What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more

The Art of the Hollywood Pitch

September 28, 2012, 12:00 AM

When Danny Strong came to the stage to accept his first Emmy Award for writing HBO's Game Change it was the culmination of a remarkably successful career transition. Strong is perhaps best known for his acting roles in films such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997). While he continues to act -- appearing this year on ABC's Grey's Anatomy -- Strong has also firmly established himself as an acclaimed writer of political dramas. The first script Strong sold was Recount (2008), based on the 2000 election. This year's Emmy winner, Game Change, focused on John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin during the 2008 campaign. 

So what's the secret to Strong's success as a screenwriter? 

There is no magic formula, he says. After all, at the end of the day a script is either good or bad. But good stories still don't sell themselves. Will a particular story make a great movie that can be successfully marketed? A screenwriter needs to make a studio executive see the story as a film, hence the 2-minute elevator pitch, which is part of Hollywood lore. 

Selling a story is no different than selling any business idea. Hollywood writers just happen to have a unique gift for pitching their stories. Storytelling, after all, is their business. So what are the elements of a successful Hollywood pitch that anyone can learn from? We asked Danny Strong in a recent interview.  

As it turns out, Strong's first successful pitch -- for Recount -- was actually a 35-minute presentation, complete with props and a two-minute video clip at the end. The key idea, according to Strong, is "to get the person as immersed in the story as possible."

Watch the video here:

Danny Strong Emmy image courtesy of Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

Follow Daniel Honan on Twitter @Daniel Honan


The Art of the Hollywood Pitch

Newsletter: Share: