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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Presentation skills part 2 - Hand outs

Hand outs sounds like we are at school. Well boys and girls we are. And the lesson is your film. Teach to people to love it as much as you do.

What do we mean by a hand out? We mean one sheet of paper, about your film that you can use as an aid to a verbal pitch or can be sent in an email. So normally we mean a word document, a pdf, or if you are a hot designer then something done in in-design or quark. The software package doesn't matter. Look again at the competition...

These are all the handouts at the short film corner in Cannes last year. These are for finished short films of course. But as scriptwriters we should learn from our directing colleagues. They know that a good handout is key to getting people to watch the film. Our goal is similar - to get someone to read our script.

Being a caring and sharing kind of a guy I'll share with you an early handout for one of my films - The Kiss of Judas.

Page One

Page Two

As you can see it is less colourful than the handouts for the short films at Cannes. But that's because this is to promote a script. Too much 'empty' design detracts from the power of words. The script is a written form of a moving image. That balance I seek to incorporate into the handout.

4 good things about it:
1 - There is one side for people who like images and one side for people who like to read. Something for everyone.
2 - If you fold it in three (as to put it with a letter) then the front neatly shows just the logo and the short synopsis. I was pleased with this little detail.
3 - The content is all there including the development stages which is needed for businesses or organisations to see where this project currently is.
4 - the paragraphs. One intro, one on development, one on plot and one on the USP. In my example I wrote about genre. Having a script in the 'medieval western' genre is worthy of some explanation. It is what makes this script different. For your film it may be more appropriate to say that this is a good vehicle for a young singer, or its based on a true story - or whatever your films best selling point is.

2 bad things about it:
1 - Spacing. The front page must be less crowded than this. And more clearly laid out.
2 - Simpler images - these images are too complicated. Less is more

In all - not a bad handout. But I do have a new version now.
Sorry for the long posting on this occasion.

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The Scriptwriter's Life diagram is by Tim Clague from a joint venture by Projector Films, South West Screen & MartonHouse.
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1 comment:

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