REVIEW: Jaws in Space - Powerful Pitching for Film and TV Screenwriters by Charles Harris

Darling ones,

Kamera have done it again with this practical guide to the dread subject of PITCHING, written by Charles Harris. If you have the good fortune to know Charles through the London Screenwriters' Festival or Euroscript, then you will be familiar with his no-nonsense approach. The great thing about Charles' advice is that it's all actionable. You will also glean a lot from his own experience in the film world. This reviewer was amazed at Charles' indefatigable nature - best to develop it yourself, you're going to need it. Yet, and I think this a salient point, Charles makes the whole process of pitching seem so enjoyable. If nothing else, even if you don't get your work of genius made, you'll meet loads of like-minded people and go to places you never dreamed of.

If you've read anything else in this excellent imprint on screenwriting, you'll know that they're written by people passionate about writing and film, who are working in the industry NOW. Refreshingly free of any 'guru' style pomposity, Jaws in Space tells it like it is, with handy tips at the end of every chapter. But of course, it's not just about tips and advice on the pitch itself, it's all about RELATIONSHIPS in the film world. The allies you nurture will stand you in good stead - the creative act is one of collaboration. As Charles himself says in the intro: 'Pitching will not only help sell your ideas but develop them in the first place. it helps you clarify character and refine plot. it makes it easier to collaborate with others. Every good writer, director and producer I know is excellent at pitching.'

The exercises interspersed throughout this very accessible book will give you insights into every part of the process, from the 'art' of the pitch to when things go wrong (and they will) and beyond. Above all, Charles wants you to succeed at pitching your film, be it mainstream, documentary, short or arthouse, for film or TV. The visual media industry is a monster, they're always looking for good writing that will sell.


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