One word

Earlier today, for ’tis late here, I was sitting by the pool with my ridiculously attractive, bikini-clad wife, looking out over the stunning atolls of the Maldives whilst working on a script which (for a change) I’m really, really enjoying writing when my mind wandered to an evening in the pub with Lord Arnopp and a conversation about what we were working on. This script had come up, as had the tale about how it had been optioned before I’d actually written it.

The story goes something like this: I’d mentioned an idea to a friend who’d then gone to Cannes and told it to a producer who immediately got in touch and optioned it – without seeing the script (which didn’t exist), a sample of my writing or even a synopsis. Basically, the producer had optioned a non-existent script – or rather the idea.

At this point, Jason pointed out they hadn’t optioned the idea, they’d optioned the pitch.

A very short pitch.

Two words, in fact.

Obviously, I’m not going to tell you what those two words are (despite telling pretty much everyone I meet) because I hope those two words will make me a lot of money and I’d rather no one else got rich first. Amazingly, no one seems to have put those two words together before – or worryingly, everyone’s put those two words together and it’s such a stupid idea no one’s bothered to do it.

Two words.

“I wonder if you could have a one word pitch?” mused Lord Arnopp.

We gave it thirty seconds or so thought (which is pretty much the maximum I’m capable of) before deciding it was impossible – a pitch has to be at least two words or it’s meaningless.

And there it would have stayed, were it not for the hot sun, the rippling water, the ice cold virgin colada and Mandy’s bikini-ness distracting me from the job in hand coupled with the meandering route my brain takes to get back to the point.

Is there a one word pitch?

Can it be done?

At this point, if I were a better, more imaginative writer I would probably announce, yes, yes there is a one word pitch! I have found it! Which is three words longer than shouting ‘Eureka!’

Which rather proves a point … I can’t think of it.

So I leave it open to posterity – is there a one word pitch for a film?

If there is, post it in the comments and I’ll immediately steal it for your own good. Meanwhile, I’m off for a curry.

Categories: Industry Musings, Random Witterings | 14 Comments

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14 thoughts on “One word

  1. Robert



  2. I was at ITV on some training thing once years ago and this bigwig bloke came to talk to us and reckoned he optioned something on one word and that one word was:


    Though personally I think that’s two words and Google seems rather split on the matter. But he had a point (if it is indeed one word) because it contains the “spirit” AND some semblance of story in it – we know immediately what *kind* of thing this is gonna be… Probably for kids, involving a granny with super powers. Which is exactly what it was of course, I rmbr watching Supergran when I was a kid which is probably why this story stuck with me. So others in the same vein will presumably be Spider-man, Superman, Batman, X-Men etc?

    • Supergran could be a winner.

      I’d argue the others only work as one word because they’re pre-existing properties. Pre Superman’s first comic apperance, if you’d shouted ‘Superman’ at a producer, I doubt you’d get them excited.

      Looks like compound words are the way forward, but it is kind of cheating. I vaguely remember having some Supergran books … wonder who owns the movie rights?

  3. Derek Randell


  4. I thought you promised not to do any work on this trip?

    Why are you writing a script and blogging when you could be rubbing suntan lotion on your bikini-clad wife?

    Get a grip man.

  5. Jawsinspace

  6. Gary Bainbridge

    Your memory is not faulty. The series was based on the Supergran books. I didn’t read them, but one was serialised on Jackanory.

  7. wgrt


    There you go. And I’m told sex sells, so.


  8. One word pitches for biopics would work but are also kinda cheating (maybe?). E.g.


    or ‘Diana’

  9. A recently released film may have been sold on a one word pitch:


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