SDCC PANEL TELLS YOU HOW!
Wow Wow Wuzby
has an excellent example of an animation pitch
Go to the the Wublog Show Bible
WANT TO PITCH YOUR IDEAS TO CARTOON NETWORK’S ADULT SWIM?
BY ALEX LUGO
Ever had a great idea for an animated series, but never knew how to do it? Well, if you went to Thursday’s Adult Swim Panel at SDCC, they told you exactly how to do it, and who to send it to. Being an aspiring creator, I had to attend, and learn this secret information. In attendance at the panel were Nick Weidenfeld, the director of development at Adult Swim; Kim Manning, director of programming; Loren Bouchard, Home Movies, Dr. Katz; Dino Stamatopouloos, Mr. Show; and Todd James, Adam de la Pena, and Peter Girardi, Crankyankers.
Nick Weidenfeld, made it very clear he did not want to get any “Hollywood” type or formal pitches. He said the pitching should be “funny, informal, and really just an exchange of ideas.” He also gave an outline of what to do and not to do, which I have copied and listed below:
WHAT TO HAVE:
1. A really amazing show idea
2. A show bible that includes:
a. Show concept/ description
b. Main character descriptions and designs
c. Secondary characters and descriptions
d. Description of the environment that the show is set within
e. Episode outlines that include 4 or 5 ideas
WHAT NOT TO HAVE:
1. A fully written plot
2. Marketing Plans or Strategies (leave this to Adult Swim)
3. Branding concepts or products (again leave this to Adult Swim)
WHAT NOT TO PITCH:
1. Defunct superhero shows
2. Re-proposed classic cartoon shows
3. Barbarian/Medieval shows
4. Satirical reality TV shows/Behind the scenes shows
5. Mafia Shows
6. Kid shows gone wrong
7. Anthology shows
8. Zombie shows
9. Shows that compare themselves to other shows
10. Room mate shows
Weidenfeld and the other panelists also insisted that people pitching be very flexible with their ideas and the format of the show. Being collaborative was a plus as well, and that working with actors and people that you like to create a short (if possible) is key and can help in the pitch process. But they still insisted that keeping it “fun and informal” was the best way to go about it. Weidenfeld also stated that anyone pitching ask themselves the following questions:
1. Could this show be on another network?
2. Could this show be live action?
3. Could this work as a kid’s show?
4. Is this show really cheap to make?
If the answers for 1 through 3 were “yes”, and the last one “no”, then it is probably not meant for Adult Swim according to the panelists.
In addition to the pitching instructions, Adult Swim also showed some clips of their new shows for the upcoming season which included: Moral Orel from the head writer of Mr. Show and Funhouse; Minoriteam, from the talent behind Crankyankers; and Lucy, Daughter of the Devil, from the creators of Dr. Katz.
So now that you know how to pitch, you can mail your great ideas to the following address:
Attn: Nick Weidenfeld
1065 Williams Street
Atlanta, GA 30309
Before you go ahead and send off the idea, however, you may want to send them a quick note asking if you need to sign a non-disclosure agreement (a stamped and pre-addressed envelope would be good too). Good luck everyone, I hope to see your show on the air, and mine too!
BY ALEX LUGO