‘The First Pitch’ Delivers a Hilarious Slice of Alternative Movie History

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It’s like ‘The Player’ meets a brick wall.

We’ve all heard of the movie pitch cliché where a writer walks into a producer’s office with a billion-dollar idea, a film that’s like blank meets blank.

Twilight: Romeo & Juliet meets Nosferatu

Pitch Perfect: The Bad News Bears meets Dreamgirls

Good Burger: Red Dawn meets Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

Batman v Superman: Batman meets Superman

Okay, so those are mine that I just made up off the cuff, but you get the gist: the best way to sell a movie is using movies that have already sold. Hollywood is nothing if not an avid recycler, and history has proven that if you can link your new film with a couple older, successful films, your chances of seeing a greenlight are much, much higher.

But what about in the early days of film – and not film as an art form but film as an industry, a money-making force – how did you pitch a project when there were no other projects to compare it to? That’s the seed of the side-splitting idea in writer-director Kevin Maher’s The First Pitch, which was originally commissioned for the Tribeca Film Festival’s Comedy Night. In it, an aspiring screenwriter presents himself to a producer to make the first pitch in film history, but unfortunately the only film he can compare it to is the only film that exists: The Great Train Robbery, the medium’s first narrative feature. This is particularly disadvantageous because said screenwriter’s film is a romantic comedy and not a thrilling action flick.

The First Pitch is quick, lively, and funny line-by-line. Check it out then be sure to hit up Maher’s Vimeo page for tons more great stuff.

Novelist, Screenwriter, Video Essayist