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The Editor's Blog

Contemplations and digressions from Filmmaker's Editor-in-Chief by Scott Macaulay

Brief Thoughts on Pitching Articles to Editors at Sites Like Filmmaker

in Columns
on Jan 12, 2015

A bit of synergy as two things crossed my screen this morning: a query from a prospective writer and this article from Paul Bradshaw and the Online Journalism blog. Taken together they got me thinking about pitching, new writers and Filmmaker. The query was from a perfectly polite, well-spoken individual who self-identifies as a “blogger” and a “geek” and who sincerely wants to write for us. Absent from the email were a) any link to any previously published work; b) any sort of biographical information denoting the person’s specific expertise or area of interest; c) any specific suggestions of work this person would like to write about; d) any comment about Filmmaker as it exists now and how their writing would add a new element.

Interestingly, Bradshaw, who has written his article for journalists in general, advises away from pitching in the field of film, calling it “vague and overpopulated.” Nonetheless, his three recommendations apply to film journalism too. They are:

* Acquire specialized knowledge and build a network of contacts.
* Respond to demand by anticipating story needs of publications and pitching those pieces.
* Come up with stories that have a unique angle.

So, with that said, here’s what we are not looking for at Filmmaker: reviews and interviews with directors. That’s because, a) we are not a review-based publication; and b) we have plenty of regular contributors who interview directors.

We are always looking, however, for people with specialized knowledge to write about the business, technical, production and creative aspects of filmmaking and the film business. And we are always looking for compelling, outside-the-box pieces, whether those are personal essays about filmmaking (like our “Letters from Blocked Filmmakers”) or singular projects like Nick Rombes’s Blue Velvet Project.

So, read Bradshaw’s piece and if you do have an idea for us at Filmmaker… please tell us who you are in your email and provide a writing sample, if possible, in your query. You can always reach me at scott AT filmmaker

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