Best Picks of The Month

Poster Photographer: Jorge Grau

Exposing the agony of the creative pitching process, we hear a director and agency try to one up each other on a call as the commercial plays out.

We have a good idea where the inspiration for ‘The Pitch’ came from, but can you tell us a little from your point of view?

I was working in-house doing treatments at a big production company and my co worker and I would be on these calls hearing agencies and directors duke it out with such funny buzz words and references. It was equally hilarious as it was sobering. The sad part was after putting together so many pitches, jobs would be lost, or die. I hadn’t heard about jobs dying before I got into the commercial space. My coworker and I would take photos from our treatments and put the funniest quotes from our calls on them and made a wall of fame. It covered our tack board and I think that’s pretty much where the idea started. Other than that, it is a wild mix of every trend and reference I’ve been asked to pull for images and decks.

How did the writing process go? Was it as free-style progressive as the film is made out to be? Or was that all carefully crafted?

Oh I’m glad it seems free-style! It was shot in a very careful way since we needed to hit all these beats and shots we were making fun of. The free-style bit I think came in with the VoiceOver. I had written the script prior and had the actors do a VoiceOver after, but it felt like it wasn’t matching up enough. So, I had the actors watch a rough cut and make up their own improv jokes to each shot. It created a cool mix of our script and new material. The VoiceOver cast (Rick Darge & Ben Wood) was very talented and imaginative. In many ways, it feels like they helped write the dialogue too! They got along great too.

Did you get any major revelations about the industry while making this film? 

I think I’m learning a lot from the reception of the piece. Agencies and companies always asked me to make something with my voice and something that could fit in the marketplace to sell well in order to get work. Interesting enough that a piece I made which calls out the industry a lot is getting positive feedback from these places. I’m happy they can laugh at themselves a bit and be open to more self-aware material.

Any particular reason for choosing nugget?

I don’t know why but I’m always attracted to food comedy. I think breaded chicken is also one of the greatest inventions ever and just so delicious. In many ways, the original of this film was a fake music video I made after high school called “Schnitzel Got Us Fallin’ In Love”. It was a rework of Usher’s DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love, but more about how breaded chicken has the power to unite us. It’s super dated but I will link it here!

What do you hope people will take away from ’The Pitch’?

I hope that agencies and companies that see it can take a step into a direction where they can take themselves a little less seriously. Also, I hope it inspires creatives to build their work from ideas they really want to make instead of using references to make things like other people. It’s a tall order, but hopefully it can at least spark some discussion and help people laugh and feel the pain of the situation.