Questions about breaking into the business.

Discussion in 'Story Board Workshops' started by staticblue, Aug 3, 2008.

  1. staticblue

    staticblue Active Member

    Nov 16, 2003
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    So Im in the process of creating an animated series and I need some advise about breaking into the business. How would I get my ideas out to someone. where would i shop my ideas to, or rather, in what way would I do this. (I already know i want to go to cartoon network with my ideas, i just dont know how to get to them.) What do i need to have available to present to them. I have some things now, but I dont know if its enough or the right materials. I hope this is the right forum for this. I thank you all in advance for your help.
  2. Brandon Pierce

    Brandon Pierce Summer Glau Fanatic

    May 2, 2001
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    Advice given to me: get your work copyrighted first, and then spend about 5 years as a writer for any random cartoon show...
  3. darkdetective

    darkdetective Former TZ Reporter/Reviewer

    Mar 11, 2008
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    I recommend this book. It explains how to write a story bible and a script . (Note: Pilot scripts sure do help sell your idea, as do animated shorts.)

    CN Comedy Submission Guidelines:

    Comedy Guidelines

    We are looking for submissions for character driven comedy series for children (both boys and girls) between the ages of 6-11. The shorts are really pilot episodes for possible new series. We have a few guidelines/suggestions, which are:
    • - Our motto is: “Surprising and unexpected.” That is the kind of programming we seek.
    • - Create a simple set-up or premise, something that can be said in a sentence. Example: There's a boy genius with a laboratory in his room. Or: Three little girls who have superpowers.
    • - No parodies. "It's fairy tales but told in a wacky way!" Our division is called Original Animation, and that's what we are looking for.
    • - Nothing too high-concept. Ideas can be wild and off-the-wall -- we definitely don't want boring -- but remember the simple set-up rule.
    • - Complicated characters. We like to see unique, multi-faceted characters -- not the standard "smart girl," "funny guy sidekick." Surprise us! Who are these characters and what are they really like?
    • - We don't care if the cartoon has human or animal protagonists (or a combination thereof); however, we are looking for kid-relatable properties.
    • - Ask yourself: Is my show based on one repeating gag or situation? If so, then the show probably isn't character-driven and you should re-think. If the show is a hit, it may run for 65 episodes -- how will episode 6, 16, 26, 36, etc. be different from each other? This is one reason why shows must be truly character-driven. Remember the Powerpuff Girls can either save Townsville, try to get Professor X and their teacher to go on a date, or a multitude of other possibilities. They don't just save Townsville every single episode. Great characters create endless story ideas.
    [list- ]So, in short, we are looking for a clearly defined, unusual world populated with unique, well-thought-out characters whose personalities drive the stories.
    In a submission, we usually like to see a page or so of set-up. What is the show concept and world? Include character descriptions of all the main characters, and then a few episode ideas. Episode ideas should be a solid paragraph that has a beginning, middle and end, so we can really see how stories with the characters would play out. If you are an artist, you might also include artwork with your proposal.

    btw, this article may help as will this article.
    #3 darkdetective, Aug 13, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 13, 2008
  4. Spideyzilla

    Spideyzilla Well-Known Member

    Jul 23, 2008
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    How do you become a writer? You can't just barge in and start writing Spongebob.
  5. LoneToonman

    LoneToonman Member

    Sep 11, 2006
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    You're right. You CAN'T just barge in and work for Spongebob. Seriously, security will just toss you out like all the others. You sell a properly-formatted script, which you have written, or get your foot in the door with an internship as a college student and work your way up. Either is acceptable.

    Read Jeffrey Scott's book Writing for Animation, an entire book about becoming an animation writer.

    Having artistic representation (AKA an agent) and being a member of the WGA (Writer's Guild) also helps. But most importantly, make sure you have material to show.

    Read the trades also. Those help quite a bit.

    And lastly, if you DO get the gig, DON'T be too discriminatory in picking which studios/corporations you work for. Not everyone gets to work on their dream project right away.

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