With Schrader’s approach, there’s no doubt you’ll become great at telling your story. That can only help the pitch you do for a producer or development exec. The problems with it are, as I see them, two-fold. First, you run the risk of telling someone your story and finding that they react badly. This can kill your energy for the piece. Depending on your estimation of the worth of their opinion, it can scare you into abandoning the project in the belief that they know more than you do. The other is that, telling and re-telling the thing over several weeks or months, you may run the risk of boring yourself with it. Any bloom on that narrative rose is long gone in the months between the 2 minute version and that 45 minute epic.
Paul Schrader notwithstanding, most writers hate pitching, even just pitching to friends. I’m one. The psychoanalysts out there chalk it up to fear of people and public speaking. I disagree, as I suspect most other writers will, also. I have spoken before hundreds in formal settings, and while I was pumped, slightly nervous, it was no more than would be natural. Most writers have no problem with talking to people, even studio people, in other situations, when the work isn’t on the line. I believe we hate pitching because we feel we are selling the story short, giving it away prematurely, in a less-than-fully-developed state.
For me, my story is gold-in-the-making. But my story isn’t “my story” until long after the first FADE OUT is typed. It is only “my story” after the last FADE OUT is typed.
And ramping up your energy when you sense he’s just not “feeling it” only serves to make you seem desperate and ultimately pathetic.