By following my guidelines you can teach yourself the powerful art of hypnotic writing. This can be used in your query letter, synopsis and screenplay pitch to great effect. Using hypnotic writing in your script sales pitches can be the difference between no sale and a million dollars in the bank. Hypnotism is the use of focused suggestion.
You might occasionally get calls from salesmen hawking products. The secret to the game is that they all have scripts, written with the power of suggestion to convince you that you need their product. In reality you probably don’t but these pitches are damn convincing.
Before I knew about the hypnotic methods salesmen use I nearly purchased double glazing from a telephone salesmen…despite the fact I already had double glazing.
That is the power of hypnotic writing!
The first tools you need to become a hypnotic sales writer are passion and sincerity. Since this is your screenplay that you are selling you should already be full of these. You need to believe with all your heart that the agents and producers need to buy your screenplay for their sake as well as yours. Your screenplay is your product and you should show a lot of enthusiasm for it.
Now you have the tools you need a hook. The hook is simple and I’m sure you’ll have heard it before. All you need to do is promise results in a set amount of time.
“Give me an hour and I’ll tell you the greatest story ever told!”
Look at that again. What an offer! You’re instantly showing the agents and producers of the world how enthusiastic you are of your screenplay, and how little time it will take them to read through. An hour for a box office smash seems like a great deal. Open your letter/pitch with this and you’ll have them instantly hooked, now you need to keep them interested.
They’ve took the bait, now reel them in.
7 Points To Hooking And Keeping Your Audience
This is where you want to convey the benefit of interest to the audience. “Give me an hour and I’ll tell you the greatest story ever told!” makes for a great headline. Get over with your why they should read your screenplay any way you can.
“Have the next Hollywood Blockbuster delivered right to you!”
That headline on a query letter would entice an agent or producer to get you to send your script to them. Getting your screenplay read is half the battle in selling it. Wouldn’t you want to read a screenplay that was introduced like this?
2. Opening Paragraph
Just like the first ten pages of your screenplay you want to make this captivating. Be creative, anything to keep their curiosity peaked. Give a grandiose speech about how the movie industry is dying and you and your screenplay are here to save it. Whatever you need to do to get the audience to pay attention.
3. The Offer And Its Advantages
Now you hit them with what you have to offer. Let them know briefly what your script is about and how enthusiastic about it you are. Keep it short and sweet and then tell them why they should buy your screenplay. Say you’ve done market research which suggests that there’s a lot of movie to be made in this genre after the success of…(name the most recent, similar and successful movie).
4. Appeal To Their Ego
“This is the screenplay that could turn everyone involved into icons!”
Everyone in Hollywood wants two thing, fame and money. You can offer them both with your screenplay. Always refer to the reader. Use “you”, “your” and their name if you know it. This keeps the sale personal, more like a correspondence between friends than a pitch.
You want to make your query letter as simple to read as possible. Keep paragraphs short and words easy to understand.
You should also look to make the important parts of your letter stand out. Single them out by using bold or italic text to draw the eye towards them.
6. Should You Ask Questions?
Yes you should! Keep the audience involved, keep the pitch interactive.
“Wouldn’t you like…?”
“Can you imagine if…?”
“Do you know what I mean?”
These questions force your audience to pay attention because you’re asking a question of them. They need to take in your information to be able to answer them.
7. A Strong Finish
You’ve got them where to want them. Leave your audience in a position where they have to act. Tell them to write back or call you to take advantage of this fabulous opportunity. Then sum up your entire pitch with a single sentence.
“This is the script will be a game-changer.”
“Can your afford to miss out on this opportunity?”
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article. Scriptwriting is a cutthroat industry. Teach yourself hypnotic writing to give yourself that vital edge.