Selling Your Story in 60 Seconds: The Guaranteed Way to get Your Screenplay or Novel Read, Michael Hauge
– published by Michael Wiese Productions
When asked by screenGRAB editor-in-chief to review Selling Your Story in 60 Seconds, I jumped at the chance. Whenever I am asked to recommend a scriptwriting book, I always point them towards Hauge’s previous publication: Writing Screenplays That Sell. This is the book that helped me get my head around scriptwriting when I was a film student in Dublin and I’ve returned to it many times, when questioning whether a story I’m developing is working or not.
I decided to read Hauge’s latest book whilst on a recent trip to a pitching competition in Helsinki. The MEDIA Engage programme is a training initiative for writers, directors and producers, aimed at fostering international co-productions. Feeling anxious about pitching to a panel that included legendary indie producer Christine Vachon, I decided that I needed all the help I could get and took Hauge’s book along as my secret weapon.
I quickly warmed to the book and its style, which unlike a lot of scriptwriting books I could mention, doesn’t waste the first hundred pages telling you how the book is going to change your life. Instead Hauge gets stuck in straight away, starting with his cardinal rule of pitching: ‘the single biggest mistake writers make in pitching is this: They try to tell their story’. With this as the basis for the lessons to follow, Hauge’s sets out his eight steps to a powerful pitch and then guides the reader through preparation, design and delivery of a pitch.
I particularly appreciated Hauge’s ten key components of a commercial story, which was almost a condensed version of his previous book. As with Writing Screenplays that Sell, Hauge loves his checklists and they are a useful tool for anyone with a script in hand who need some direction for a rewrite. Further sections explore opportunities to pitch and how to find and target possible buyers.
This book does much more than simply explain how to sell a story in 60 seconds; it is a complete guide to the whole process of preparing your script for the marketplace and an A-Z of what to do to get it sold. The book will appeal to emerging as well as experienced writers and producers and anyone who wants a helping hand to navigate the scary world of selling their screenplay.
And did the book deliver? Well, after reading it and using some of its suggested techniques we pitched our feature to Christine Vachon amongst others and came away with 1st prize. I for one am glad I took the book along.
Selling Your Story in 60 Seconds is available from The Book Depository here for £6.59 as well as other usual stores.
Paul Ryan, Producer