Alex Di Marco is another filmmaker whose advice I found to be extremely valuable. He talked about how to win a job. How do you get clients? How can you better communicate your vision to a clients and your team? His answer, the treatment.
Di Marco went in depth on how to create a compelling treatment, including the overall tone of the piece, a look-book and color palette and the technical aspects of which equipment and shots he’ll use. All of this is done upfront. He does a lot of thinking and work on spec (for free) before he has the job, and that has made all the difference in his career.
Di Marco also mentioned even with a great treatment, the client may not like it, but they’ll appreciate the effort. On more than one occasion, he’s had a client not go with his first treatment, but he got the job because they appreciated his effort and saw the quality of his work.
Many filmmakers balk at the idea of doing any work for free, but in this competitive market, commercial directors and producers have to go the extra mile. It can be time consuming, but it’s that type of well thought out pitch that wins the job.