directing
change
together

Directors Association for Commercials
and Branded Content in Germany

DE / EN

The Pitch Standard 2.0 Official Guide

For directors and production companies alike, pitches undoubtedly represent a great opportunity. However, they also mean a lot of time invested in unpaid work. The challenges are compounded by rising costs, an increasing number of participants, prolonged decision-making processes, a lack of clarity in commissioning practices, and diminishing production markups.

In response to these issues, we originally launched our Pitch Reform.

We have joined forces with the Producers’ Alliance Advertising Section to develop the PITCH STANDARD 2.0, rooted in our principals.

The PITCH STANDARD 2.0 champions transparency and collaboration among directors, producers, agencies, and clients. It prevents ‘ghost bids’ (on yet-to-be-approved scripts), and introduces the Pitch-Cost-Share (PCS). This production model ensures the agencies/clients to share in the costs. And we have assured that the director receives respectful compensation through this model.

We believe the PITCH STANDARD 2.0 will greatly benefit the industry. It aims to foster a fair and open interaction, building trust and respect between parties. Plus, it helps reduce pitch costs and improve the overall quality of the final projects.

In the following, we take a look at the Pitch Standard 2.0 from the director’s perspective:


Detailed overview

The concrete implementation of the PITCH STANDARD 2.0 is structured according to our values:

Respect

  • A central element of PITCH STANDARD 2.0 is the Pitch-Cost-Share, abbreviated as PCS. With the PCS, clients are made to share in the costs of the pitch. The director’s share (Pitch-Fee) is also derived from this.
  • The model provides a recommended framework for a proportional calculation of the PCS, based on the number of participants and budget size.
  • Creating a director’s treatment is a prerequisite for its calculation; similarly, there must be at least 2 participants in the pitch.
  • No PCS is incurred up to and including the director’s call. We urge all parties to make the best possible use of the calls.
  • The PCS is paid for each participating production company whose bids were not successful. This includes post-production companies, provided they are acting as executing production  companies in animation, full-CGI, and hybrid projects.
  • A single bid remains free of charge: only one production putting forward one director. However, a production company pitching multiple directors is not considered a single bid. In this case, a Pitch-Fee is charged for each participating director.
  • For projects from abroad and for the foreign market, each directors must individually assess whether a Pitch-Fee can be requested or not.

Transparency

  • The number of participants and the names of the production companies/directors participating in the pitch will be communicated to all pitch participants before the creation of the Directors treatment.

Trust

  • Directors ideas and production company concepts remain the intellectual property of the creators.

Fairness

  • We are convinced that the introduction of the PITCH STANDARD 2.0, and the associated PCS is a significant step towards creating a more level playing field, ensuring that all directors, have a somewhat equal footing. In particular, the PCS offers an opportunity to support marginalised directors and those who may have been discouraged by the prospect of investing many unpaid hours required by a pitch. Additionally, DRCT is committed to upholding our deeply ingrained value of FAIRNESS in the future, ensuring equal opportunities for all directors.

The Pitch-Cost-Share model

The PCS model is a model used by production companies to give the client a fair share of the pitch costs. The share for the director, the pitch fee, is also derived from this model.

The actual amount of the PCS is subject to the individual pricing of the production company in negotiation with the advertising agencies/clients.


Director’s Share in the PCS (Pitch-Fee)

The pitch-fee for directors is derived from the total PCS amount through a ‘share model’. It should be negotiated and defined individually in advance between the director and the production company.

The standard director’s share is 50% of the PCS.

For example: If, according to the model, the production company asks the agency & client for a PCS of € 3,000– the director receives € 1,500– as their pitch-fee, if the pitch is lost. This explicitly applies regardless if the production books and invests in mood research & layout to create the treatment.

However if the director needs support for writing the treatment, the director’s participation drops to 33% of the PCS. According to the above example, the director’s pitch-fee would be € 1,000– in this case.

The PCS model deliberately offers a ‘price range’ within the four budget categories. 

If a project’s budget is at the lower end of a budget category, then the PCS asked for should also be at the lower end of the ‘price range’. And so on.

For example, the PCS for a 3 way pitch on a project with a budget of € 110,000– (lower end of the medium budget category), should be around € 2,000– (also the lower end of the spectrum). Whereas for a project with a budget of € 490,000– (upper end of the medium budget category), the production company & director could ask for a PCS of € 2,500– (also the upper end of that bracket).

Copyrights are not granted as part of the pitch.

Deviations from the PCS model:

The above-mentioned recommendations of the 50/33 % share for the director refer are in compliance with the PCS model. If the actual PCS significancy changes from, or is below the recommended price range of the model due to the individual concessions made by the production company in negotiation with the agency/clients, DRCT recommends the following course of action: “I only work within the Pitch Standard 2.0”.

That means: If the offered pitch-fee clearly deviates from the price ranges of the PCS model, the director is of course free to insist on the recommended amount from the PCS model.

We firmly believe in fostering a partnership with producers. That said, in the case of serious deviations from the Price Ranges of the PCS model, the director cannot go along and must insist on compliance with its PCS share, also regardless of the respective attitude of its production.

The PCS model serves as our guiding benchmark, and it can and should always be referred to in negotiations.


The guideline for pitches

The requirements

  • Script should be approved by the client.
  • Information about the names and the number of participating production companies/directors should be given.
  • Information if an in-house production company is participating should be given.

Step 1: The Commitment 

  • Those directors interested in a script make it clear that they will only pitch according to the Pitch Standard 2.0.

Step 2: The Pitch 

  • After the directors calls with the agencies, it should be made clear which production companies are participating in the pitch.
  • It is transparently communicated which productions are participating with which director.
  • Productions negotiate the PCS with the client, directors negotiate their share (pitch-fee) with their production. The basis is the PCS model.
  • There is one pitch-fee per director, even if a production company is pitching with several directors.
  • Only then are directors treatments created.

Step 3: The Decision 

  • The pitch is won: If commissioned, no PCS is charged, so no pitch fee for the director.
  • The pitch is lost: The productions charge the PCS. The directors charge the pitch fee to their production.

Die Cancellation Fee

  • If the project is canceled by the client after the pitch, all production companies involved in the bid receive a Cancellation Fee.
  • The amount depends on the effort and should be negotiated in advance. Since the actual pitch costs will be displayed in the SCoPE KVA in the future, these can be used to calculate the Cancellation Fee. In this case, no PCS is calculated because the customer bears the actual costs incurred for the pitch in the event of a complete cancellation.
  • The director is entitled to the previously determined pitch-fee even in the event of project cancellation. Unless special agreements have been explicitly made for project cancellation.

Special Cases

PCS/Pitch-Fee is charged:

  • Fundamental script and/or budget changes by agency/client and consequent cancellation by the director and/or production company.
  • The client postpones the date to a period when the director is no longer available.

PCS/Pitch-Fee is not charged:

  • A production or the director drops out for other reasons during the ongoing pitch.
  • The director is confirmed on another project during the pitch and is therefore no langer available.

Handlungsempfehlungen für weitere Sonderfälle und klare Antworten auf häufige Fragen findet ihr in unserem FAQ.


With this clear standard, we want to put the focus back on the creative exchange and the quality of the work.

Because everyone benefits from open, fair and respectful cooperation. Especially our films.