Last night the Women’s in Animation (WIA) and Women’s in Children’s Media (WICM) hosted a great event at animation studio Curious Pictures here in NYC. Was a great talk about how to pitch for animation lead by Kristin Martin and Marina Grasic. Here are some great pointers for those of you who’d like to pitch to tv companies:
FIRST START WITH AN IDEA
Who are my characters? Character development is most important in this process. What are these characters like? Where do they live? What is their world? What are the elements of your show idea being funny? Adventurous? Interesting?
Why is the show unique and different?
What style of animation? There is 2D, 3D, claymation, computer generated
What network do you visualize your tv show to be on? Be sure to do your homework and watch episodes and programs on their channel before doing a pitch. Look for what is “lacking” in their programming schedule and fill that niche!
DOING THE PITCH BOOK
A pitch book is what you present to a broadcaster so they can get an idea about what your show is about, what is the setting, and who your characters are. In regards to character development, here are the roles:
The Artist draws the characters
The Producer coordinates the information and ideas
The Writer outlines the characters, describes the scene and setting
The Showrunner is the executive producer/writer and outranks the director.
Main responsibility is to manage day to day production. Usually has a close relationship
with the broadcaster.
An image of all the characters and their environment ought to provide the broadcaster a sense of what the show will be about and if it is humorous, a drama, live action, etc. Of course mention the show title as well!
Have a brief introduction page showcasing all of your characters with a two sentence blurb.
Then have one page of each character and in 2-3 paragraphs describe the character’s personality, background, relationship to the other characters, hobbies, interests, quirks, etc. Keep it brief.
Background setting – describe the setting, have visual backgrounds showcasing the environment, town, homes, etc.
Visual development – the characters and backgrounds are showcased but plays with the color, design, style and their world
Written treatment – describes the main concepts and characters of the show in less than 6 pages.
Episode ideas – builds on the treatment and visual development to lay out episode ideas. Use only 4-5 ideas and keep them no more than half a page. About 2 paragraphs should be enough.
Can a pitch book be more than six pages – of course! But keep it brief and to the point so that the person you are pitching to is not overwhelmed at all and “gets” the concept of your show.