Arts & Entertainment

The “Stranger Things” Pitch

The Duffer Brothers

Lesson time 27:43 min

Using materials they created when they pitched "Stranger Things," Matt and Ross cover the most important components to include in a pitch and share advice on how to practice.

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Topics include: The Lookbook • The Sizzle Reel • The Pitching Process • Stick To Your Guns And Find Confidence • Assignment Prepare Your Pitch Materials


[DRAMATIC MUSIC PLAYING] MATT DUFFER: The best way to explain how we pitch is just to show you the "Stranger Things" pitch. - You're gonna be talking about a lot of stuff and a lot of stuff that was in your blue sky document that maybe just didn't make it into the pilot. For instance, in your pilot script of "Stranger Things," we talk about how Hopper's lost a daughter. We don't really talk about how that' where he's going from there. That A to B, we don't talk about. We don't know from the pilot script that Mike and Eleven are gonna have this innocent relationship and sort of have a first love. We don't get into that or that Jonathan and Nancy are gonna end up teaming up. So what you're able to do is you're able to elaborate a little bit more. Now, don't get all too carried away. This is 15 to 20 minutes, so you're gonna have to be very particular. You're gonna have to pick your best ideas and your simple ideas. You could definitely lose people really quick. If you start going too deep into mythology or whatever, you're gonna lose people. But you should touch on mythology. We touch on what this other dimension is. We talk about inspirations. We talk a little bit about music, even, and tone. You're just sort of hitting these big bullet points of what the show is both gonna feel like and your giving a sense of what the story arcs could be. And then even at the end, you're talking a little bit about what could be beyond this, if it happens to be successful. This is not a document that we've really shared with anyone. We didn't even share it with Netflix. MATT DUFFER: You know, we broke it down for ourselves, starting with an introduction. We talked about, did you see our look book trailer? It's probably clear to you that now we're gonna get into a look book later. We were movie nerds growing up, so we started to make it a little personal immediately and talk about why we're passionate about this material. - We talked about going to movies with our dad, and how we loved this growing up, and how we then fell in love with TV with "The Sopranos." - And we talk about a little bit why we think it's unique, and why there isn't a show like that, and why we would like to see a show like this. And then, if you look at this, actually, we talk about a lot of things we had you kind of blue sky or thinking about. I mean, we talk about-- ROSS DUFFER: Inspiration. MATT DUFFER: --inspiration, so the kind of movies that inspired us. ROSS DUFFER: And you can see here, it says, "ordinary meets the extraordinary." It's bolded, that's how important we thought it was. We did not bold this for this class. This was bolded for the Netflix pitch. - But again, we make it personal again. Because then, we say right after that, "When we were growing up, we were just regular kids living in the suburbs of North Carolina, playing Dungeons and Dragons with our nerdy friends." And we're saying this is why this show is meani...

About the Instructor

Before they turned our world upside down with "Stranger Things," Matt and Ross Duffer honed their scare tactics on Wayward Pines and their debut thriller, Hidden. Now, the acclaimed showrunners reveal the dark science of creating a monster hit. Craft gripping story arcs, conjure unforgettable characters—like Eleven or Jim Hopper—and turn your raw idea into a pitch for the next big thing to cross over from the other side.

Featured MasterClass Instructor

The Duffer Brothers

Matt and Ross Duffer—the "Stranger Things" masterminds—teach you how they plotted the series from beginning to end, and how you can bring your own idea to life.

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