Pitchin' Your Ideas

I recently attended an ASIFA-East (Association Internationale du Film D'Animation) panel to mark the release of David Levy's new book, "Animation Development: from Pitch to Production." There's some notes about the evening HERE, which is a thorough summary.

One aspect of the panel that I found interesting was the diametric opposition of Janice Burgess of Nickelodeon and Amid Amidi of Cartoonbrew.com (which happens to be one of the first sites I check every day. Yep, it's that good.) Burgess—the sole representative on the panel of television execs—explained that material should be crafted to appeal to the specific niche of that station. Amidi, on the other hand, felt that artists should not focus on demographics but should instead focus on becoming better artists.

As I listened, I understood both of their positions and felt that they were both correct. I think Amidi is accurate to tell artists to focus on their craft before they limit their creativity to service one particular type of viewer. I also thought Burgess was correct to explain that the executives who greenlight television projects have as much riding on its success as the creator. It is understandable that executives must always consider the bottom line and ensure that the property appeals to their viewers.

The primary message of the evening was: follow your heart, create from your core, THEN do the research to determine who would be most receptive to your ideas. In other words, don't pitch a raunchy sex comedy to Nickelodeon! HBO or Showtime would be a better home for that type of material.

Ultimately, it all comes back to pursuing your passion. So get going!

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