, pp. 113-149, PLUS pp. 233-234 (see Books)

Be sure to read the Final Project assignment BEFORE you prepare your pitch!


As explained in the textbook, the pitch is intended to get you what you need to produce a documentary. For feature-length documentaries, this means funding. The pitch is aimed at investors or foundations that offer grants to filmmakers, for example.

In a news organization, your pitch might not be written -- it might be nothing more than a conversation between you and an editor.

What you're doing with a pitch, in all cases, is justifying your story idea. The pitch must convince someone to believe in your idea. To trust you. To have faith in your story -- and your ability to tell it well.

How to Prepare

The textbook is your essential guide for this assignment.

Chapter 8 provides advice on how to research your idea and make yourself knowledgeable enough to sound credible when you make your pitch.

Chapter 9 might seem unnecessary to you, but if so, you're mistaken! You have to TELL A STORY. A story must have CHARACTERS -- and at least one strong character. That's what "casting" means in non-fiction video: Finding the right character.

Chapter 10 tells you what to do AFTER you have completed your research and explored your casting options.

Your pitch should be tailored (pp. 138-140) to a newsroom editor. Pretend I am your boss (your editor), and I might reject your idea because you have not convinced me it's worth doing. Newsroom resources are limited. I'm not going to say yes to a vague idea that doesn't spark my interest or that seems trite. I'm not going to say yes to something I feel I've seen before, or something everyone already knows.

Refer to pp. 233-234 for guidance!

What to Turn In

Length: 5-10 pages, double-spaced (about 1,500-2,000 words)

Your pitch must include these elements of a proposal (pp. 142-148):

Please use a heading to identify each section.

Both team members will work together to produce the pitch document. Divide the work in any way you like. Both of you will receive the same grade.

Send the completed document to me as an e-mail attachment by the deadline. (Make sure you know which team member is going to send it! Send only once!)


Total: 5 points

NOTE: Even though the grade weight is only 5 points, you will need to invest a lot of time in your pitch.

If I reject your pitch, you will lose time for working on the final project, which would not be good for you.