A little more on Pitching from Adrian.
The most important thing about Pitching is ownership. This is your story, so personalise it. Make it accessible - even if that means stretching the truth a little. Relate the story to your own, or another's experience.
Did Adrian Mead just condone lying?? Well. Us writers fib for a (hopeful) living, don't we? Our entire career is built on what are essentially fibs: though we might tell our own stories, we tell them through the eyes and mouths of of fictional characters. It's important to remember that even in biopics, our representation of that "real" person is just that - and thus "unreal". I'll give you examples, by pitching my own scripts infomally, with this idea in mind:
HUSBAND AND FATHER, feature (low budget): this is a story about pregnancy, responsibility and child abuse. When I was a teenager, I had a friend who was abused by his parents. He was horribly treated psychologically, yet there was not one mark on him and Social Services never became involved. I knew about his torment, but did not appreciate exactly what it was doing to him. As far as I was concerned, his parents were just awful people and soon he'd get his exam results, go to uni and escape them. So, no one had any doubt that this normal, middle-class family was anything but - until he attacked and killed his parents with an iron bar. Originally blamed on a burglar, this only came out when his girlfriend gave birth to a little boy. It was this that gave me the idea for my feature, which focuses instead on a female character who kills her abusive father when he attacks her for damaging her dead mother's piano: she buries her traumatic past until she falls pregnant herself.
THY WILL BE DONE, feature (mid-high budget). This is a story about the choices we make and whether it's possible to attain redemption for even the most heinous of crimes. When I was a little girl, a child from my class went missing. She was gone for approximately six months: there were numerous TV appeals and her case even appeared on Crimewatch. Though I didn't know the girl well or even play with her much, I remember watching her heartbroken parents on the TV - these were people I'd seen at the school gates. It was weird. Eventually, her body was found in a warehouse on the outskirts of Birmingham. She was badly decomposed - police estimated that she'd died the day she went missing. It turned out that her older brother, aged eighteen, had accidentally killed her, panicked and hid the body. My script focuses instead on a man who loses his daughter during his regular parental access, only to discover she has been murdered when he goes looking for her and he is the culprit.
KINGS OF THE CASTLE, drama series. This is a story about making it against the odds. When I was fourteen, I went to work at a holiday attraction on the North Coast each summer. It was there I met my husband, who's a little bit older than me. He was a student and apparently became fixated with me, though I didn't notice - I was quite a young teen in that I wasn't interested in boys (until I was 18 that is, then I made up for lost time!). The Holiday Attraction was a castle, that had been built as a folly in Victorian times and then left to fall to ruin. The family who moved into it in 1979 built it up from scratch as a museum and theme park and employed people like me and my husband to show people around, work in the cafe, etc. I loved working here with lots of other young people and decided to write a family's journey of restoring an old castle into a functional business.
So...Only one is 100% true. Which one do YOU think it is?