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Saturday, July 13, 2024
MagazineCulture & CommentaryHow to Pitch a Movie or PR Spam to My Inbox

How to Pitch a Movie or PR Spam to My Inbox

My inbox runneth over. I am the daily recipient of so many emails that pure mathematics cannot adequately describe it with numbers. In the time it takes you say “googolplex,” my email would have already quintupled. What’s amazing is that not all of it is spam, at least in the traditional sense (male enhancement pills and the financial insolvency of the Nigerian ruling class).

Most of the missives I received this week are pitches, either from publicists on behalf of their clients or misguided screenwriters who mistakenly take my pose as a media mogul more seriously than I. My inbox sees more pitching than a tent city. I get so many pitches, Major League Baseball should sell tickets. My inbox wears a T-shirt that reads, “Life’s a pitch and then you die.”

In the PR category, this week’s “Broadway Danny Rose” award goes to Todd Brabender, of Spread the News PR, who was flacking for his client’s product … wait for it … the Toilet Tattoo. Todd’s press release makes a splash with the headline, “Decorative Toilet Tattoos Make Bathrooms Flush With Beauty,” and the backstory that “fashion design entrepreneur Celeste Massullo couldn’t find what she wanted on the market: ‘I wanted to decorate my toilet in a creative, modern and clean way, but soon realized that toilet décor products had not changed for decades.'” Massullo’s invention is “the only toilet lid embellishment on the market that is removable, reusable and wipes clean.”

Were it not for Todd’s earnestness and the consistently bizarre angles of his clients, I’d have unsubscribed from his list years ago. As it is, I’ve come to rely on Todd as my daily reality check that, yes, the world is totally frickin’ absurd. Here’s a backlink for your client, Todd, Toilet-Tattoos.com. You deserve it, man.

Besides those in the PR racket, I receive a surprising number of movie pitches from aspiring screenwriters. I must have drunkenly checked a box marked “producer” on a conference registration form or something, then that data kept being upsold to list aggregators until it became true-ish. I won’t confirm or deny it. I’m too lazy. Besides, I’d miss out on the bumper crop of weirdness that arrives daily, like a “feature length sci-fi thriller” entitled “The Astral-Nauts.” I have no idea what it’s about other than its protagonist is pushed “past the boundaries of the human mind” and into my gmail account.

My Spidey sense tells me that this recent explosion of pitches came from a single writing seminar. Consider the sign-off of the following two, separate pitches. Each has the same cute take on the “presumptive close” regarding how I might like to receive their individual scripts: “PDF or colossal stone tablets?” or “PDF or Egyptian Papyrus?”

They should demand their money back from the idiot who sold them on this dreadful “technique.” How would you like your refund? “Check or Austrolasian shell money?” And what if I DID request their scripts on stone tablets or Egyptian papyrus? Surely, they’re going to disappoint me. Why frontload the project with failure? I suppose once you put my email address on your submission list, you’re already well down the path.

When I bothered to ask one of the screenwriters how it was his passion project ended up in my inbox, he invoked typical Hollywood business protocol and didn’t reply. If his inbox is anything like mine, I don’t blame him.

Daedalus Howell
Daedalus Howellhttps://dhowell.com
Welcome to one man's search for meaning through media making. Whether you're an active "creative," or an artist-adjacent culture serf, perhaps you will find my (mis)adventures in the screentrade, publishing, journalism and other arts edifying and inspiring — or at least mordantly humorous. More about me here.

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