Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Broad Strokes

Hello Animated People!

The nature of the beast for writing pitch books is to present your show (characters and their world) using the broad strokes. Save all the wonderful details and gems you create for writing the episodes. Well, using a select few for the bible is okay. You just don't want your reader to get lost in too much explanation and detail now. You want to hook them in so they want more!

It's not easy to capture the essence of your characters and their world in a fun and concise way so that anyone who reads your bible gets your show as easily and clearly as you do. Remember, it is rare that you pitch to the person who has the power to green-light! You must make their job as easy as possible when they have to pitch your show to their bosses or partners to sell it.

If you can't describe your show in a few words then you don't know your show!

In class, I help students with the issues they're wrestling with on their shows and we all learn from each other.



Monday, February 21, 2011

Featured Student

Hi, Animated People,

I will often feature the work of past students now on this blog who have taken this class.  Meet Tyler Heckman, a former student from SVA, and this is his animated short that he created for his senior thesis.  Enjoy the viewing at:  http://vimeo.com/11674931

The animated series that Tyler created for class was called "Village Bigfoot" about a brother and sister team who get lost on a camping trip and wind up in the town inhabited by bigfoot and think they are stuck there forever!

I'll be posting student's websites and blogs soon as well so this can be a great way for class alum to be connected to each other.  So stay tuned.

Big cheers,


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What's your line on a log line?

Hi, Animated People,

In class last night, we were going over log lines and an interesting point came up about the two types of log lines.  There's a log line that summarizes your television series in a sentence or two.  Then there's the log line that describes your show by making a comparison using two existing shows.  You've heard these before "It's Rugrats meets Batman"

I always ask development execs about which log line they prefer.  Most don't like the one that compares two shows but some do.  I don't like it either but my reason is this:  what if the development exec or producer you're pitching to hates one of the shows you're using in your log line?  You're dead-man talking. 

The problem really is this, you have no idea what the association is that the person you're pitching to will make with the shows you're comparing or using in your log line. If they don't like it, you're done.  Even if they do like them, you still don't know if what you wanted to get across is what is going on their head. Too much guess work for me, the process is hard enough to begin with. 

Try to hit that bull's eye.  I think the most successful log line is the one that summarizes your show in one or two sentences in your own words.  It should capture the energy, the fun, the irreverence or the whatever of what your show is -- comedy, mystery, adventure, etc.  

It should be the hook to make someone want to know more about your show.  This is not easy to do by any means, but worth the time and energy it takes to do it.  You don't want any negative connotation attached to your show that doesn't belong to your show.  This can happen easily if you use the comparison type of log line. 

Be totally original.  It's not easy but like anything else, with practice you can get better at it, just try!  You CAN DO IT!  Send in some of your best log lines, vhy not!

Big cheers to you,


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Class Before the Storm

Hi, Animated People!

We managed to pull off our first class between snow storms!  The group of students for this session are terrific--all illustrators, designers, or animators.  Some work in publishing - books and ebooks and others work Internet, TV and new media.  We love Frederator's new digs on West 21st Street.  So my students will be surprised by the guest speakers lined up I have lined up so stay tuned!