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An early Martin Scorsese interview shows the director pitching “Taxi Driver”

How would you describe taxi driver to someone who had never seen it?

One skill that you really need to improve for your time in Hollywood is pitching. Pitching takes your idea down to the basics and lets someone know what it’s about by moving it around in a certain way to get them excited, read and see the project.

But you know how hard it is to showcase your work to someone who has no idea what it’s about!

Well, the big guys are in similar situations too. In fact, Martin Scorsese was in exactly this situation in the mid-1970s when a reporter asked about his follow-up Medium streets, taxi driver.

Check out this clip that was unearthed Know the movies, and let’s talk afterwards.

I loved seeing how Scorsese worked this story out for the reporter. He used a recent event, the shooting of George Wallace, to refer to a character. And he used the general knowledge of how bad New York was at night to let the person’s mind wander.

I thought this was a very effective and tight pitch for a TV interview. It was perhaps the most perfect distillation of an elevator pitch that I have ever seen. We get all the emotions, intrigue, and meanings that push us to delve deeper into the story.

What were some of your insights from the short clip?

Let us know in the comments.

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