film project acquisitions
SUBMIT A PITCH
Let’s Work Together
While most of our film projects are developed in house, we’re open to hearing pitches for story ideas that fit the IN THE LAND OF VAPORS story universe. Think you have one? Pitch it to us!
Pitch Guideline & Tips
- Clearly state the title of your idea or concept in the “Proposed show title” box below and in all supporting materials for consistency.
- See more details about how to write a great pitch in our FAQs section.
- Be respectful. We are a family entertainment company. Edgy, satirical and irreverent entries are welcome, but vulgar and offensive…not so much.
- Be sure to agree to the Submissions Release Agreement before sending any of your creative assets our way. Upon selecting “I agree to the above terms and conditions” & “Submit”, you will then be prompted to submit your materials.
- Please remember, Mission Ranch Films DOES NOT accept unsolicited material. We accept story idea pitches through this site only. IF we like your idea and IF we are interested in reading more, we will request a copy of your completed manuscript or screenplay.
- Any unsolicited material received by this office will immediately be discarded.
- Submitting an idea to our Film Acquisitions Department in no way guarantees production of your work, or that your completed project will be requested for further consideration.
- Make sure your idea doesn’t already exist. Research past and current television programming and feature film production, and educate yourself on trends and market opportunities relating to your idea.
- Keep your pitch simple, focused and brief. Diving into too much detail can hinder the reader’s enthusiasm and attention.
- Make your log line awesome! Make it grab the reader’s attention.
- The focal point of your pitch should be built around your main character. Who is he/she? Where does he/she live? How does he/she see the world? What does he/she want/need? What does he/she do to pursue those goals? What obstacles stand in his/her way? What’s at stake for him/her? Why should the world care about this character?
- Get feedback from friends. Consider their thoughts and feedback and revise accordingly before submitting.
- Spell check and grammar check!!!
- Read through our entire FAQs sheet before submitting.
Frequently Asked Questions
What's the difference between "Production" and "Acquisition"?
Production means projects that have already been acquired and are in the process of being developed or have already been produced, and acquisitions means actively seeking projects to acquire for possible future production.
Why can't I submit my entire manuscript or screenplay?
It costs money to employ readers to plough through tens of thousands of scripts or manuscripts each year. The reality is that only a handful of completed projects out there will be good enough for a production company to want to develop your story and try to get it made as a feature film. In other words, the return on the money invested in reading unsolicited scripts and manuscripts is too small to make it viable for most companies. The fact is that we can determine almost immediately if a project has any film potential, which is why we ask for pitches instead of completed screenplays or manuscripts.
What is a pitch?
A pitch is a concise verbal or written presentation of an idea for a film or TV series, generally made by a writer or director to a producer in the hopes of being selected so as to be developed into a viable project.
What is the difference between a Pitch, Treatment, Outline, or Beat Sheet?
Every writer should learn the difference between Selling documents and Development documents.
Pitches & Treatments are Selling documents, which means they’ve been written to convince potential buyers of the marketability of an idea.
Outlines & Beat Sheets are Development documents, which means they will be written only after a producer has committed to an idea.
These documents help in the development process; you start with the initial idea and develop it towards the completion of a first draft. These documents are mainly for your benefit as a writer, in planning the story, structure, tone and content of your script; but they’re also for your producer or script editor to track how the story is developing, which enables them to give you valuable input and suggestions.
How long should my pitch be?
Brevity is key. A one-page synopsis is ideal. The bottom line is that producers and script editors want the shortest document possible to convince them of the strength and viability of your idea. Initially, if you can distill your brilliant idea down to a single page, then your idea is much more likely to be considered.
The trick is to write a one-page pitch that conveys the fullness of your idea. It’s hard because you have to leave out so much information, while at the same time including everything that’s important and integral to the idea.
What should I include in my pitch?
1. A Log Line
Start your pitch with the logline. A logline is a one, maybe two sentence description that boils the story down into its basic essence. It should be as succinct as possible. In other words, a good logline contains all of the essential ingredients of your story; who the main character is, what he or she wants, and what he or she must overcome to get it. In essence, a logline is the DNA of your script. If you can’t make the logline work, it’s probably an indication that the story as a whole doesn’t work. This is why some people suggest writing a logline for your idea before embarking on the script itself.
2. The Theme / The Writer’s Passion
With one page pitches and treatments, it’s really important to provide some sort of overview that succinctly expresses the idea as persuasively as possible, and that also explains why the writer is passionate about this idea in the first place. What prompted your interest in this story? What themes does your story explore? In other words, what’s this story really about, and why should we even care? The least persuasive pitches are those that are pure plot with no sense of meaning, tone, or context concerning the writer’s unique point of view. We do need to know the plot and the characters, but these will be far more interesting if we read about them after we’ve learned why you as a writer chose to tell this story, and why you feel that it NEEDS to be told.
3. Story Arc / Character Journey / Plot
Once you’ve explained the importance of your idea, you need to get into the nuts and bolts of the story. This means actually telling us what happens. Too often, writers pitch lofty, generic ideas, but without mentioning specific characters doing specific things to drive the action forward. It’s always important to demonstrate through story events and character actions just how exciting, moving, and impactful this story is going to be. Instead of telling us, ‘this is going to be the ultimate emotional rollercoaster,’ show us through specific story beats. Also, if your story has the most wonderful narrative twist or surprise reveal at the end, tell us what that is. This isn’t the place to be coy. The less good pitches deal in empty promises. It’s good to convey your sense of excitement as a writer, but your idea needs to be backed up by hard evidence. So, if you’re pitching a comedy, your one-page needs to be funny. A good rule of thumb is to deliver the plot. Don’t just tease.
What is Mission Ranch Films looking for?
1. First of all, we are looking for well-written, grammatically correct, thoughtfully prepared pitch documents, which clearly convey your ideas. Your one-page synopsis should be free of spelling errors or missing words. If it looks like you spent less time preparing the document than we spent evaluating it, you’ll get an automatic pass. We expect a high level of excellence and professionalism in every pitch submission.
2. We are also looking for stories that have real potential to be produced. Ideas that have already been written in script form will have the greatest potential for consideration. This is because it takes time and money to develop an idea or adapt a manuscript into a screenplay. This doesn’t mean that mere story ideas or manuscripts shouldn’t be submitted. It just means that viable pitches accompanied by a well-executed screenplay are more likely to be considered.
3. We want to see the best possible pitch that you can achieve, and, if requested, the best possible script or manuscript that you can write. We are not looking for early/first/rough drafts. Only submit your pitch to Mission Ranch Films when your material is truly ready, because each idea only gets one shot.
4. We look for original ideas and concepts – and original scripts and manuscripts that express those ideas. We do not look for more of the same – we look for something new. You story idea should not be cliché or trite or generic or overdone. If it’s not good enough to get published, then it’s probably not good enough to get produced, either.
5. While Mission Ranch Films will accept “R-rated” material and believes that some stories need sex, language, or violence to adequately tell the truth of that story, we are not interested in unnecessarily vulgar, sexually graphic, or gratuitously violent material.
6. Any story ideas must fit into the IN THE LAND OF VAPORS story universe. To find out more about this universe, read through our homepage. Then, if you think you have an idea or existing story that works, submit your pitch. If we like the pitch, but feel it needs to be tweaked to fit into our story universe, we will contact you and provide the information you need to be able to revise it for our purposes.
When will I hear back from someone at Mission Ranch Films?
Due to a high volume of pitches, please allow approximately 3-4 weeks before hearing back from us. No follow up phone calls or emails please.