Not all of the pitches need to meet the requirements below, but they should have at least one of these qualities.
Memorable characters: We are looking for characters you can’t forget. Think about people who you’ve interviewed for past stories and have not been able to stop thinking about, or have found yourself keeping in touch with. People who are charismatic, idiosyncratic, who are good talkers, or who deserve to have their story told.
For example: In Two Years, one of our favorite characters was Marjorie, a gregarious old woman in Maine. We kept talking with her simply because she was fun to talk to, and eventually a story came to fruition.
Diversity: An important hallmark for these documentaries is diversity. We want to present a mix of conservatives and liberals, and we will want to know about your characters’ ethnic background and how they identify. Be prepared to answer those questions.
People affected by policy: We will be looking for characters are in situations that are likely to change or be directly affected by policy. For example: an ex-felon in Florida who will be able to vote for the first time in 2020 thanks to a change in the law.
If your characters are living with the effects of policy, that will also be a plus (in terms of pitching). For example, a family separated at the border, now reunited, and living with the trauma of that experience.
People in Difficult to Reach Communities or Situations This could be because of remote-ness, or because they are part of a culture (like prisoners or police officers) who are not often available for interview.
Tape already gathered: The “time-lapse” effect is a key part of these documentaries; by gathering tape from people over a long period of time, we are able to show gradual changes. The more tape we have, the better. Special consideration will be given to those who have already recorded with the individuals they are pitching. Please include clips or links to audio if you have them.
Any questions, email us at email@example.com.