Hustlers was a hit with audiences and critics this year. So how did writer-director Lorene Scafaria get the gig? Her sizzle reel. Check it out!
From the first trailer, I was intrigued by the world Hustlers presented.
It felt like a crime movie for the 21st century, and when the movie debuted I was not disappointed. But Hustlers was not an easy get for Scafaria to direct. She had to pitch after reading the article which the movie is based on.
At the time, Scafaria told The Hollywood Reporter, "I was sent so many female-empowerment stories over that year in which people thought suddenly it was a genre. A lot of them felt really manufactured. Either the characters didn't have to be women at all — they just changed the names — or they were doing an all-female whatever or a remake."
The article that inspired the movie appeared in New York Magazine in 2007 and was written by Jessica Pressler. The story revolved around a group of strippers in 2007 recession-era New York City who drugged and then robbed their Wall Street clientele. "After I read the article, I knew I wanted to direct it," said Scafaria. So when it came time to pitch, she new a great sizzle reel would put her over the top. The director recently shared the reel on Twitter and it is a great example of how a sizzle can help sell your vision and land you a job:
Since seeing the movie, it's easy to see how the editing style and themes within this sizzle reel truly embody what hit the screen. we got the mood, look, tone, moves, and stakes.
I think sizzles are incredibly effective and evocative for selling a director's vision. So much of Hollywood is comparing your idea to other ideas. A sizzle reel does this visually for you without feeling weird or overcrowded.
But are sizzle reels really worth the time and effort it takes to make them? Scafaria says yes!
I love how the sizzle didn't go to waste after the pitch. Using it to get the cast and crew excited is a genius way to bond everyone together on set and to get the cast excited to be a part of something special.
So the next time you're prepping a pitch, whether to a studio, for investors, or just to get yourself amped about working, consider making a sizzle reel.
We can't wait to see what you come up with!