4th Jun 2014
I've been re-reading Makin' Toons: Inside the Most Popular Animated TV Shows and Movies by Allan Neuwirth
Its an amazing book detailing how many of the biggest and best animated TV series and feature films got from the demented mind of the creator to screen. Well worth the read, I highly recommend it to anyone interested in animation.
So I wanted to summarize the process of creating an animated series. (In my opinion, which is the best opinion, in my opinion)
Creating your own animated series is a long, long, long hard road! Once you have an idea you have to enter development, the process where you rip your idea apart and put it back together again, showing it to test audiences and ripping it apart again. Its worth it though, even if you end up with something completely different to what you started out with, it tends to be a much better, polished version. It might be your baby, that you slaved over for years but you cant be precious in this stage, cut the umbilical cord and get rid of whats not working and make it the best it can possibly be. Having said that keep true to your idea, you don't want it to turn into something you hate, there's a long way to go before it hits the screen and you need to be invested in it to stay the road and make it happen. Don't be afraid to dump it if its not working, it's better to put your time and effort into something new that keep whipping a dead horse.
Once developed you end up in the wonderful world of financing where you go around the world looking to get broadcasters to support your project, find like minded co-producers and distributors. That's the traditional route, nowadays there's other ways of financing, like Amazon and Kickstarter. Depending on what your show is about there's many ways to finance it, the main thing is that you know where it fits and don't try pitch Cbeebies a show about ass kicking ninja turtles. They want pre-school and you'd only be wasting you and the broadcasters time.
If you can wrangle all these elements together you are on the yellow brick road to production where the real fun begins. (by fun I mean hair loss)
To sum up, if you love your idea, don't be afraid to beat it into something that works and keep your head up through out the long haul, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster were turned down for years when they first started pitching Superman but they kept at it and in the end look what it became. They both died broke in the 90's but that's the life we chose I suppose....