The pitch is the first time you verbalise your idea, usually to a group of strangers. If you have a bad pitch, the idea won’t get picked.
“Sherlock and John in the zombie apocalypse have to come to terms with the fact that John has been bit and what it means for the both of them.”
An outline provides the breakdown of how a story will play out, these can be incredibly detailed but are usually just a basic idea of what will happen in the story.
“Sherlock and John are shown during the aftermath of the zombie apocalypse, broken and defeated. It is revealed through dialogue and a series of flashbacks that John has been bitten and doesn’t have long left before he turns.Sherlock is struggling to deal with his emotions in this complex situation and so is John. John non-verbally asks Sherlock to kill him, to stop him from going through the pain of turning and Sherlock knows that he should do it to spare his friend harm but after everything he’s lost he can’t bring himself to do it. John represents both his strength and his weakness. The story flashes forward to show that Sherlock has gone mad in his grief and is walking through the apocalypse with John, as a zombie, chained up and trailing behind him.”
A treatment is effectively a longer version of the outline and can include more direction and detail.
“Sherlock and John are on a rooftop above London, the city looks destroyed. Sherlock can be seen, he looks defeated, and John is seen only in the background, pacing back and forth on the other side of the roof. Flashbacks show the beginning of the zombie apocalypse with John and Sherlock fighting side-by-side for their lives. These flashbacks are very hectic and gory compared to the bleakness of the rooftop scene. Back to the rooftop and John approaches and sits next to Sherlock. John asks ‘how long?’, the audience don’t know what this is referring to at first but after some dialogue about how much time is left (around 4 hours) Sherlock asks John how he feels, revealing that John has been bitten to the audience. Flashbacks show that John was bitten in an attempt to save Sherlock. Sherlock is bitter and self-deprecating about this, believing that he should have been the one to get bitten. John won’t take it. The two share stunted dialogue as they struggle to process what’s happening and their feelings. They almost argue but neither of them can bring themselves to do so right now. In an attempt to find comfort, John rests his head on Sherlock’s shoulder and Sherlock attempts to reciprocate the gesture by resting his arm around John. A flashback to before the apocalypse shows the two of them happy and solving crimes in 221B, warm toned and a direct opposite to how they look now. Back to the rooftop after some time and John has decided he is ready for Sherlock to kill him, before he turns. Sherlock isn’t as prepared. He mentally battles with himself in his mind palace and struggles to bring the gun up to John’s head. When he finally does he can’t pull the trigger. John calls out to him, trying to pull him out of his own head but he can’t find the right words to say so he just calls his name. This acts as a soundbridge to the next part, a flashforward to a while later in the apocalypse. Sherlock can be heard talking in his usual rambly way when he’s trying to figure out a case but he’s talking to imaginary clients and a zombiefied John, tied to a chair and consistently trying to reach out and bite Sherlock. Sherlock has gone mad and the audience get left with this sorry image of the once great detective alone and talking to imaginary people and his dead best friend.”
Overall, I am pleased with my script despite having to do major cuts to it after the first few edits when it was 7 pages long. I ended up cutting out most of the flashbacks which I think actually benefitted the script as the dialogue still worked without them. I also feel like the story still came across without the need for flashbacks.