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How can I improve this pitch?


#1

Here is what I have at present:

A super-powered secret agent becomes the guardian of his slain contact’s super-powered teenage daughter.

Any ideas on how to improve it?


#2

Maybe add how he has the distinct talent to put his foot though anyone’s chest!


#3

I feel using super-powered twice is kind of redundant.

A secret agent with amazing powers becomes the guardian of his slain contact’s super-powered teenage daughter.

I don’t know much about your protagonist. You could use more descriptive adjectives in the pitch that directly describe them.

A troubled secret agent with super powers must protect a headstrong teenage girl with powers of her own after his contact is murdered.


#4

Here’s a somewhat revised version:

A secret agent with cat-like powers becomes the guardian of his murdered contact’s teenage daughter, who has powers of her own.


#5

Target not contract?


#6

A super-powered secret agent becomes the guardian of his super-powered teenage niece, daughter of his slain enemy (and brother).


#7

How about “associate” not contact.


#8

That does sound better.


#9

colleague might work too.

“A secret agent with cat-like powers becomes the guardian of his murdered colleague’s daughter; a teenager with powers of her own.”


#10

(Looks at cat.)

CAT: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

ME: I really wish I had those powers.


#11

What tone is it? Is it serious or comedic? Drama filled or more of a buddy movie?


#12

Well from what I’ve gleaned it seems kind of kingsman-y so you could try.

A Super Spy must go from dealing with evil villains to spoilt teenagers when he becomes guardian of his most trusted contact’s super powered daughter; more interested in shopping than saving the world.

Think Bond meets Clueless.


#13

Actually, I was thinking more “Agents of SHIELD” meets “Léon: The Professional”.


#14

How about a road trip for the characters?


#15

I think everyone should at least read Blake Snyder’s Save The Cat! in this regard if not follow it word for word. It’s especially good at focusing the way you pitch the story.

https://goodinaroom.com/blog/6-things-about-pitching-you-can-learn-from-blake-snyder/

Right now, that’s just the logline or one-line, but it has to really sell a whole story. So far, it’s just set up but does it have enough punch? Snyder would call this irony - something unexpected in the summary - the hook.

Examples:

A cop comes to L.A. to visit his estranged wife and her office building is taken over by terrorists – Die Hard.
A businessman falls in love with a hooker he hires to be his date for the weekend – Pretty Woman.

“slain contact’s superpowered daughter” is a little complicated and vague for me. Maybe think of something that introduces a little more immediate conflict.

A super-powered secret agent becomes the guardian of his slain enemy’s superpowered teenage daughter.

or

After he kills his arch-nemesis, a superhuman secret agent becomes the legal guardian of the dead villain’s thirteen year old daughter, but she’s inherited her father’s powers and thirst for world domination.

or skip the killed part and leave the nemesis alive - and make her a woman.

When he finds out that he’s the father of his arch-enemy’s teenage daughter, a super-powered secret agent goes rogue and kidnaps the girl, but he soon discovers that she’s not only inherited her mother’s powers but also a thirst for world domination.

It depends on the story you want to tell, and you might find that your story changes based on how you want to pitch it. The idea is that you get a “compelling mental picture” when you hear it of how the story will progress.

How would you pitch it if you were using characters everyone recognizes?


#16

Superhero espionage trappings aside, I want to tell a love story. Not romantic love, obviously, but of a budding surrogate parent-child love.


#17

Something like-?

When his actions lead to the murder of his most trusted underworld informant, a superhuman secret agent rescues the dead man’s teenage daughter from the killers, but he discovers she also has superpowers and doesn’t want his protection.

Basically, a sense of a story needs the complication in there, right? If you’re telling a story about what happened to you, you don’t pick events that were completed as intended.

“I asked the waitress for the check and then I paid it,” is not a story, is it? And we probably know a lot of people who do this. Their idea of a story is just something happened. They could go through a description of their drive to work for ten minutes and at the end, it could be summed up as “I drove to work, and there was some traffic.”

“I asked her for the check, and when I signed it, she had written her name and phone number on the receipt.” That’s the beginning of a story. It has the reversal or complication in it. (I’d give it the title, Customer Copy. ;))

You see this at work in the scenes, too. There’s never a scene in a movie (one you’ll watch for more than a few minutes, anyway) where the action at the beginning of the scene is carried through as expected to the end of the scene.

In LEON, like you mentioned, look at the opening scene. Leon takes out armed men faster than Jason eviscerates nubile teens at Summer Camp. Then he finally reaches his target, puts a knife to his throat… and does not kill him.

Or even more mundane scenes - for example, in THE TERMINATOR. When Sarah Connor goes to work at Big Buns Burgers, she doesn’t just go to work, she’s late for work. She doesn’t take people their orders, she messes up and takes the wrong orders to people. Then at work she’s confronted with a news report that “Sarah Connor” has just been murdered in Los Angeles. That last part is what’s important for the plot, but the movie keeps your attention by introducing unexpected complications to every action in the scenes leading up to that revelation. Also, it sets up the fact that, as good hearted as she is, she isn’t responsible, doesn’t pay attention and absolutely is not the sort of person who could survive a cyborg assassin’s attack. Complications are the way stories deliver character and plot.


#18

Another angle I’ve been considering:

A teenager with emerging superpowers befriends her new next-door neighbor who just happens to be a super-powered covert operative.


#19

I like that one, too. It’s still a buddy movie, but switches the pov from the man to the girl.

Play around with it and tell it to people see what catches their attention the best.


#20

Or:

A super-powered freelance operative is assigned to watch a teenager with emerging superpowers, finding himself developing a fatherlike affection towards her.