Sunday, December 19, 2010

Pearls of Wisdom

Hi, Animated People!

This past semester was a super group who created some fantastic animated show ideas.  I hope everyone in class gets out there to pitch them now that they know how.  We had Fred Seibert speak to our group.  After sharing statistics of how many animated films Fred has had to create to land the hits on his credit list, the class was hit a bit broadside.  Why even do this?  That's what they were thinking. Then Fred in his infinite wisdom shared with the group why he keeps going..."I'm too stupid to know that I can't be successful!"  If you love what you do that's what keeps you going and hopefully the success will follow.

Our class was also fortunate to have a visit by Diana Manson from Chorion and former Silverlining Productions fame.  Di mapped out the whole process for the class.   A good point that she had is that when you are going out to sell a show you must think about "What are we asking people to do in the world's greatest recession?"  If it is to buy your show then you must do your homework and their homework.  Figure out the reasons “why” a broadcaster, producer, toy company, publisher would want your show.  What are these folks worried about?  Have the answers to their questions.  Calm their worries.  

Also, if it's your first time pitching - practice pitching your show clearly, concisely, and confidently.

Come join us in our next session.



Saturday, October 9, 2010

Back to School!

Hello Animated People,

I promise to be a better blogger.  I do.  I do.  I am happy to report that the Fall 2010 Pitch Bible Studies Class has started!  Everything is moving along quite nicely and all students wrestling with their series ideas and loglines.  

The Spring class just had a reunion last Wednesday night.  So far no sales on their pitches but one student has finished the novel of the same idea she developed for a series. We wish her lots and lots of luck!

I will share the pearls of wisdom from our speakers in the next few weeks.  So stay tuned or should I say stay tooned!

Big cheers to you,


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Frederated Fred Visit!

Hello Animated People,

Last night Fred Seibert spoke to my class and gave some interesting advice.  He said that the people who succeed are the ones who want it and not always the best ones.  Some other key factors to success are persistence, volume, and relationships with people in the business.

Keep developing,


Friday, April 2, 2010

The 10 Pitch Bible Commandments

Hello Animated People!

The 10 Pitch Bible Commandments are going to be a work in progress.  We will change them from input from you, my class, and from me.  So here they are....

Thou shalt:

1.  Have a strong stomach – risk the rejection and go for it!

2.  Be ready for the muse and have something to write your ideas in (you are a creative person so this means you’ll have many – for some they’ll come in words and others, doodles and pictures. Inspiration comes from many places and at times, we’re inundated with information.  Get ideas from newspapers, books, films, TV, people who inspire us or don’t, etc. Trust your creative process!

3.  Create a show.  What came first the character or the show?  Some people are inspired by a character and create a show around it.  Others are inspired by a cause or theme then create the characters for it.  Sometimes you can get the TV rights for a book then do the show.  Once you have the idea, know your show—everything about the world you create and the characters in it.  The who and what your show is about. Does it give the world something new?  Is your show an animated show or can it be done live-action?

4.  Know your audience.  Never write-down to kids.  Make sure it is age-appropriate.  If your show has curriculum, make sure that is age-appropriate too.  You may need to get a curriculum specialist if you’re pitching to PBS.

5.  Create a show with legs.  Can your show go on for many episodes or is it a one-off?  It’s not just enough to have a great character or characters, but what do they do?  They have to be able to generate many episode ideas. 

6.  Know the function of a pitch bible – sell, sell, sell!  It is also your leave-behind after your pitch meeting.  The person you pitch to may have to sell or pitch your show to their bosses or partners.  A pitch bible is a great portfolio-piece.  Pitching is a way to begin building relationships.  The writing of your pitch book is more like a promotional writing. Advertising writing.  Whatever you can do visually, all the better.

7.  Write a bible that captures the spirit of your show and makes it come alive!  If your show is a comedy, your pitch book needs to hilarious, or if it’s a mystery, that pitch book better be a page turner.  Some don’t - Never say my character is hilarious, write a hilarious pitch bible and make your character(s) and world of your show come alive and show how it is funny.  Contents:  catchy title, logline, show summary, format section, character descriptions, 5 episode summaries, rules of your world or myth or backstory-(if necessary), and artwork.  You may want to include “What an episode is like section.”  For preschool, it’s very important to have repetition and segments that happen in each episode.  Kids look forward to that and love the repetition.

8.  Put other eyeballs on it and have people tell you what they get or don’t get about your show.  Then get some distance from your bible (if you can) then jump back in and revise and take it to the next level.

9.  Research your networks and the development execs you pitch your show to.  Go in.  Make a connection.  Pitching is about relationship building and selling yourself as much as it is about selling your show.  Pitch your show in a conversation – talk the person through it.  Pitch book gives you something to do with your hands.  

10.  Never give up!

Let me know what you think and what you might want to add or delete!