Sometimes in independent production, it seems as though getting a project green-lit is harder than actually producing it. Often times, new producers (and even seasoned ones) need just the right connections to get networks or funders to look at their proposals. To really impress, a sizzle reel (3-minute trailer) is needed to convince the big bosses that a project is worth their time.
The new website SizzlePitch.com serves as a conduit for all types of producers to get their projects in front of the right eyes. The SizzlePitch staff, led by President Jijo Reed, have over forty years of combined experience developing and producing for television and film. The website and staff help you get your ideas in front of the execs by allowing you to upload an already produced sizzle reel (that’s free). If you need a sizzle reel that really sizzles they can produce one for you starting at $2,500 depending on the scope of your reel. And the good news is, you don’t need to have any connections or an established name in the industry for them to do it. As the website states “Finally there’s a destination where you don’t need to have “connections” to be connected.” Jijo and I recently discussed the mission behind SizzlePitch.com.
What gave you the idea to start SizzlePitch?
In 2002, I had the idea of creating a reality show that took place in a rehab in Malibu. I found a rehab that was willing to let me shoot and talk to the residents in this program. After shooting for days on end, I put together a “sizzle” trailer to pitch the concept. VH1 loved it and ordered a pilot based on the sizzle. It’s now the hit show Celebrity Rehab. At the beginning of this year, I took a look at a list of my credits and realized that of the hundreds of projects I have produced, I enjoyed creating sizzles the most. The prospect of giving life to a concept, whether through “borrowed” footage or specifically shot footage, is extremely rewarding and, nowadays, necessary to the pitch process. When a visual representation of an idea is introduced, as opposed to just a verbal pitch, the chances of closing a deal is increased exponentially. My background in producing trailers for finished films has definitely been helpful in creating the right “flow” in the footage.
Or what are some successes you’ve had with SizzlePitch?
Our most recent successes are USS Indianapolis and Headshot. We created what we call “film sizzles” for both of these “yet to made” projects. With only a script to go from, we created the sizzles by using clips from various movies and other miscellaneous content, wrote trailer copy and created title graphics, then of course, cut it all to music. USS Indianapolis has both an “A’ list director and actor attached; and foreign pre-sales are in the works. The sizzle for Headshot, a horror film, was the major reason the entire budget was financed. It is in Pre-production now and shooting starts July 7th.
What has been the industry reaction to SizzlePitch?
The reaction has been amazing mainly because there are no real companies that specialize in sizzles at the level that we do. There are companies that offer this type of service but we are dedicated to packaging prospective film & TV projects. Also we have an online component to showcase sizzles, so not only are we creating these pieces, but we offer a platform for producers to gain exposure and share their projects. We also offer script budgeting, profit & loss projections, website creation and digital key-art (poster art) for film & TV projects.
What is the most important thing that producers should know when creating a pitch reel?
A pitch reel should be able to “stand alone” without a verbal accompaniment. It should leave no questions as to what type of show it is or what it’s about. Also the production value of the piece should reflect the production value of the intended finished product. There’s never a benefit in under-selling or over-selling a project. Furthermore, it should be fun and interesting to watch and not be longer than 3min 30 seconds. 2 and 1/2 to 3 minutes is an ideal running time for most pitch reels.
What is most fun about working on SizzlePitch?
We love what we do here! Every project is a “passion” project because of the heart behind each project. I applaud anyone who is willing to put their dreams and goals in action. There are so many “producers” out there and even more people with “an idea” but the ones who really take action win my respect immediately. It’s so very rewarding to see a project get picked up and know that we were instrumental in that specific achievement. Sizzlepitch’s lead editor, Karo Blikian sums it up “When a writer or producer sees their script come to life in our sizzles, we can’t help but to share in their excitement. It definitely doesn’t suck to see the reactions.”
To check out some of the reels produced by SizzlePitch visit:
For more information about SizzlePitch visit: