How to Direct for Animated Television

Hosted by Mike Disa

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Mike Disa

Webinar hosted by: Mike Disa

Director, Paradise PD at Netflix

Mike Disa is currently the director of the Netflix series Paradise PD and has been in the animation industry for over twenty-five years.   Mike came to California twenty-five years ago from Chicago to break into the animation industry. With no film training or knowledge of the byzantine workings of the entertainment business, he eventually found success at studios such as Dreamworks, Disney Feature, Warner Brothers, Paramount, and many others. Over a fascinating career, Mike has worked with some of the greatest and most infamous people in Hollywood including Steven Spielberg, Eric Goldberg, Ralph Bakshi, Glenn Close, Steve Oedekerk, David Tennant, Amy Poehler, Adam Sandler, Jeffery Katzenberg and Roy Disney.   Some of Mike's credits include: Producer and writer on Wacky Races (Warner Bros. Animation) Writer on Space Dogs and Space Dogs 2 (Epic Pictures) Consulting producer for The Simpsons interactive hologram Director and co-writer of Postman Pat (Dreamworks) Director of Deadspace Aftermath (Starz) Director of Dante's Inferno (Starz) Director of Hoodwinked Too Director of The Haunted Adventure of El Super Beasto (Starz) Director/Writer of The Origin of Stitch (Disneytoons Studios) Director of Bewitched, The Movie (The Picture Mill) Mike has worked on over 16 feature films, developed/written two television series, and directed 5 animated feature films. Presently directing for Netflix, Mike has written, produced, or directed literally hundreds of hours of film and television. But because of his long struggle to break into film, Mike is also a passionate teacher dedicated to sharing his hard-earned knowledge about the workings of the entertainment industry with others driven to become filmmakers. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

Exclusive to Stage 32! Netflix animation director Mike Disa teaches how to direct for animated television!

 

"Mike Disa was amazingly generous with his time and information. And he was real. It doesn't get better than that. I'll be able to apply his insights and the information he shared immediately. I'm so glad I decided to participate." - Elizabeth A.

"The webinar was excellent and very well paced. I truly appreciated the honesty and straightforwardness of the presenter. I learned a lot and look forward to the next one." - Jerry M.

"Great information, Mike did an awesome job and I will look forward to his next webinar." - Diane M.

"Really appreciated Mike's enthusiasm!" - Kate D.

"Excellent webinar. I think that I learned more than I expected to about animation and how it relates to working in the industry. I had a good time watching this and appreciate how kind everyone was with their time." - Kari H.

 

Directing for animated television shows requires a special skillset that can’t be taught in school. Top animated shows like The Simpsons, Bob’s Burgers, Bojak Horseman, American Dad succeed because of the top directing talent at the helm.

To help you on your journey directing for animation we've brought in Director Mike Disa of the Netflix Show Paradise PD to break down in detail what it takes. With no film training or knowledge of the byzantine workings of the entertainment business, he eventually found success at studios such as Dreamworks, Disney Feature, Warner Brothers, Paramount, and many others. Over a fascinating career, Mike has worked with some of the greatest and most infamous people in Hollywood including Steven Spielberg, Eric Goldberg, Ralph Bakshi, Glenn Close, Steve Oedekerk, David Tennant, Amy Poehler, Adam Sandler, Jeffery Katzenberg and Roy Disney. He'll be going over the overall landscape and the details of what it takes to write for both features and TV.

If you’ve missed Mike Disa’s epic 1st part about Writing for Animation webinar, click here.

Some of Mike's previous webinar testimonials:

"The stories and ideas and descriptions were excellent. Straight talk from a true professional." - Don S.

"Mike Disa was amazingly generous with his time and information. And he was real. It doesn't get better than that. I'll be able to apply his insights and the information he shared immediately. I'm so glad I decided to participate." - Elizabeth A.

"This was really helpful. Thank you for examples of scripts to download to read. This was very helpful." - Robin L.

What You'll Learn

  • Definition of a TV Animation Director – It’s unlike any other kind of directing.
  • Directing vs. Storyboarding
  • Additional Skills You Will Need As an Animated TV Director
  • Unnecessary Skills aka “Nobody Cares If You Can Do That”
  • Pathway to Becoming a TV Director
  • Categories of Shows & Breaking Down How Different a Director’s Role is On Each Category of Show
    • Children’s Scripted
    • Prime Time Scripted
    • Premise driven
  • Typecasting
    • Action vs. Comedy
    • Children’s vs. Prime Time
    • Preschool vs. 6 to 13
    • “Girlie” shows
  • Big Studio vs. Small Studio Directing
  • Style vs. Workmanship
  • Biggest Challenges
  • Common Mistakes
  • How to Make a Living
  • Shelf Life of a TV Director
  • Why Should I NOT Become a TV Director
  • Is There a Pathway to Creating My Own Show?
  • Do I Need an Agent?
  • Is it Too Late to Get Into Live Action?
  • Q&A with Mike

About Your Instructor

Mike Disa is currently the director of the Netflix series Paradise PD and has been in the animation industry for over twenty-five years.
 
Mike came to California twenty-five years ago from Chicago to break into the animation industry. With no film training or knowledge of the byzantine workings of the entertainment business, he eventually found success at studios such as Dreamworks, Disney Feature, Warner Brothers, Paramount, and many others. Over a fascinating career, Mike has worked with some of the greatest and most infamous people in Hollywood including Steven Spielberg, Eric Goldberg, Ralph Bakshi, Glenn Close, Steve Oedekerk, David Tennant, Amy Poehler, Adam Sandler, Jeffery Katzenberg and Roy Disney.
 
Some of Mike's credits include:
  • Producer and writer on Wacky Races (Warner Bros. Animation)
  • Writer on Space Dogs and Space Dogs 2 (Epic Pictures)
  • Consulting producer for The Simpsons interactive hologram
  • Director and co-writer of Postman Pat (Dreamworks)
  • Director of Deadspace Aftermath (Starz)
  • Director of Dante's Inferno (Starz)
  • Director of Hoodwinked Too
  • Director of The Haunted Adventure of El Super Beasto (Starz)
  • Director/Writer of The Origin of Stitch (Disneytoons Studios)
  • Director of Bewitched, The Movie (The Picture Mill)

Mike has worked on over 16 feature films, developed/written two television series, and directed 5 animated feature films.

Presently directing for Netflix, Mike has written, produced, or directed literally hundreds of hours of film and television. But because of his long struggle to break into film, Mike is also a passionate teacher dedicated to sharing his hard-earned knowledge about the workings of the entertainment industry with others driven to become filmmakers.

FAQs

Q: What is the format of a webinar?
A: Stage 32 Next Level Webinars are typically 90-minute broadcasts that take place online using a designated software program from Stage 32.

Q: Do I have to be located in a specific location?
A: No, you can participate from the comfort of your own home using your personal computer! If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar.

Q: What are the system requirements?
A: You will need to meet the following system requirements in order to run the webinar software: Windows 7 or later Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or later.
If you have Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion): The webinar software does not support these operating systems. If you are running one of those operating systems, please upgrade now in order to be able to view a live webinar. Upgrade your Windows computer / Upgrade your Mac computer

Q: What if I cannot attend the live webinar?
A: If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar. If you cannot attend a live webinar and purchase an On-Demand webinar, you will have access to the entire recorded broadcast, including the Q&A.

Q: Will I have access to the webinar afterward to rewatch?
A: Yes! After the purchase of a live or On-Demand webinar, you will have on-demand access to the audio recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year!

Testimonials

"Mike Disa was amazingly generous with his time and information. And he was real. It doesn't get better than that. I'll be able to apply his insights and the information he shared immediately. I'm so glad I decided to participate." - Elizabeth A.

"The webinar was excellent and very well paced. I truly appreciated the honesty and straightforwardness of the presenter. I learned a lot and look forward to the next one." - Jerry M.

"Great information, Mike did an awesome job and I will look forward to his next webinar." - Diane M.

"Really appreciated Mike's enthusiasm!" - Kate D.

"Excellent webinar. I think that I learned more than I expected to about animation writing and how it relates to working in the industry. I had a good time watching this and appreciate how kind everyone was with their time." - Kari H.

"I believe such given information was highly inspirational, utterly legit and true regarding the industry and show business. I've always wanted to learn what it takes to write an idea for an animated series, and how to put it on screen, and this webinar truly answered these vital questions. Conclusively, I would really take these tips into consideration during the writing of my ideas, and would highly recommend them to those who are ambitious to spread their stories world-wide." - Mohammed H.

"Mike was very informative. He was friendly and open very easy to listen to. I learned some valuable lessons.." - Lind J.

"The stories and ideas and descriptions were excellent. Straight talk from a true professional." - Don S.

"This was really helpful. Thank you for examples of scripts to download to read. This was very helpful." - Robin L.

Questions?

If you have a generic question about Stage 32 education you can take a look at our frequently asked questions section on our help page, or feel free to contact support with any other inquiries you might have.

Other education that may be of interest to you:

Writing for Animation - Features & TV

Exclusive to Stage 32! Netflix animation director Mike Disa teaches writing for animation! Animation as one of the most flexible mediums for the imagination. Animated stories have been capturing our minds ever since media hit the screen through characters like Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Bugs Bunny to what we see today in The Simpsons, American Dad, Bojack Horseman, Rick and Morty, Spider-man, Incredibles and more.  Writing animation features or television requires a special skill - not one that can be taught through traditional feature & TV writing resources. The tools you need to succeed in animation are quite unique and once honed can offer you a long career creatively animating the stories in your mind. To help you on your journey writing for animation we've brought in Director Mike Disa of the Netflix Show Paradise PD to break down in detail what it takes. With no film training or knowledge of the byzantine workings of the entertainment business, he eventually found success at studios such as Dreamworks, Disney Feature, Warner Brothers, Paramount, and many others. Over a fascinating career, Mike has worked with some of the greatest and most infamous people in Hollywood including Steven Spielberg, Eric Goldberg, Ralph Bakshi, Glenn Close, Steve Oedekerk, David Tennant, Amy Poehler, Adam Sandler, Jeffery Katzenberg and Roy Disney. He'll be going over the overall landscape and the details of what it takes to write for both features and TV.

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