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Concept

You'll have 60 seconds, so make them count!

You’ll have 60 seconds, so make them count!

The concept or premise of a property is the fundamental core idea that drives the plot and sustains audience interest. A “high concept” is an intriguing idea that is so simple and pure that it can be stated in ten words or fewer, one sentence at most, and is easily and completely understood by all. “Scientists discover that an asteroid the size of Texas will hit Earth in 48 hours” is high concept.

High Concept Defined Once and For All
by Steve Kaire

Your pitch for GEN 230 will probably be closer to the more common definition: a potentially intriguing idea that is still forming and can be stated in fifty to a hundred words but can’t stand alone. It needs you there to explain it.

The classic situation is the elevator pitch. You find yourself alone in an elevator, going up, with someone who has the power to make your dream come true, and he/she seems willing to listen to you at least until the elevator stops.

In this case, it would be a producer with a lot of money or a star actor who you’d love to play a part. You have 30 seconds. Pitch your concept.

At the other end of the process, after you have finished editing your video, this concept is the short description that will appear on the YouTube page to entice viewers to click and watch.

It is most important to remember that you can change this concept at any time, although the longer you take to do that, the harder it might be to catch up and meet all the deadlines.

Risky Business

riskybizMost of all, a concept is short. It can be said quickly.

In 25 words or fewer, what are you going to do for your video?

It’s perfectly OK if you write, “The first scene of the Odd Couple (female version) exactly as Neil Simon wrote it.”

I also encourage you to do something that seems different, risky, ridiculous, impossible, beyond your abilities, or just downright silly.

Visualize and describe.

This is a time for divergent thinking, so go for it! I recommend that you write this pitch off-line and save it. Then copy and paste it into an email to me.

The audience for this concept pitch is the people who could fund it, work on making it, or watch it when it is finished. Your job is to present it to them enthusiastically. It’s exactly like getting a job and having to enthusiastically represent a product or service to customers, suppliers, employees.

In the real world of media development, an agent often plays this role. The creative person — the writer or director — develops the proposal, passionately, and then the agent delivers it, dispassionately but enthusiastically.