What ACME Doesn't Tell You When Writing for Animation

Hosted by Daniel Kendrick

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Daniel Kendrick

Webinar hosted by: Daniel Kendrick

Director of Animation at IDW Entertainment

Daniel Stellan Kendrick is a manager and development executive at Chatrone LLC, a production / management company, which specializes in animation. Originally hailing from San Diego, Daniel moved to Los Angeles to attend UCLA where he graduated with a degree in history and film. He worked at International Creative Management before joining Chatrone LLC in 2012. His clients include writers, artists, and creators that have worked on projects such as Robot Chicken, Spongebob Squarepants, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and The Lego Movie. Chatrone’s first animated feature, The Book Of Life, was released by Fox and has been nominated for five Annie Awards and a Golden Globe. With offices in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Chatrone also produces multiple TV series in Latin America. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

Learn directly from Daniel Stellan Kendrick, Manager and Development Executive at Chatrone LLC (The Book of Life).

From our first exposures to Mickey Mouse to the off-color adult humor of South Park, animation spans the human experience. One of the most unlimited and flexible mediums of entertainment, it often remains an outlier in the film industry.

Aspiring writers are constantly inundated with information and resources about writing the perfect feature screenplay, but rarely do they have the opportunity to glimpse inside the animation industry. This practical and informative webinar will illuminate the trade secrets and industry culture of cartoons.

Over the years, Daniel Stellan Kendrick has heard countless pitches from aspiring animation writers. After a while, he realized that the tools required to succeed at writing this unique and unfamiliar specialty are not easy to find. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Daniel will walk you through the lay of the land of the animation industry. From concept creation, to the big players, to the final pitch, Daniel will help you master this boundlessly imaginative field we call “animation.”

Daniel Stellan Kendrick is a manager and development executive at Chatrone LLC, a production / management company, which specializes in animation. His clients include writers, artists, and creators that have worked on projects such as Robot Chicken, Spongebob Squarepants, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and The Lego Movie. Chatrone’s first animated feature, The Book Of Life, was nominated for five Annie Awards and a Golden Globe.

What You'll Learn

  • An overview of the animation industry
  • What are the differences between animated feature films and television?
  • Who are the big players in animation?
  • What are the differences between preschool, 6-11, and adult animation?
  • Who will buy my show?
  • Where do independent animation studios fit in?
  • Who makes the show?
  • The current climate and trends.
  • What you need to sell your animated show
  • Do I need to draw?
  • What’s a pitch bible?
  • What’s in a strong animated premise?
  • Do I have to write a pilot?
  • The genres of animated television.
  • The components of a pitch bible.
  • Character, character, character.
  • Tying it all together into a great pitch at home and in the room.

About Your Instructor

Daniel Stellan Kendrick is a manager and development executive at Chatrone LLC, a production / management company, which specializes in animation. Originally hailing from San Diego, Daniel moved to Los Angeles to attend UCLA where he graduated with a degree in history and film. He worked at International Creative Management before joining Chatrone LLC in 2012. His clients include writers, artists, and creators that have worked on projects such as Robot Chicken, Spongebob Squarepants, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and The Lego Movie. Chatrone’s first animated feature, The Book Of Life, was released by Fox and has been nominated for five Annie Awards and a Golden Globe. With offices in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Chatrone also produces multiple TV series in Latin America.

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! 

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.
 

Reviews Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5

  • Very cool.
  • Daniel's layout for this webinar was fantastic! I learned a little history, got a much better idea about how the world and animation works, and got some hints on how to get in. I'm now working on a pitch bible for all my graphic novels and comic book scripts.
  • This webinar was very informative. The first part was Daniel educating us on all the different companies and animation studios. He talked about what audience they were geared toward, what material they produced and some examples of what they worked on. I had no idea there were so many of them and how big and international the animation world was! As the webinar talked so extensively about the different studios, my interest waned. Towards the end when Daniel answered questions from the viewers that's when it became interesting again. Someone asked him why it was so difficult for screenwriters to get into animation studios. Finally! I wanted to ask that exact question and the answer wasn't as long as I had hoped. I also wanted to know about different writing styles and which are the most popular. Fairy tale stories, satire and adult geared cartoons are very relevant, but so are preschool and children shows. I wanted to know what I need to write that will get me in the door and unfortunately that question is all too elusive and difficult to answer. Someone also asked the question about the success of Disney's Frozen and how writers are wanting to match that kind of success. That was a great question, also raised by the viewing audience and not the host. Overall the webinar was okay but I really wish it could have been more question/answer time instead of all the information about the animation studios and what they produce. I have only watched the webinar once instead of over and over again because I could search Google or Wikipedia if I just needed information. I want an animation class that asks and answers all the riveting questions writers want to know about getting into and succeeding in the animation world. And I want to know suggestions from the experts on what I need to write about. Thank you for reading, Dawn

Other education that may be of interest to you:

Deconstructing the Oscar-Nominated Script: 'Inside Out'

You can join Daniel Kendrick, Manager and Development Executive at Chatrone (Golden Globe nominated animation feature film The Book of Life, with animated clients for SpongeBob SquarePants, The Lego Movie, Robot Chicken, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) as he deconstructs PIXAR's Oscar-nominated script, Inside Out! As the second highest grossing PIXAR film ever made and Oscar nominee, what makes Inside Out resonate so deeply with audiences across the world? PIXAR, the world’s premiere animation studio, has yet again managed to produce a smash hit that makes everyone laugh and cry all the way from children to grown adults. Join your host, Daniel Kendrick as he delves deep to deconstruct the Inside Out script as part of the popular Stage 32 Next Level Education "Deconstructing the Script" series! You will learn the storytelling strategies and techniques PIXAR employs to produce hit after hit award-winning animated features. Daniel will go over the methods by which PIXAR tweaks traditional story structure to compose an enthralling character piece. You will understand the plot points and characterization that makes the fictional inhabitants of a mind in this script so appealing and endearing. You will also understand the visual and poetic appeal of Inside Out and its characters’ journeys. You will walk away with a solid understanding of all the elements that make Inside Out a successful script including: protagonist, plotlines, characters, dialogue & visuals, set ups & pay offs, animation and overall development. To find out more, click the "What You Will Learn" tab above!

The Pitch Tank with guest Zach Cox

This month we welcome Literary Manager Zach Cox of Circle of Confusion, the management and production company behind "The Walking Dead" and the Oscar-winning film "Straight Outta Compton."

Breaking Into Late Night TV as a Writer

The television landscape has changed dramatically over the years and continues to evolve, seemingly on a weekly basis. Yet through all of it, an undeniable constant has been late night TV. In fact, with their up-to-the-minute spoofs of our fast-changing news cycle and cultural landscape, late night shows like THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JIMMY FALLON, THE DAILY SHOW WITH TREVOR NOAH, LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER, and FULL FRONTAL WITH SAMANTHA BEE have never been more relevant. The appetite is high, but writing for this rapid-turnaround genre is its own skill set, separate from others used throughout TV and film. Furthermore, getting hired for such a show can be particularly challenging. Yet it’s still possible. So how can you prepare yourself with for when late night writing opportunities present themselves, and can you find these opportunities in the first place? For as ever-present as late night TV is, the industry itself can seem hard-to-know and enigmatic. It’s certainly less covered in media than other types of television. Yet if you’re interested in writing for a late night program, it’s critical to have a basic understanding of how these shows work--both the media ecosystem they exist in, and more specifically, how they are produced day-to-day, and even hour-to-hour. It’s also crucial to put together a strong, standout Late-Night Writers’ Packet, which combines a number of different elements that decision makers are looking for when hiring. If you want to pursue a career in late night writing, it’s time to learn everything you need to know to find success. Rob Kutner is an Emmy, Peabody, and Grammy Award-winning late night television staff writer who has worked on shows like CONAN and THE DAILY SHOW. Starting out as a writers’ assistant on DENNIS MILLER LIVE, Rob is also the author of the satirical end-of-times bestseller Apocalypse How: Turn the End Times into the Best of Times! and has written material for the Oscars, Emmys, Writers’ Guild Awards, MTV Movie Awards, Guys’ Choice Awards, and two White House Correspondents’ Dinners. Rob has spent the majority of his storied career operating and thriving in the world of late night television and is ready to tell you how you can do the same. Rob will teach you how late night television works and how you can best position yourself to find opportunities as a writer within it. He’ll begin by going over an introduction to late night television, including a brief history and overview, an examination of how late night is different than other genres, how a late night show generally works, and what a typical day on a program like this looks like. Next Rob will go through his own experiences with late night and extract the biggest lessons he’s learned from his own journey. He’ll discuss his early steps, his work as a production assistant and a writers’ assistant, and how he got his first writing gig. He’ll also go into the differences between the shows he’s worked on, including CONAN and THE DAILY SHOW. He’ll explain how he continues to find work in this space. He will then go through five ways you can find a late night writing job of your own. He will also teach you strategies you should use to better get noticed as a writer. He’ll explain the difference between “hiring” and “reading”, how to be gently persistent, and what a late night writing packet is as well as why it’s crucial. Rob will dive deep into how to put together your own late night packet and share with you the 8 different pieces you’ll need to build a packet that will get producers’ attention. He’ll explain how to make your packet look good and noticeable. Rob will even offer a live demonstration, showing how to put together a packet live. Next he will talk about how to keep your writing job once you’re staffed. He’ll explain the differences between late night and episodic production cultures and go through what the day-to-day requirements of a late night writer are. He’ll explain what the etiquette of the writers’ room is, how best to pitch your ideas, and how to take and move forward with notes that you’re given. He’ll also talk about how best to navigate the quick turnarounds that are notorious in jobs like this. Finally, Rob will go through further opportunities in the world of late night that you can explore, including finding producing opportunities and chances to actually perform on your show. Let Rob help you walk into the world of late night with your eyes open and with a collection of strategies to best find the writing opportunity you’re after.   Praise for Rob's Stage 32 Webinar   "Very informative, told with kindness." -Zara Q.   "Rob's webinar was uber insightful and detailed. I learned more about breaking into the industry than several UCLA extension classes." -Jamie T.   "Wonderful insider POV, super helpful tips on the package/sample work" -Laura D.   "Very on point. Speaker was knowledgeable and had lots of real world experience. He seemed very relatable, too." -Jeff E.

8 Week Intensive TV Drama Pilot Writing Lab

Learn directly from Morgan Long, TV Literary Department for a “Big Six” Agency This lab is designed for beginner and intermediate screenwriters looking to build a pilot from scratch or expand on an existing idea. With the TV market exploding right now, one of the most in demand formats is the 1-hour TV drama pilot. Many, if not all, managers and agents are looking for writers that can write in this space, and with more and more production companies heading into TV, knowing how to write a strong 1-hour TV drama pilot will give you a competitive advantage and help you find success as a TV writer! Due to popular demand, Stage 32 is thrilled to bring back our 8 Week Intensive TV Drama Pilot Writing Lab taught by Morgan Long, a TV development coordinator at a “Big Six” Agency! This hands-on intensive lab will guide you through picking a concept, creating engaging characters, structuring and outlining your pilot and writing the first draft! The main objective of this 8-week lab will be to have a first draft of your script. You will meet online with Morgan for 2 hours a week in a class setting, plus have phone consultations during some of the weeks when you don't have an online class. This will be accompanied by weekly homework assignments to guide you on your way to creating a marketable, unique pilot that will grab the industry's attention. Payment plans are available - please contact julie@stage32.com for more information.  This Lab is Limited to 20 People. Please Note: Participating in this lab does not mean you are writing for or pitching to Morgan or her company.  PRE-CLASS PREP - Read your syllabus and plan out your writing ideas. Begin to think about 1-2 ideas that might be a good idea for your drama pilot. Start to prepare for your pilot pitch.

Pitch Like a Pro: Tools for Any Scenario

You’re a writer. Your work is entertaining, informative, thought provoking — heck, it’s even clever. You dream of tapping away on your lap-top in a cabin, sending off your material to a publisher or a producer, and collecting your check from the mail-box in the evening before pouring yourself a glass of Malbec red wine and walking your dog by a river. It’s a beautiful dream. But the reality is, no matter how good your writing is, no matter how brilliant your ideas are — if you’re ever going to have that cabin, not to mention enough cash to cover dog food every month, you have to know how to pitch well. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, TV Writer/Producer Charlie Charbonneau (CW shows: The Secret Circle, The Vampire Diaries, and its spin-off The Originals) will teach you how to successfully pitch your ideas as a writer. You’ll learn about the many different scenarios where you’ll have to translate that spectacular idea in your brain to someone who’s never heard it before. This webinar will lay out the rudimentary yet vital skills used by the pros to win over the show-runners, buyers, and agents. You’ll hear about the nitty gritty do’s and don’ts of pitching in places like the TV Writers Room, a studio or network executive’s office, and at lunch with the agent or manager you’ve been dying to meet with. Also, Charlie will be giving you tips on how to nail your 8-minute pitch so you can take advantage of the Stage 32 Script Services pitch sessions offered every week. He'll guide you through how to start, cultivate interest and leave the executives wanting more. He'll not only cover live pitching but how to deliver a superb written pitch!  You will get to examine the biggest enemies to a great pitch — fear and anxiety — and strategies to neutralize them so you can keep your cool. And, of course, those who tune in will get to catch some horrific pitch fails from the trenches of TV staff writing. Writers in any medium and at every experience level will benefit from this webinar — from novices to experts. And anyone else looking to hone their sales tactics in the entertainment industry or elsewhere will walk away with strategies to bring their pitch games to the next level.   "The pitching webinar was fantastic. Every I was dotted every T crossed. It helped me to really understand the process than to be afraid of it. I still have lots more work and practicing to do, but it was great. Thank you." - Mindy G   "Great real life examples - much appreciated!" - Paul B.   "Charlie put a lot of heart in his presentation... that's everything!" - Matthew R.   "This was exactly what I need. I'm totally new to the industry and I wanted insight into how to best prepare for pitching my projects. Charlie, thanks for doing such an excellent job of providing that insight." - Cam C.

How to Design and Build a Professional Pitch Deck Without Any Technical Skills

More and more, storytellers are being asked to present more than just a script when going out to investors or production companies. Whether you’re pitching a limited series, a feature, or even a doc, executives and investors want to have a sense of what your project will be, beyond just words on a page. What will it look like? What will it feel like? Execs want a visual representation of what the project is—even if you aren’t the director. For this reason, understanding how to put together an attractive pitch deck will give you a distinct advantage as a director, as a writer, as a producer, or as any creative in TV and film. There are people out there who are incredibly skilled with programs like Photoshop or Lightroom and, for those people, creating a pitch deck that will help sell their show can be a snap. But for the average person, these apps are daunting at best and, at worst, completely confusing and overwhelming. However you don’t need to spend hours learning how to use high-end software, and you certainly don’t have to put down a bunch of money for a designer. Anyone can create an amazing pitch deck with basic software and one or two simple apps on your phone. As long as you know the rules and best practices there really aren’t barriers to keep you from making a great looking pitch deck and getting that project sold. Shaun O'Banion is the founder of production company Ravenwood and works as a post production project coordinator on some of the industry's leading films in recent years including JOJO RABBIT, TERMINATOR: DARK FATE, THE AFTERMATH and OPHELIA. O’Banion produced DAKOTA SKYE which became a cult hit and remained in the Top 100 Most Viewed on Netflix. He produced GIRLFRIEND, the first film in North America to star an actor with Down Syndrome in the lead role. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, sold to Strand Releasing and won O’Banion an IFP Gotham Award. He joined the Producers Guild of America and co-produced THE AUTOMATIC HATE which made its World Premiere at the SXSW Film Festival. The film was released theatrically by Film Movement. Through his career, Shaun has become well versed in positioning his projects for success and understanding the best ways to pitch and sell them, including creating knock-out pitch decks. He’s ready to share what he’s learned and empower even the most tech-illiterate members of the Stage 32 community. Shaun will teach you how to use basic software and apps to craft an attractive pitch deck on your own without having to hire a graphic designer. He’ll begin by going through the basics of what a pitch deck is, how they help get projects sold and what they normally look like. He will offer provide examples of effective pitch decks. Next, Shaun will delve into how you can create an effective pitch deck on your own without fancy tools. He’ll discuss getting set up and outline what you need, including the tools and software you should consider using. Next he will go over forming a plan for the pitch deck’s layout ahead of time and the ways to best organize and prepare before diving in. Then he will teach you how best to visually convey the tone of your project in your pitch deck and how to create a flow within it. Shaun will talk about choosing images for the pitch deck, where to find them and how to choose one over another. He will then go over choosing when to use words versus pictures and how to employ visual elements like fonts to break up your document for maximum impact. After teaching you what you need to know about designing a great pitch deck, Shaun will demonstrate it all by working with the registrants in creating a brand new pitch deck in real time, live and on-screen. He will specifically focus on creating with you a general image for the overall background, graphics for the title page, setting page, main character page, supporting character page, and episode page. Shaun will also provide registrants with a resource sheet outlining the tools and software he uses for his own pitch decks. After going through this exercise with Shaun, you’ll never need to hire a graphic designer again.   Like what you heard from Shaun during this webcast?  Send your script and speak to Shaun for an hour by clicking here.      Praise for Shaun's Stage 32 Webinar:   "Shaun O’Banion made creating a pitch deck seem downright easy and fun. Before today, I was absolutely dreading it as my skills with graphic design and editing are next to zero. Shaun was so generous with his time and stayed on for an entire extra hour to go over more and have the Q&A which was incredibly kind."  -Margaret M.     "Just fantastic. Could have spent the whole day in this!" -Dan G.     "The best I've taken" -Timothy B.     "Amazing detail about specific ways to use the technology and also very creatively inspiring. Loved the as you go, how to way of doing this! I was able to follow along and create my own document and experiment as he spoke!" -Katie B.     Please note that this webinar will focus on the graphic visual elements of an effective pitch deck. To learn more about the content and storytelling that goes into a pitch deck, we recommend checking out Ewan Dunbar’s TV Series Pitch Deck Webinar.

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