What It’s Like To Pitch A Movie Idea To Ridley Scott by Corey Mandell

Film Courage: Can you recall the meeting you had with Ridley Scott?

Corey Mandell, Screenwriter/Instructor: Like it was yesterday! And I will answer that but I’m going to be annoying and answering something…I want to talk about the meeting I had before Ridley Scott because I think there is a teaching moment in here.

So I had an idea for a movie and I pitched it to my agent and she goes Oh! I think this is great. Let’s take it out to the marketplace. And then she said Let’s make a list of our dream places that we want to sell it to. So if you could sell it to anyone, who would it be? And it was so heady I thought Oh yeah, who would I sell it to? And I said Ridley Scott! And she kind of laughed like Okay…yeah. We will take it there and then when they pass we will go down the list and then we will go to places that actually could.

So I go into Ridley Scott’s and I pitch with Sue Williams, who is a development executive (smart, nicest woman). And this is really important when you are pitching is you are trying to get as much information.

I was pitching her this project and at some point I saw her body language shift and I go Oooh, is something off about that? And she goes Ridley doesn’t like these kind of things. I think this is really exciting for him but not if it is going down that road.

And I’m like What kind of things does Ridley Scott like? And so she started sharing things and it was so helpful so we could kind of retool the pitch together. And so she was instrumental.

When you go to someone you are pitching you are trying to get as much…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).

Check out the book Mindset (which Corey refers to in many of his Film Courage videos)




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SAWGRASS on Youtube by Jack Peterson. Jack is an American filmmaker based in Chicago. He’s been featured in the New York Times, the Daily Beast, and ABC News for his work as an activist. His first feature film, Sawgrass, is a psychedelic journey through Florida, featuring an extensive interview with the brother of the Las Vegas shooter. Sawgrass also features a performance by the Rock-afire Explosion, a vintage animatronic band created by famed inventor Aaron Fechter. Jack’s next feature film, My Perfect Everything, tells the story of a magician chasing an imaginary woman he met in 1989. My Perfect Everything is currently in the early stages of pre-production.