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~Approaching local businesses?~

I figured I would start off simple by making some commercials for local businesses. Maybe a few music videos for local bands or something. How would you approach these businesses with a pitch? What would I need with me and what would be a good conversation opener?

You call them on the phone, ask if they are interested in hiring a local filmmaker to make a commercial and then set an appointment. For a music video you go see the local band play, ask to talk to their manager and tell them you would like to make a music video for them. A great conversation opener is, "Hi. I'm a local filmmaker and I'd like to make a commercial for you." Then hand them a folder with all the local TV rates, a full line-item budget, a complete schedule and your reel of other commercials you've made. Have one or two ideas ready for the commercial, but let the owners tell you their idea first.

How should I make up my budget list? I mean, wouldnt I listin to all of their ideas before I pitch mine? And if thats the case and I would rather shoot their idea wouldnt that turn my budget list around? Or do you mean just have the basic budget list?

I'm assuming you aren't an established commercial filmmaker with a long client list. Am I right? If I am, then you need to approach them with some reason to hire you. Everything I suggested is one way to make a good impression. If you feel more comfortable approaching a local business and having them pitch ideas to you, then that's the way to go.

No, Im not an established commercial maker yet. What I really want to do is film feature length movies but I want to start with commercials and music videos to kinda get the basics down. Thats why im here, I'm still fairly new and fortunately this forum has taught me sooo much, I'm very greatful you guys are so kind and willing to share your knowledge with me. I'll start by getting all that information you recommended and hitting the pavement. Theres a few local resteraunts and stores that i know of I can start there. Though I am making a short comedy that im hoping will get into some film festivals to kinda get my name out there a little bit. *Fingers crossed*