How To Sell Your Movie Idea (Without Movie Studio Connections)

Table Of Contents

  1. Beyond Your Movie Idea
    1. 1. The Logline
    2. 2. The Synopsis
    3. 3. The Treatment
    4. 4. The Pitch
    5. 5. The Screenplay
  2. Sell Your Movie Idea
  3. TL;DR
  4. Questions About Selling Your Movie Idea
  5. Glossary

If you want to sell your movie idea, you’re not alone. Living in Los Angeles, I meet creative people with blockbuster ideas.

Unless you are already well connected (with lots of credibility), it’s tough to pitch an idea to a major motion picture studio.

How do you get around this problem?

Simple. You make sure you have more than a movie idea.

 Sell Your Movie Idea
How To Sell Your Movie Idea

Everybody in Hollywood has an idea for a movie.

Everybody thinks they can write screenplays.

Everybody thinks they are unique. Everybody is crossing their fingers, waiting and praying that SOMEONE ELSE will recognize their talent and sprinkle them with Hollywood’s famous fairy dust.

The other day, I got my oil changed. While waiting, I overheard two people pitching movie ideas to each other. Both hopefuls wanted the same thing.

Each was hoping the other person would produce THEIR movie.

And one of them bragged about knowing some movie star.

Beyond Your Movie Idea

In this example, even if these guys were honest, there would have been no buyer in the conversation; there would have been only sellers with an idea or two.

Ideas are everywhere, and opinions are worth less than something tangible.

If you want to be taken seriously, make sure you have more than an idea.

I suggest having the rights to a great story, some money in the bank, or the interest of a NAME actor. Or you already have a fantastic screenplay. At least, this is something.

Before you start the process, think about the end goal. Are you planning to pitch to a studio producer or some prospective investors?

If it’s investors, then start with your business plan.

If they’re interested, it’s time to talk business.

Use Movie Plan Pro to lay out the plan from funding to filming to distribution. This isn’t just about numbers, though they’re essential.

It’s about showing you’ve got what it takes to turn that great idea into a great film.

1. The Logline:

First things first, you need a logline. It’s a single sentence that sums up your movie idea.

Think of it as the hook, something so catchy and intriguing that anyone who hears it will want to know more.

It’s not just what your movie is about but why it’s a must-see.

2. The Synopsis:

Next up, you need a synopsis.

This isn’t a novel. Keep it short and sweet.

Lay out your story from start to finish. Include the main plot points, the big twists, and how it ends.

Make it engaging – this is your chance to turn that initial interest into genuine excitement.

3. The Treatment:

Now, let’s get into the details with a treatment.

This is your story, characters, and world, all laid out. It’s more detailed than a synopsis but not a script.

It’s a glimpse into the movie you want to make, something so vivid that it feels natural.

4. The Pitch:

Alright, you’ve got their attention. Now it’s time for the pitch.

This is where you sell not just the movie but yourself. Be confident, passionate, and, most importantly, prepared.

Know your story inside and out, and be ready to answer any questions they throw your way.

5. The Screenplay

If your pitch went well, it’s time to make sure your screenplay is producer-ready.

I’m assuming you either already have a screenplay. Or you now have an interested investor… This means you need a great screenplay to match your movie business plan.

If you’re writing it yourself, set a regular schedule and make sure your script tells your story well with interesting characters and a good plot.

If you suck at writing, you’ll need to partner with someone who can write.

Sell Your Movie Idea

While taking your movie idea from script to screen is challenging, it is not impossible.

Once you have all your elements in place, your next step is to create a screenplay, a production schedule, and a budget.

Because making movies is incredible, many prospective investors outside Hollywood would be interested in funding movie projects.

Advice On How To Sell Your Movie Script

Story aside, some people are interested in backing a project because they think it will help them find love, make more money, or give them something to brag about on the golf course.

If this aspect of film production seems crazy and you have never sold a thing, I highly recommend getting a sales job.

This will teach you cold-calling skills and how to face rejection, and if you’re good, you might make a few bucks in the process. And if you haven’t yet noticed…

Selling your movie idea starts with selling you.


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...Without Begging For Money!

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Why Should Your Buyer Care?

Everybody asks: What’s in it for me? Addressing this question is the number one rule of any negotiation. And you know what? Most would-be producers screw this up. Don’t pitch a horror movie to someone looking for a love story.

And don’t pitch a documentary to someone who makes action films.

This seems obvious. But you’d be surprised.

I know life would be a lot easier if you could make a pitch and sell your movie idea. But for some reason, the world doesn’t work this way.

Breaking into Hollywood is more than having a stellar idea; it’s about proving you can bring it to life. Don’t get stuck in the “idea phase.”

In this industry, action speaks louder than words. Relationships are key because you need a solid plan to turn your screenplay into a film. Hollywood is built on connections. Every conversation is a step closer to making your dream a reality.

Many filmmakers started on small projects and “leveled up” their careers. With each project came more experience and credibility.

Stop making excuses and take action.


To sell your movie idea, you need more than just a story. Make sure you have a sharp logline, a solid synopsis, and a great pitch. But most importantly, be ready to sell yourself.

Get your screenplay in shape, and maybe find some funding or an actor interested.

In Hollywood, it’s not just what you know but who you know that counts. Be prepared to work hard, and don’t give up. Your effort could turn your dream into reality.

Questions About Selling Your Movie Idea

Here are answers to frequent questions about how to sell your movie.

What do I need besides a movie idea to sell it successfully?

You need more than just the idea to sell a movie idea successfully. This includes having the rights to a great story, some funding, the interest of a well-known actor, or a fantastic screenplay. These elements prove that you’re serious and have something tangible to offer.

How can I create a compelling logline for my movie idea?

A compelling logline is a single sentence that summarizes your movie idea, highlighting what makes it unique and why it’s a must-see. It should be catchy and intriguing, effectively serving as the hook to generate interest in your project.

What is the importance of a synopsis in selling a movie idea?

A synopsis is crucial as it lays out your story from start to finish, including the main plot points, big twists, and the conclusion. It turns initial interest into genuine excitement by being engaging and showcasing the potential of your movie idea.

How do I pitch my movie idea effectively?

You need to be confident, passionate, and prepared to pitch effectively. Know your story inside out, be ready to answer any questions, and sell the movie and yourself as the right person to bring the idea to life.

What should a treatment include when selling a movie idea?

A treatment should include detailed descriptions of your story, characters, and the world they inhabit. It’s more thorough than a synopsis but not as comprehensive as a script, offering a vivid glimpse into the movie you want to make.

Why is having a screenplay important in selling a movie idea?

A screenplay is essential because if your pitch is successful, you’ll need to show that you have a producer-ready script that matches your movie business plan. It should tell your story well, with interesting characters and a compelling plot.

How can I fund my movie project?

Funding your movie project can involve creating a detailed business plan to attract investors, showing you have solid funding, filming, and distribution plans. It’s not just about numbers but proving you can turn the idea into a successful film.

Why is understanding the buyer’s interests crucial in selling a movie idea?

Understanding the buyer’s interests is crucial because it ensures you pitch your movie idea to the right person. Don’t pitch a horror movie to someone interested in love stories and vice versa. Aligning your pitch with the buyer’s preferences increases the chances of selling your idea.

How can I break into Hollywood with my movie idea?

Breaking into Hollywood requires proving you can bring your idea to life beyond having a great concept. Building relationships, gaining experience on small projects, and gradually increasing your credibility are critical steps to making your dream a reality.

What skills can help me sell my movie idea more effectively?

Gaining sales experience can be incredibly valuable. Skills such as cold-calling, facing rejection, and understanding how to sell your idea and yourself are critical. These skills help you navigate the industry and convince others of the value of your movie project.


Here are some keywords from the article to help you understand how to sell your movie idea.

Logline: A short sentence that tells what your movie is about. It’s meant to grab attention.

Synopsis: A quick summary of your movie’s story, showing the main parts and ending.

Treatment: A longer description of your movie, showing what happens and who’s in it, but not as long as the script.

Pitch: When you explain your movie idea to someone, hoping they will like it and want to make it into a movie.

Screenplay: The written version of your movie, including all the dialogues and action scenes.

Funding: The money needed to make your movie.

Investor: A person or company that gives money to help make your movie, hoping to earn more.

Producer: Someone who helps make the movie happen, dealing with the money and organization.

Hollywood: The movie industry in Los Angeles is known for making many films.

Rejection: When someone decides not to accept or approve your movie idea.

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Tom Malloy is a film producer, actor, and writer. Over the course of his career, he has raised over twenty-five million dollars to produce, and distribute multiple feature films. If you're ready to "level up" your film producing, make sure to check out Movie Plan Pro. The video training and downloadable film business plan template will provide you with the same tools Malloy uses when approaching prospective film investors.