“Quantum levitation” demo by Boaz Amog at TED. -Waveybrain
Tonight I went to panel discussion at our Union with development execs from Cartoon Network, The Hub, Frederator, and RGH Entertainment. They were there to discuss what criteria they evaluate when making programing development decisions. It was an interesting talk and Q&A. Below are the notes that I tapped away on my phone. They’re pretty much in chronological order. Hopefully, they are useful to you. There really weren’t any surprises, just some good insights and pointers about what to be conscious of if you want to pitch your ideas or become a content producer.
David Corbett (Executive Director N. America, RGH Entertainment) -theme park/brandinig/(web) content. They “Co-produce” IP and distribute through various channels depending on content viability-Basically a middle man operation with many partners and seeks to ‘exploit’ and grow value from animation content. RGH has it’s own in-house art department and marketing arm, and typically partners with larger distribution conglomerates.
Katie Krentz (CN comedy animation)-shorts program/In response to a question: she’s empowered to green light projects to a development stage w/ exec partner/Further investment in series development involves higher level execs./CN develops ‘70% of new shows’ using in-house talent.
Rick Blanco (VP CN Enterprises (consumer products)-Rick is involved in brand strategizing and consumer products. He has varied experience from being a MBA to an artist. Regarding salable product, he believes ”Content will always be king”,
Donna Ebbs (Sr. VP of programming, The Hub)-a Hasbro, Discover Kids joint venture.
Eric Homen (VP, Development, Frederator Studios/Cartoon Hangover), Currently looking for content for YouTube channel launching soon
Unanimous-Network strategy is to look at collective whole when green lighting or making acquisitions/typically, 1yr dev for a pilot and before a property is ready to be packaged for corporate presentation/
The Hub is growing (‘mid start-up phase’) & ever conscious of: programming, content, scheduling budget-ie., operations : HUB doesn’t do pilot episodes/very stripped down operation at this point. They make investments in production runs and go ‘head first’. So they’re very cautious.
Mr. Corbett stated that companies appreciate entrepreneurs who do legwork prior to pitching-like: securing partnerships, market research, providing stats, etc. Address risk: $10,000s at stake, try to demonstrate proof of concept. ”Line up your ducks”
*At which point I began to wonder why we need middle men nowadays. It seems it’s not enough to just create content, characters and environments. In a perfect world, they also would like you to be business savvy and present a business case along with your creative content. Mr. Blanco made it a point that it behooves aspiring content creators to have a business education-even a rudimentary one is better than nothing. More than once Mr. Corbett remarked that he loved to take pitches and see peoples ideas regardless. He finds it inspirational. Who wouldn’t enjoy that privilege? Don’t get me wrong, he was a nice man and being forthright. But, you gotta wonder if you’d be better off owning your own content and keeping it private and protected and finding a new means of distribution. Each panelist did however explain their virtues and why you may prefer to partner with them and possibly benefit from their experience, networks, and capital.
Understanding their audience; brand testing; brand value, audience analytics (utilizing services like FB, or Google) is very important to networks in determining whether new IP holds value for their respective company and in their efforts in understanding and defining their audiences.
Development execs are spending substantial time and resources scanning user generated content on Youtube and the like, as well as combing the more traditional festivals and conventions looking for content.
Retail Conundrum: ”Girls Isle” vs “Boys Isle” is a very big obstacle with traditional retail & consumer product. ”Spongebob” was cited as an example of a highly successful property that never really fully capitalized on it’s toy market potential. Partly, because the show doesn’t fit the tradition retail mold of Girls Isle or Boys Isle.
Some examples of “girls shows” with a cross-gender appeal: ”Buffy”, “Zena”, “Power Puff” (originally, Whoop Ass Girls), “She-Ra”, “Wonderwoman”, “Atomic Betty”, etc.
Traditional Retail Theory:
Girls = Pink/Boys= Monsters & Trucks
*Target was cited because they have started something called, ‘Innovation Station’ as a gender-neutral shelf space. And, the panelists sensed a change in The Force.
Mr. Homen’s words of wisdom regarding “The Pitch”: Every executive’s job is to say “NO”, and it’s ‘your’ job to anticipate that “No”, be prepared and counter it-like a game of Chess. Try to anticipate barriers. Be informed they all reiterated.
Mr. Blanco: ’Focus groups are BS & can be skewed ‘
Before you pitch: know your IP backwards & forwards: Own it! Don’t let them question you as a show runner (a potential creator pit-fall) because you aren’t confident or versed enough about your own creation. Be passionate, believe, do your homework. Know who you’re pitching to. For the best outcome, take your work to the most receptive company. And, be respectful. If you aren’t, you’re unlikely to be received again.
Q: Who’s the “decider” (when receiving a pitch)?
-Mr. Corbett: Ultimately Finance says, “yes”.
Q: What kind of content to include in a pitch?
-Ms. Krentz: Providing artwork=good. They like to see a sense of style, your color palette and artistic sensibilities, etc.
Q: Any advice about pitching hard to classify concepts?
-Ms. Ebbs: Try to classify define your IP irrespective of it’s peculiarities. It can be done & is what they expect-a longline.
Q: ’What gets you excited when taking a pitch?”
-Ms. Krentz: Is it funny? Do ‘I’ connect w/ character(s)?
-Mr. Corbett: Is the story good and passionately written?
Q: What are you looking for w/ shorts?
Frederator: A beat board/material to walk you through the cartoon episode-backstory etc. unnecessary to pitch a short.
-Ms. Krentz: Looking for funny, edgey, geared to 6-11 boys, consistent w/ studio’s tone
-Ms. Ebbs: imaginative/world viewed through a new perspective?
Nice figure drawing reference! -Waveybrain
Some building block references my Life Drawing teacher drew up for us for our Figure Drawing class. Thought I would impart the wisdom.
MIGHTY NEED! D:
It was a big week for social networks.
But the term itself seems to have lost some of it’s impact. Over time we’ve come to associate social networks with Mark Zuckerberg, Aaron Sorkin and blue pixelated Fonzy thumbs.
This afternoon, at our Foo Health event in Boston, Nicholas Christakis broke me out of that metaphorical mental rut with a session on the role and impact our social networks play in our personal health, happiness and achievements.
As he spoke, and as the group of participants questioned and expanded upon his ideas, I was struck with just how fortunate I am to be a part of the social networks that have come to shape my personal and professional lives.
It’s been a long week of travel for me, thus the slow posting here. As the events of the week wash over me on this return flight, I can’t help but trace the network connections of my past to seat 8C. From my beginnings in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon to my life in the bay area. From my first job as a file clerk to the work I get to do now. At each step, the networks I navigated shaped the ideas I pursued and opportunities afforded me.
In this TED talk from 2010, Nicholas breaks down the roll of social networks we participate within and the impact they have on us. Near the end, he compares the base material of these networks to carbon. Depending on the connections made between the same carbon molecules graphite OR diamonds could emerge.
The same is true of our personal social networks. We all have the same base material, it’s how we connect that material that makes all the difference.
Great food for thought and required weekend viewing.
Very interesting talk and analytics of social networks. Though I agree with his final statements about fostering social networks because of it’s strengths and upsides, I don’t know which “strategy” makes more sense; the person more on the fringe who’s cautious and less easy to decipher or analyze, or the person who ‘weaves’ a cluster and becomes embedded in it. I think the problem with being so transparent is that it makes it too easy for those “think tanks” creating these cluster maps to study and or manipulate their data-aka, YOU. -Waveybrain
Oh thy Nite,
why Thee bite?
Woe is me.
Please let me be.
I plea for just one day
that I could have my way.
Take me places; perhaps the sea!
Or, I should like to leap a tree.
Kids, no need to fight this knight
I’ve been promised for once tonight.
Last batch of sketches from my dying phone. It feels good to purge them all: it’s time to get back and do some new figure drawings. It’s been too long. -Waveybrain
Here are caricatures I dabbled with. The one with the flag was to mess with my good pal. The guy riffling at his computer is my co-worker. Whenever I passed by his office that’s the impression I got of him. I usually draw politicians when I’m annoyed with them to vent. These are doodles just for fun. -Waveybrain
Here are some more from the clothed figure drawing class held at work. One of those images was drawn from the classic movie, “Faust”. And, sometimes you get a bad angle or a bad pose, so you wind up drawing people around you. -Waveybrain
My cell phone is waning, but I managed to extract the pics from it tonight. Most of these drawings I’m going to post are a little old now, and I’ve already shared them in FB. This model is actually a man I used to work with at Disney: he worked in the effects department. His name is John Tucker and he’s a great model because he understands the kinds of expressions and storytelling poses that animation artists crave. Some of these drawings are opposite angles of drawings that Steven Silver included in one of his drawing books…”Drawn to Life”, I think. I remember when I saw his book I thought it was kind of neat to that we have our different takes from that day of figure drawing. I really enjoy drawing. Usually my aim is to capture what I’m seeing and try to get in the mind of the model. Hopefully, that comes through in my drawings. -Waveybrain
Here’s that quote from Glen Keane I talked about. Hopefully, it’ll leave an impression in your brain too.
You know how when you see someone else drawing in a sketchbook or something that sparks your interest, it’s next to impossible not to doodle? Well, that link I reblogged earlier today got me wondering how I might have approached that scene. Since I used to play goalie, I thought it might’ve been cool to have him leap and catch the falling guy like a goalie leaps to stop a goal. Anyway, here are the sketches that sprang from that idea. Btw, if you haven’t done an exercise like this-rethinking someone else’s choices, I recommend doing it for fun. The more you realize how much better the other artist is, the more you realize how much there is yet to learn.
If you’re one of the animation junkies who has found my blog, you might be interested in watching this live stream tomorrow, 2/4/12. It used to be (kind of) the “Golden Globes” of animation, but it’s quickly becoming the “Oscars of Animation”. You can play “Where’s Waveybrain”. Look for the guy with the blue face trying to suck his 6 pack in all evening. -Waveybrain
Actor/comedian Patton Oswalt (Ratatouille) will host the 39th Annual Annie Awards on Saturday, February 4th at UCLA’s Royce Hall. The annual event will begin with a pre-reception at 5 p.m. followed by the Annie Awards ceremony at 7 p.m. and an after-party celebration immediately following the ceremony. All events will be held at […]
Saw a posting on Cartoon Brew about this Donald Duck T-Shirt contest (http://atrium.threadless.com/donaldduck/submissions/). I should’ve read the timeline before I wasted my time scribbling away. It’ll probably be seen more here anyway.