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Writing Wrap Up: Look at Me Now! - Using Key Art

Hi there! Welcome to the maiden launch of the Writing Wrap Up. I’m Paula Landry, MBA, business & media consultant, and I’m excited to work with Script Magazine. Wrapping something means completing or packaging – presenting your work to the marketplace. To sell your screenplay, it must be wrapped up.

As writers, we should constantly seek opportunities for pitching our work, pitch festivals are a concentrated arena for just that. There is an extensive list in my new book with Marilyn Horowitz, Sell Your Screenplay, and there are new opportunities all the time! Set a Google Alert to get these delivered regularly into your email.

The Great American PitchFest recently wrapped up and there were many production companies and many pitches, here’s a PAULA’S PITCH POINTER for YOUR upcoming pitches – hopefully you are planning to attend an upcoming pitchfest soon. Two big ones include:


“You looking at me?” Audio visual storytelling is inherently visual and must attract the eye, whether your story is written for the web, big screen or TV.

How visual is your story? If you’re pitching Young Adult or Children’s material, something high concept or an animated project, and you’re planning to pitch – give us something to look at.

1. Who is your audience & what is your genre?

2. PICK ONE. Based on your answer above, your image should be:

Funny, cute, scary, thoughtful, romantic, militaristic, monstrous, cartoon-like, serious...


Assuming your concept is ready to go, you have invested time, materials and the money to get to write, and attend a pitchfest or related event. Why not invest some time and energy into partnering up with an illustrator or storyboard artist to give you one strong image? The key art on a movie poster is a powerful selling tool, and you can add that to your arsenal, just make sure it’s the right image.

What makes a good image? Look at winning visuals out there now – quirky character designs in a film like Despicable Me, that is what goes on your 1-sheet.

If you are looking for ideas, there’s no better place than to check out film posters in IMDB or winners of recent Key Art Awards.

3. What are your three favorite movie posters & why?

If you are not sure, set a timer for 30 seconds, look around online and get a feel for what attracts you.


Whether it is a completed screenplay, one-sheet or a treatment, presentation can aide you in selling your work and in pitching as well. A film with a title like Jurassic Park and the corresponding silhouette of a dinosaur underlines exactly what the story is about.

A scary film, like The Conjuring, should have a creepy image. Cute goes with cute, funny with funny and so forth.

There are a million places to find great images: Fotolia, Shutterstock, Pinterest, Wikimedia, or just start out on the Creative Commons to find images which artists have agreed to share their pictures under certain conditions, (don’t sell the image, make sure to credit the artist, etc.).


You have put this much time and energy into your work, go that extra step, find an art or graphic design student at SVA, professional artist at an exhibit, look online, or on a place like Burrito Boards (storyboard artists).

What have YOU learned from pitching? Please let me know – shoot me an email at or on LinkedIn.

© [Paula Landry] [2013] [All Rights Reserved]

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