1. jdearman777

    jdearman777 New Member

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    How to get an animated script to the big boys (Pixar, Dreamworks, Disney) if you dont work there

    Discussion in 'By the Genre' started by jdearman777, Jun 5, 2017.

    How do you get a animated script to the big boys (Pixar, Dreamworks, or Disney) without knowing someoen who works there or working there yourself? I heard everything in animation is done in house, so is it basically not worth even bothering to write animation screenplays..? Even if your idea is awesome???

    Is there another way to get your script produced without having to move to Orlando or LA and work for one of the companies?
     
  2. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I'd suspect you need an agent with good contacts ... pretty much .like you do to get a publishing deal with a big five book publisher.
     
  3. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin The game sour like a pickle be.... Contributor

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    Sort of. The written script is of minuscule priority compared to the cost and labor of the animation. I don' t know if they even solicit scripts or ideas. Usually the studio/production team develops their own concepts and then spends a bazillion dollars coming up with the basic character designs, motion capture gameplan, and the specific software needs to execute the idea. Basically they just start drawing stuff. I'm sure they get around to hiring a writing team at some point, but they likely work in-house and shape the script to execute what has already been designed in an animation sense.
     
  4. dragonflare137

    dragonflare137 Member

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    I've actually had the honor of listening to one of the main artists at Pixar, Jay Shuster, when he came to my college to do a symposium. In it he talked about how a movie is made in Pixar, so my comment is only relevant to Pixar. He pretty much said that its the work of the writing team to create new stories for next movies. Their ideas are accepted and rejected just like how manuscripts can be accepted or rejected.

    You best hope for getting your script looked at would be to get a job at the company. Again I only know for sure that's how Pixar works, so you would have to do research on the other big boys. I'm not 100% sure, so their is a possibility that I am wrong, but you should try your shot at getting onto the writing team if there are openings. So my advice would be to work up a portfolio of ideas, and most of all just do some research into the subject. I'm sure there are more informed people somewhere on the internet. Heck there might even be someone in the actual department who has answered question pertaining to the subject. All in all, I wish you luck and I hope you can find your answer somewhere out there :)
     
  5. Domino355

    Domino355 Senior Member

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    I did hear something once (not very credible, I know), that some production companies buy scripts from new writers, and keep them for later use. Though a problem I've often heard is that once they buy the script they can do anything they want with it, so the final product might be nothing like what you first handed over.

    Again this is all speculation, and something I heard about movie companies in general. The best advice I can give is to get an agent and talk to people in the business. Or if you really want to dare, get your own group and make that movie yourself.
     
  6. TheNineMagi

    TheNineMagi take a moment to vote

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    A foot in the door can be working for one of the advertising agencies, these big guys use. Small scripts for commercials, and getting to know the various producers and creative directors. You also get to show your talent to them, and if they like your work, creativity, and demonstrate an ability to translate their vision into a finished product. You won't get in the door trying to sell your vision of things regardless of how fantastic it is. They look for people who can adapt, and think on their feet when given a prompt. Are you good at collaborating, listening, asking questions, taking direction and most importantly criticism, which can be brutal.

    Do you have the ability of scrapping a whole piece, especially when you think it meets the criteria, and is an excellent representation of what is being asked for. If they said light and comical and you deliver dark and broody, you are not getting a call anytime soon. Even if the piece is about the Evil witch from snow white meeting Vlad the Impaler in a plot to enslave mankind. The movie is 25% done and all you have to work with is dark scenes reminiscent of a 50's horror flick. Your attitude, ability to remember details, and, the relationship you are willing or unwilling to build with them will go a long way, when they are looking for a writer. Keeping in mind they are the ones with the multi-million dollar budget, and paying to have a service delivered their way.

    Also, if the first thing you do is hand them your script, you can pretty much kiss said script goodbye, assuming they even accept it from you. Patience is going to be a virtue of unparalleled proportions here. They are looking for people to fulfill their ideas not yours. What you are essentially doing is networking your way into their position, where you get to dictate your ideas to a team of creative writers. Oh, and whatever you do do not outshine the boss, or create a semblance of your ideas are being taken and used to make the boss look good. If the boss feels threatened by your input, you will end up in Antarctica counting penguins.

    Rare indeed is a boss who will allow your creative to side shine to their own perceived detriment. Mentors are good as long as they pull you up with them, but you have to be patient for the opening, and not throw a fit if you do not get it. Your dedication and creativity is used to help push them up the ladder, so you can follow along. If you truly feel it was unfair being overlooked for a position quietly put feelers out, for another job. If you get it, you can use it to gracefully exit your situation without burning bridges behind you. A simple they are offering 25% more or a title/position I really want to explore cannot be held against you. All they can do in this situation is provide a counter-offer. From your position you are only looking to advance your own career, and have been given the opportunity to do so.
     
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  7. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    Do you have experience working for a large animation studio?
     
  8. TheNineMagi

    TheNineMagi take a moment to vote

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    no, but this is basically the same advice I gave my son when he started out, at first freelancing and then working on commercials for the video gaming industry. Over the last ten years he has done national spot ads for companies like Vivendi, Disney, Ubisoft, Activision, and even Pixar. He now has a network of contacts, from writers to animation artists, to producers and creative directors. Took him a while, but he is in a position now where he is the one collaborating with clients on artistic direction, leading a team and getting his ideas produced. Technically if he decided to write his own unique script and wanted it read, he has the relationships built over the years to get it at least looked at. Strong enough relationships to get feedback and push back on how a game or TV spot will get rated, i.e M for Mature. He's been invited over to producer's homes, of some pretty big movies, to go over scripts, or brainstorm ideas, on upcoming releases. The companies he has worked for have also received awards for spots on games like, Assassins Creed, God of War, Medal of Honor, Fear, Meet the Robinsons, and Toy Soldiers: War Chest.

    From that perspective, and a good head on his shoulders, he's done well for himself. He understood very early on the importance of networking and maintaining relationships. Embedded in there is also long nights of rewrites, and scrambling to meet deadlines to meet client expectations.

    Personally I'm on the other end of the spectrum writing boring business and technical documents, while doing requirement analysis for 3rd party clients in the computer and electronics industry.
     
  9. Mikaelo Fenner

    Mikaelo Fenner New Member

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    Dunno about the others, but Pixar does the writing in house. They won't even look at external scripts to avoid potential lawsuits.

    You can check for yourself or take my word for it. It's right there on their "Careers at Pixar" page, last question of the FAQ:

    Can I submit a creative story and/or script idea?
    No. All of Pixar's ideas and stories are developed internally and it is our policy not to view any external submissions.
    For legal reasons we automatically return all creative material (scripts, synopses, sketches, etc.) unopened and unread.
    So, please do not send any kind of creative submission to Pixar.​
     
  10. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    This is the route for animated video I would suggest. Start making small production indie films/video. You can't start at the top with nothing but a great idea as the OP seems to be asking to do. But this is the golden era for independent video/films.
     
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  11. TheNineMagi

    TheNineMagi take a moment to vote

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    This was one of the bigger production we were on set for, lots of fun. Justin and all the actors were really nice too.

    We knew some of the actors from previous gigs we sponsored, and helped out on, so got the invite to help on this one too.

    http://snapemaraudersfilm.com/home/

    Purely indie film, with a kick starter budget, we got to go to the first script reading with the actors and then the premiere. Later on Mick got to hand deliver the film to oxford, for a private showing, and got to hold Mary Shelley's original manuscript of Frankenstein in his hands.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    http://www.imgrum.org/media/1134972167130003125_51778916

    Mick's also been doing a bit of theater work lately as Dracula. among other projects
    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3190746/


    Actually this little 25 minute short helped propel most of the actors in it into decent paying gigs. So, in the long run it turned out to be a good investment for their careers.

    I just love seeing the creative spirit turn into something bigger, with people willing to give it everything they have to succeed.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017
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  12. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    That's your son? You must be one proud papa. :superagree:
     
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  13. TheNineMagi

    TheNineMagi take a moment to vote

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    oh no, we've been friends with some of the cast for close to 10 years, seen them go thru rough times and more recently good times :)

    We actually met the producer for some of their earlier gigs almost 25 years ago, while working at a public storage facility. He fell in love with our arctic wolf back then, and used to come over and play with her all the time.
    Over the years he's managed various actors and given them work, thru his production company. They've done shows, themed parties, festivals and anything else they could get their hands on. For now he just manages a troupe of actors and they do small theater shows across the country. For them it's fun and it pays the bills.

    This little indie film was like a break thru moment for some of the cast members. They are the struggling actors we always hear about, but they love acting and take work when they can get it.

    My son is strictly on the advertising and marketing end for major video game companies, and yes I am really proud of him.

    You just never know who you will meet next or how life connects you to various people. Mick and Justin are fairly new to the circle, and are just people we took a liking to, highly ambitious and talented., then again the whole crew was well worth taking the time to help out. It's what friends do for each other, spread the word, call in a few favors if possible, try to get some freebies, discounts here and there, and help raise money to get a project off the ground. Justin seems to have a really good head on his shoulders, and creating something for himself.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017
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  14. NobodySpecial

    NobodySpecial Contributor Contributor

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    .
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017
  15. Dreams_on_Mars

    Dreams_on_Mars Member

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    i don't know about Pixar but with TV i heard have 3 scripts that are obviously good, get an agent to help you get in the door. Meet contacts, etc.
     

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