How to Pitch
This is a guide for writers or prospective writers who would like to pitch articles and/or interviews to Art of the Title. It is a subjective guide; that is, it is a guide on how to pitch to me, Art of the Title’s Editor in Chief specifically, though many of these ideas can be applied elsewhere.
First, what you should know about Art of the Title:
Read the About page. Read a few articles to understand the site’s particular niche and how we have historically written about it. Know that Art of the Title’s mission is to champion the art form of title design in film, TV, and beyond but also to encourage curiosity, creativity, collaboration, new voices, exploration, cross-pollination.
The site functions as an industry publication, educational resource, and as an archive, so articles are primarily feature-style writing that is process-driven, featuring how-tos, explainers and insights, with anecdotes relating to specific motion picture works.
Second, what you should know about me:
I have been Editor in Chief of Art of the Title since 2018. Before that I was Managing Editor since 2011. I am also an experienced graphic designer, having worked for more than a decade in publishing, news, and film. I’m Canadian and based in the Eastern timezone.
I can be reached at lola at artofthetitle dot com
I'm on Twitter at @lolamachine
Here is what works for Art of the Title, as of 2020.
- Put “PITCH:” in your subject line. Making your subject line work as a headline, drawing me into your pitch, is also a good move.
- The pitch should be succinct and to-the-point. Your first couple of sentences will tell me pretty much everything I need to know, so make them good.
- You should have already done a search on the site to see if your idea has been covered. Don’t make me send you a link to an existing article.
- Tell me why what you are pitching is interesting. What is the story? What do you already know about it and what do you want to find out? How will you find out? What kind of visual materials might be available? If your pitch will involve an interview, I want to know what kind of access you have to your subject.
- Include links to video of the title sequences or other media pertinent to what you are discussing. I can’t see or know about everything; help me out.
- I want to know a couple of sentences about you and to see your social media presence.
- I want to read two to three examples of your previous work to get a handle on how you write. I do not want to receive Word documents or invitations to Google docs.
Some posts by contributors that have resonated well with readers include Nathalie Atkinson's look at the animated opening to Grease (1978), Tina Hassannia's investigation of the titles to Cléo de 5 à 7 (1962), and Alex West's dive into the symbolism of Melancholia (2011).
Topics of interest
Title sequences are the lens and jumping-off point; the stories can be personal or straight business, hyper-focused or wide-reaching, specific or universal.
I am currently especially interested in articles focused on title sequences related to:
- projects directed by women, nonbinary, BIPOC creators
- animated, cartoon, and anime works
- works from China, India, France, all over the world!
- queer cinema
- B-movies, westerns, horror, romance, comedies
- stop-motion work in general
- films from the 1930s to the 1970s generally, Hitchcock
- television projects
An example pitch
TIMELY PITCH: How Hunters' Main Titles Symbolise the Show's Strategic Nature
I hope you're well. My name is Tom Power and I'm a freelance journalist with bylines at Esquire, Wired UK, and more.
The symbolism displayed in Hunters' title sequence acts as a primer for the plot's underlying current. Amazon Prime's new hit show deals with difficult subject matter and violence. Beneath its mature exterior, however, lies a story built on strategy - methodology that is embodied by its chess board main titles and chess-based visuals throughout its first episode.
I want to write an article that explores why Hunters' title sequence and pilot episode are emblematic of the cat-and-mouse tactics employed throughout the show. I'm hoping to interview Jeff Han, Art Director at Elastic, to get his insight into how the title sequence was made too, which will provide additional context to my piece.
I'm happy to discuss word count, article fee, and deadline. Finally, please find some work clips of mine below:
1. Inside the Frantic Race to Fix Sonic
2. How Birds of Prey Goes Hand-in-Hand With Harley Quinn's Animated TV Series
Thanks for your time, and I look forward to your reply.
(Published with Tom's permission)
After the pitch
If you’ve been hired to write the article, you should be prepared to make changes to your piece. The process between editor and writer is collaborative and iterative so try not to be too precious about your sentences. Edits are intended to make your article work better for the site’s specific niche and audience. It is the editor’s job to make sure the writer’s work meets the expectations of the publication’s reader.
And if writing for Art of the Title worked for you, spread the news. Tell your writer friends. We welcome new pitches year-round, all the time. Be generous with opportunities.