THE MISCHIEF SISTERS
Alison specializes in documentaries that can make a difference. She made the Logie winning Choir of Hard Knocks whilst at the ABC, and has recently completed a Churchill Fellowship that researched engaging and accessible documentaries that can bring about social change.
She created and developed two series of Changing Minds for the ABC, whilst at Northern Pictures. It was the first series in Australia where television cameras were allowed into locked mental health wards. The series were Aacta and Walkley nominated, and described by the Sydney Morning Herald as surely one of the most important programs in the history of Australian television.
Through the Mischief Sisters, along with business partner Maz Farrelly she mentors and runs workshops on pitching and development. She’s a member of the AIDC Advisory committee, an external assessor for Screen Queensland and sits on many industry panels.
Marion and Alison will be hosting a Roundtable together at this year’s SCREEN FOREVER Conference.
Ready, Steady, Pitch
A breakdown on what Marion and Alison are expecting to receive in pitches:
When you are pitching in our world you are essentially saying this – ‘I want you to give me at least a million dollars and put your job on the line’ – when you realise this is what you’re actually asking for you also realise this – your pitch has to do some very very heavy lifting. It must contain…
1. A CATCHY HEADLINE – when I have a kazillion other things to do, you have to make me WANT to pick your pitch up and read it
2. A VISUAL that grabs me and tells the story of your pitch
3. YOUR ONE LINER – you have to be able to explain what the show is in one line. People constantly say they can’t but here’s the thing – you just HAVE to.
Points 1 & 2 are your click bait – in this competitive market, your headline and your visual have to make me want to make the effort to read your pitch – it’s not their duty to read your pitch, it’s your job to entice them to read
3. SYNOPSIS – YOUR IDEA IN A NUTSHELL – this is one paragraph or our eyes will start to bleed – grab my attention and keep it – it’s OK to start with a provocative question or a killer fact, this grabs my attention and now you have it, tell me the following – what it is – genre – how many episodes – duration – why it has to be made / exist – why now – why it is different – what the USP (Unique Selling Point) – why should it be made by you – where it will sit – when – who will watch it and why and know this, HOPE IS NOT A STRATEGY –
4. YOUR CONTACT DETAILS – Obvious, but we’ve seen great ideas with no idea who’s pitched them.