for THE PITCHING PROCESS
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Our Guidelines and Best Practices for the Pitching Process define the basic expectations of all parties in the beginning stages of the music video process. These guidelines were composed by a group of directors from all levels of the industry, from the successful veterans to the fresh new faces still in the trenches. In order to make sure they properly reflected the industry, they gathered the feedback from our community of directors, reps, production companies, and label commissioners.
In short, we are asking for three simple things:
If you would like to better understand this document’s details and additional benefits, you can read our Guidelines and Best Practices for the Pitching Process PDF by clicking the button below.
Though there are many amazing aspects of music video production that make it special, everyone can agree that the music video process can and should be better. Too many directors, especially younger directors, are burning out, often because of the pitching process. In many cases up to 40+ directors are writing treatments for one music video, working uncompensated for days without confirmation their treatment is considered or even received, and only find out they lost the job when the finished video comes out online. After months or sometimes years of this lack of transparency and respect, many talented and even “successful” directors end up financially broke and demoralized without a clear path to continue their careers. We can and must do better.
If we all band together and pledge to adhere to these pitching guidelines, it will be an essential first step to make music video production more efficient and more respectful—not only for directors, but also for the music video industry at large. Not only will it empower each of us to hold one another accountable, but it will also educate and inspire the next generation to do better and expect better.
WHY START WITH THE PITCHING PROCESS
We believe the best way to make changes is to focus on one or two issues at a time. Based on the feedback we’ve received from the community it quickly became clear the pitching process is one of the biggest sources of frustration and wasted time for many directors, reps, and commissioners. By establishing a more respectful and organized workflow from the beginning of the process, improvements will trickle down to all stages of production.
This is our call to the rest of the industry to continue this conversation. We see this as the first step of many to build a foundation that will help us move forward and pave the way for more guidelines that our industry sorely needs.
You might be asking, how is this going to work? Is everyone expected to always follow these guidelines? Won’t rules kill what makes this industry special?
Don’t worry, we believe we have crafted a way forward that addresses all of these concerns while still promoting a more humane process. These are guidelines after all, not hard fast rules, so there is still a degree of flexibility for each individual or company to adapt them to their own workflow.
But how will we enforce these guidelines? Through the strength of collective bargaining, the more individuals and companies that adopt these guidelines, the more powerful they become. It is much harder to take advantage of directors when we all have the same requests and hold the industry to the same high standards. In addition to this, when a production company or music video representative adopts these guidelines, they are protecting every single director on their roster, regardless of status or experience. Lastly, it is in our right as a community to notify one another about the individuals or companies who consistently or deliberately break from these guidelines, to help each other avoid undesirable or exploitative work situations, thus disincentivizing such actions.
Of course there are going to be many circumstances that arise that are out of our control and will force us to deviate from these guidelines. But even in those situations, these guidelines make it clear that all parties should still proceed in good faith and with as much transparency as possible. After all, we all share the same goal: to make the best music videos we can.
Whether you’re a director, producer, musician, label commissioner, or production company, or anyone else who wants to see our industry change, we need you to publicly pledge your support for our mission and guidelines. We know that the unpredictable nature of music video production won’t always make this easy, but by pledging your support you are agreeing to adhere to these guidelines to the best of your ability given your circumstances. The more companies and individuals who pledge their support, the stronger this document becomes. Pledge your support below!
Still have questions? Here are our Pitching Guidelines FAQs.
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