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How to Write a Sip Pitch

"How do you pitch a project idea? In this article Chris Hogg introduces the 'Sip Pitch' to quickly engage people with your creative concept"
© StoryFutures Academy

The sip pitch is a simple sentence that packs a punch! In the film & TV industry, it’s called a logline. Essentially, the sip-pitch gives a flavour of your experience and captures the attention and imagination of audiences, commissioners and investors….It is quite simple and consequently a difficult thing to get right.

As a maker I know just how difficult it is to talk about my own projects. I simply have too much information about it in my head. Where do I even begin?

However trying to craft a sip pitch, is a very valuable experience. It forces me to get straight to the point. And I know that if I can’t explain my project perhaps there is a problem and that I might need to think through the original project idea again.

Remember, the aim of sip-pitch is to begin a conversation. There is an art to that.

Three people with drinks at a party

Here’s an example that I am working on at the moment. Go with me.

I love audio books. I love being told stories in that way. I plug in my headphones and walk. Simple as that. During our confinements of 2020. I wrote a childhood memoir called ‘9 Holidays I Wish I Had Never Been On’. I decided to record it as an audiobook.

However, then I got excited by the immersive possibilities of binaural headphones. Then I got excited by the fact that audiobooks get delivered through smartphones. Then I got excited by the possibility of the smartphone listening to the story too. They are getting so clever these days. Then I realised that perhaps we might first come across the birth of Artificial Intelligence in such a way. Then I got excited by the possibility of thinking about what would happen if my childhood memoir was somehow so moving that the smartphone started reacting to the story too. What would that sound like on headphones?

You can see how complicated the creative process gets, and how difficult it might be to get all those ideas across! The first thing to realise is that in a sip-pitch you can only give a small FLAVOUR of the coming attractions of your immersive experience.

Let’s fill my glass and see if a sip pitch could help me out…

“Oh hi.”
“What are you doing at the moment?”
“Me? Wow. Thanks for asking… I’m writing a memoir that I’m also an audio book, that is also an immersive headphone experience, that lets you experience the birth of AI on your smartphone.”
Whilst this is okay. There is still a lot to take in. Perhaps too many possible questions. It is difficult to get a fix on what genre it fits into.
People like to frame new experiences in what they know already. It is reassuring to them, and lets people know what is expected of them as an audience member. For example, when you are deciding with your family what to watch on the television in the evening, you know what mood you are in and what genres of content are available. You match your mood to the content available. If you are in the mood for something spectacular, you might go for a Marvel Movie.
If I then take my idea through the second playground chat test. Perhaps we could get to the essence.
“Hey – Have you done that immersive experience where that audio book comes alive and starts taking over your phone!”
This starts framing the idea in a more definable genre. It starts being Science Fiction.
This is helpful.
Let’s fill my glass again…
“Oh hi.”
“What are you doing at the moment?”
“Me? Wow. Thanks for asking… I’m making a SciFi immersive experience about an audiobook that comes alive on your phone.”
This is okay, but it doesn’t quite sum it up, perhaps as Smartphones exist in your pocket, perhaps the last line should be:
“I’m making a SciFi immersive experience about an audiobook that takes over your smartphone and comes alive in your pocket!”

Much better. It allows people to bring in what they know about Sci Fi and start a conversation, even if they don’t know anything about immersive production. It also gets something across about how the experience might make you FEEL… Like a potential Frankenstein’s Monster coming alive in your pocket!

© StoryFutures Academy
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