Would a producer frown on a writer bringing in a ringer to a pitch meeting?  I am the absolute WORST pitcher on the planet.  Could I bring in a friend of mine who is excellent at pitching to do the dirty work for me?  Is this even acceptable?

–Gary

Nope. Not unless your friend is going to be writing it with you.

Believe me, I recognize the fallacy of expecting a writer — whose principal talent is sitting alone in a room for hours on end — to suddenly be talkative and entertaining when pitching a project. Most writers, self included, would much rather toil away in happy isolation. But producers and studio execs want to hear from the writers themselves. So we put on our least-wrinkled clothes, practice what we’re going to say, and try not to make asses of ourselves in pitch meetings.

My standard advice for any pitch: Pretend you just saw the best movie ever, and you want to convince your friend (the producer) why she should see it. Try it with a few real movies and you’ll see that you naturally hop from high point to high point, and don’t dwell a lot on the underlying logic or subplots. That’s a pitch.