The First Pitch Short Film

In 1903, Edwin S. Porter‘s short film The Great Train Robbery became one of the first blockbuster films. At just 12 minutes long, it was still a milestone achievement in American filmmaking as it employed production and editing techniques previously unheard of in filmmaking. It’s considered the first ever American action film, and one of the earliest westerns to have a recognizable form to it.

So how would a screenwriter pitch a movie to director Edwin S. Porter without any other films besides The Great Train Robbery to compare it to? Well, as the short film The First Pitch imagines, it would have gone very poorly.

Watch The First Pitch short film after the jump.

Nowadays, so many films are pitched as Three Amigos meets Apocalypse Now (Tropic Thunder) or Back to the Future meets The Hangover (Hot Tub Time Machine) that it’s hard to imagine what some pitches might have been like during the early days of filmmaking when so many innovative stories had yet to be told.

In this case, it’s fun to imagine something completely different from The Great Train Robbery being sold without a good reference point. The short incorporates enough tongue-in-cheek cliches about the film industry today to give it an even more modern spin, but it could use a little more clever comedy injected into the mix to really make it pop. But as a commission for Tribeca Film Festival’s Comedy Night, this isn’t half bad.

Thanks to Film School Rejects for bringing this short to our attention.

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