Intro to Pitching a Cartoon, part 2
I’ve been in the animation industry for more than 17 years as a development and current series executive for some of the world’s biggest animation networks and studios.
I’ve heard a boatload of pitches. Some good, some bad.
Some so bad that they ought to be illegal.
I absolutely love my job as an animation executive. Every day I get to work with some top-tier talent in the animation industry (writers and artists just like you), and help make cartoons seen by people all over the world.
But the absolute worst part of my job is having to sit through a terrible cartoon pitch.
The kind of pitch where I know it’s going to be a hard pass but for the sake of being polite, I stay in the room and hear them out—even though I really want to jump out the nearest window, onto the back of a giant eagle.
But I digress.
So why make a site about animation pitches?
Like I said earlier, there’s hardly any good and practical information available online (or offline) about pitching a TV show, especially a cartoon.
I’ve met so many people who have ideas for a cartoon, but don’t know how to write a pitch bible, or don’t know what to expect in a pitch meeting.
Many resort to searching the internet. Like you’re doing right now.
But wouldn’t you rather be drawing, writing, and creating instead of scouring the internet, searching for answers, only to get distracted by baby goat videos?
I wanted to create one place to share my advice and experience with all you talented creative types who are looking for tips, tools, and tactics on how to pitch a cartoon successfully .
And by “successfully”, I mean a show idea that gets optioned, or bought, by a network or studio like Nickelodeon, Dreamworks, Cartoon Network, or Netflix. And those networks have pretty deep pockets! Especially the ones that started off as tech companies, who are now in the original animated content business!
(Some networks and tech companies literally have buckets of cash laying around, waiting for someone to pitch them a great idea. As of this writing, most of those buckets are at Netflix, Apple, or Amazon.)
But those buckets are just going to sit there, unclaimed–or go towards the studio’s cereal bar and frozen yogurt machine–unless YOU pitch them something that blows them away.
Something they don’t want going to their competition.
Speaking of competition, at the time of this writing, the list of animation buyers and makers has grown tremendously. This list includes:
- Disney (Disney Channel, XD, Disney Jr, Disney+)
- Nickelodeon (ViacomCBS)
- DreamWorks Animation
- Warner Bros. Animation, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim (HBO Max)
- Amazon Studios
- Apple TV+
- And more!
And that’s just in the United States.
I want to help you give the best, bullet-proof pitch you can, so those executives have no choice but to say yes.
Here is a terrific article that highlights some animation executives and their tips for pitching a cartoon.
The average time a child spends in front of a screen, playing a game, or watching a show increases every year. More about that in this article.
How Kids Television Became the Most-Heated Front in the Streaming Wars.
People aren’t going to stop watching cartoons any time soon, shouldn’t yours be one of them?
That’s why I made this site, and if you’ve read this far, I hope that’s why you’re here.
(And frankly, because I don’t want to have to sit through another awful pitch.)
So, to recap:
More and more companies are buying or making content (animated and live-action) faster than ever before. It’s like an arms race for talent and content.
Those companies are spending more and more money on acquiring or making content each year.
See what Netflix is doing to hold off competitors with kids and family content.
People all over the world are consuming more and more content on a variety of screens and platforms each year.
There hasn’t been a better time in the history of film and television than now to create, pitch, and sell your idea for a TV show.
You need to know how to pitch your TV show ideas, and pitch them well.
Or someone else—whose idea is probably not as good as yours—will. They’ll get the offer, the money, the awards, the merchandise, and the movie spinoffs.
And you’ll get to watch their cartoon, knowing that your show idea was way better.
Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen, shall we?
What else can you expect from this site?
I’m glad I asked for you!
Here’s an abbreviated list of topics I plan to cover:
- Practical advice on what you can do to prepare yourself and your TV show idea so it has the best shot at getting optioned by a network or studio
- Tips for what to do and NOT DO before, during, and after a pitch meeting
- Actual pitch blunders I’ve witnessed, and how to learn from them while avoiding being the hot topic of conversation around the office
- What a development executive is thinking during your pitch
- What happens after you’ve finished your pitch
- What must be in your animated pitch bible and how to structure it
- Insights and opinions on the current animation industry
- Where and how to contact studio executives
Much of the information on this site goes beyond pitching a cartoon series. Many of these tips can be applied to any industry where pitching and presenting ideas are crucial.
In closing, let me say this:
I know you’ve worked too hard on your idea to just run into a wall now.
Bad pitches are 100% preventable 50% of the time!
So take a look around. Again, even if you’re not interested in the art of pitching in the animation industry, you just might learn a thing or two.
Tell me what you want to know! How? Keep reading!
Questions? Comments? Care to disagree and tell me how wrong I am? Any particular subjects or content you’d like to see me cover?
Send me an email, or post a comment in the forums. I want your feedback! I want to know any questions you have about pitching to studio executives, making an animated pitch bible, or even which studios are worth pitching to.
While you’re at it, could you do me a favor and share this post with your friends ? I’d greatly appreciate it.
Keep this site bookmarked, and come back for more articles and helpful tips.
Thanks for stopping by.