O An­imag’s 13th An­nual Pitch Party Re­sults Are In!

Animation Magazine - - Pitch ‘ 14 -

ne of the many amaz­ing things about an­i­ma­tion is the way in which it sparks the imag­i­na­tion. Once you turn on the faucet of ideas, it’s al­most im­pos­si­ble to stop the flow and even harder to con­tain your ex­cite­ment when you hit on an idea you re­ally like.

But turn­ing those great ideas into shows is a dif­fi­cult and of­ten mys­te­ri­ous process, re­quir­ing con­stant hon­ing of the pitch and the op­por­tu­nity to put it front of the eyes of the people who have the power to make an idea for a show into re­al­ity.

That’s why we at An­i­ma­tion Mag­a­zine are proud to of­fer the 13th an­nual edi­tion of our unique Pitch Party. The con­test is an ex­tremely tar­geted ad cam­paign de­signed to help in­die and up-and-com­ing artists present their ideas to a panel of in­dus­try pro­fes­sion­als — as well as all the mag­a­zine’s read­ers. As a bonus, this is­sue is be­ing widely dis­trib­uted at Comic-Con In­ter­na­tional: San Diego, giv­ing our con­tes­tants a po­ten­tially huge au­di­ence for their pitches.

We are very happy to an­nounce that this year’s Top Prize win­ner is Shelby Christie for her pitch Fuse. As the win­ner, Shelby will get to pitch Fuse di­rectly to the judge of her choice and re­ceive a free dig­i­tal sub­scrip­tion to An­i­ma­tion Mag­a­zine.

And while the Pitch Party may have wrapped for 2014, it’s never too late to start hon­ing your ideas for next year’s edi­tion. Who knows? Maybe your show will be trans­formed from an idea to re­al­ity.

Our judges’ third-place pick is the ac­tion­com­edy Jolly Space Raider from Klas Jon­s­son, who runs a small com­pany called Pro­toon.

Jon­s­son is orig­i­nally from Swe­den and has been work­ing for more than 20 years as a vis­ual-ef­fects artist, post­pro­duc­tion su­per­vi­sor, vis­ual-ef­fects su­per­vi­sor and an­i­ma­tor, mostly for tele­vi­sion projects both in the United States and in Europe.

“Jolly Space Raider is a la­bor of love,” says Jon­s­son. “It started as a hobby and grew from there.”

The pitch cen­ters around a teenage space pirate named Jolly. Set in a fu­ture where space travel is com­mon, the story is set in the as­ter­oid belt be­tween Mars and Jupiter. When large ships run into trou­ble, the raiders are there to scav­enge the wreck­age.

“Jolly is one of them, and she’s a small girl and very full of her­self, and she’s usu­ally tak­ing on people who are twice her size,” says Jon­s­son. The tone is less hard sci­ence fic­tion and more of an ac­tion-com­edy se­ries.

The Jon­s­son says he’s de­vel­oped the pitch to be scal­able to ev­ery­thing from a web se­ries to a fea­ture film and he’s work­ing mostly by him­self on mak­ing a three- to five-minute episode as a pi­lot.

He does all of this be­tween pay­ing gigs and fly­ing fre­quently back and forth from Los Angeles to Swe­den — a long com­mute, he ad­mits, but worth it.

“I don’t mind,” he says. “I work with stuff I ab­so­lutely love.”

The switch from em­ployee to en­tre­pre­neur is more about chang­ing your mind­set than your em­ploy­ment sta­tus. You must com­mit to be­com­ing the butcher, baker and can­dle­stick maker all in one.

Lisa Gold­man: What are your some of your fun­ni­est — or tough­est — mo­ments be­ing a writer in an­i­ma­tion? As a story edi­tor? In a writer’s room? Su­san Kim: A tough (and uni­ver­sal) writer’s mo­ment: When you’re new on a show, you bust your hump try­ing to write some­thing fan­tas­tic, and the story edi­tor goes through your script and says: “This is hi­lar­i­ous! But not quite our show. And I loved this! But too sim­i­lar to some­thing we al­ready did. And this made me laugh out loud! But not some­thing that char­ac­ter would say.” Af­ter­ward, you’re left with like two shred­ded pages and told, “keep up the great work.” Al­though come to think of it, I’ve prob­a­bly done the same thing as a story edi­tor … hmm. Gold­man: How about the perks and chal­lenges of be­ing a writer work­ing from home? Kim: Ma­jor perk: Be­ing able to wear the same T-shirt and stretched-out yoga pants for three days in a row if you want. Like your cat gives a shit? The­o­ret­i­cally, you could wal­low in your own filth for three weeks if you wanted, al­though of course I am trés chic and al­ways beau­ti­fully groomed. (And the fact that you don’t even know which state­ment is true gets back to my an­swer: You can do what­ever you want! Who’s go­ing to know?) Mostly, I find that there’s no com­par­i­son to the depth of fo­cus you have when you’re at home … as­sum­ing, of course, you don’t have small chil­dren, an ob­ses­sion with house­clean­ing or a noisy part­ner. I love be­ing with people, but I find them way too dis­tract­ing. In col­lege, my friends stopped invit­ing me to the li­brary be­cause I’d al­ways be bored out of my skull, talk­ing non­stop and get­ting evicted by the li­brar­ian. Gold­man: As a story edi­tor, do you think about gen­der at all when you’re hir­ing writ­ers and try­ing to get the right mix for a show? Kim: I do. It’s not just gen­der, al­though, of course, that’s im­por­tant. In an ideal world, I’d love a blend of sexes, ex­pe­ri­ence, race, straight and gay, younger and older. Look at late-night com­edy: It’s ham­strung by the fact that 99 per­cent of their writ­ing staffs are straight white guys fresh out of Yale. Not that I have any­thing against straight white guys from Yale, but you lose nuance when ev­ery­one’s the same. And, I’m sorry, there’s still a huge false per­cep­tion out there that women aren’t funny, and that just blows. Gold­man: Why do you think there aren’t more women writ­ing in an­i­ma­tion? Has it ever felt like any kind of “boys club” has im­pacted your ca­reer, or is that old news? Kim: To be hon­est, I feel lucky in that much of my work has been for preschool, which is — I freely ad­mit — a girl ghetto. Okay, it’s not ex­actly swarm­ing with women, but most shows have at least a few fe­male writ­ers. It cer­tainly doesn’t have the boys club feel as other places I’ve worked, e.g. mid­dle grade, ad­ven­ture or Cartoon Net­work stuff. Gold­man: Any ad­vice for as­pir­ing an­i­ma­tion writ­ers? Kim: Keep it vis­ual. If your script reads like live ac­tion, some­thing’s wrong. Be nice and pro­fes­sional – it’s a busi­ness of con­tacts, af­ter all. And if no one’s hir­ing you, screw them. Find an an­i­ma­tor, pro­duce your own stuff and put it on­line. Ba­boon An­i­ma­tion is a U.S.-based col­lec­tive of Os­car-nom­i­nated, mul­ti­ple-Emmy-win­ning an­i­ma­tion writ­ers with cred­its on dozens of the most iconic an­i­mated shows of the last two decades. Lisa Gold­man heads up the Women In An­i­ma­tion in New York. She also writes and cre­ates con­tent for all me­dia plat­forms and teaches a course called Pitch Bi­ble Stud­ies Class. Learn more at http://an­i­mated­de­vel­op­ment.blogspot.com/

(Shelby Christie, Monc­ton, Canada) First Place: Sec­ond Place: Third Place:

Astrob­last! Peg+Cat

Su­san Kim

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