Hollywood and the Elevator Pitch | CareerSupport365

Hollywood and the Elevator Pitch

Hollywood and the Elevator Pitch | CareerSupport365

What we know about human behaviour, it's critical that you make positive impressions in the first few seconds that you meet someone. When you do so, then the conversation will likely progress and engagement will deepen.

An 'Elevator Statement' can come in really handy when seeking to answer the question, ... "so what do you do?"

The main aim of an elevator statement is to pique curiosity so that the listener then asks you for more.

 

Taking a slice out of Hollywood

When pitching a script, writers use what’s called a logline. A logline distils a tome of work in to its essence of one to two sentences. Historically, a logline was published on the spine of a script. As it lay dormant in the libraries/archives of the major movie/production houses, anyone who ran their eyes over a logline could get an instant impression of the essence of a script.

What are the elements of a good logline?

A well-formed logline:

  1. Must have a protagonist with a goal.
  2. Must have an antagonist and an antagonistic force.
  3. Does not use a character name.
  4. Uses adjectives to describe the protagonist and the antagonist.
  5. Clearly presents the protagonist’s main goal.
  6. Describes the antagonist – in less details than the protagonist.

Jordan Smith, author of “Find the Core of Your Story”, proposes two broad templates:

Logline Template #1

An adjective protagonist must do something that will set up a climactic encounter an adjective antagonist/antagonistic force. So using Template #1, here is my logline of Titanic.

Titanic:

A working class young man falls in love with a beautiful well-to-do woman on the ill-fated maiden voyage of the Titanic. Titanic | Hollywood and the Elevator Pitch | CareerSupport365

Logline Template #2 

After something happens to set things up, an adjective protagonist must do something that will set up a climactic encounter with an adjective antagonist/ antagonistic force. Here, I’ve used Template #2 for one of my favourite films, Cider House Rules.

Cider House Rules:

Amidst the turmoil of World War 2, having lived all his life in the confines of an isolated orphanage hospital, a sickly young man follows his heart to pursue love of a beautiful woman, already betrothed to the soldier son of a wealthy apple farmer.

Cider House Rules | Hollywood and the Elevator Pitch | CareerSupport365

So what’s a logline got to do with an Elevator Statement?

If a script writer can grab a busy producer’s mind and heart within the first few seconds, then in the same way, a logline can be a useful guide for an elevator pitch when meeting a prospective employer/client or someone new at a cocktail party.

Using Logline Template #1 for an Elevator Statement:

Recapping: An adjective protagonist must do something that will set up a climactic encounter an adjective antagonist/antagonistic force.

Here’s one for a Tax Accountant:

I’m an expert accountant who tirelessly works within the tax laws so that my clients keep most of their income in their own pockets.

Using Logline Template #2 for an Elevator Statement:

Recapping: After something happens to set things up, an adjective protagonists must do something that will set up a climactic encounter with an adjective antagonist/ antagonistic force.

Here’s one for the same Tax Accountant:

No matter who is in power, it’s clear that governments waste too much money. I’m an expert accountant who tirelessly works within the tax laws so that my clients keep most of their income in their own pockets.

Have Fun Yourself

Try out Logline Templates #1 and #2 for your favourite movies.  It’s fun.

Then try them out for your own elevator statement.

And remember, the elevator pitch’s main aim is to move you to the next step, namely to find out more.

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About the author:

Greg Weiss is the Founder of CareerSupport365. He has almost 30 years success in HR and in career coaching people.