I went to the Industry Giants (industrygiants.org) conference this weekend and was able to see a side of the industry I hadn't spent much time with: feature film production.
I went to various sessions on effects, animation, pitching, etc. I'll post about the various sessions here starting with the session with Rita Street on pitching.
Rita Street (radarcartoons.com) spoke on Friday morning about pitching your animated concept. She spoke a lot on the perspective of the industry and the various changes going on now. It seems some key things are a move away from the Flash style of animation and a move toward teenage characters (led by "High School Musical" and "Hannah Montana" - the "Halls and Malls" idea - school halls and shopping malls: that's where kids "live" so relate to that).
Some key suggestions she had were...
1. Watch (at least) one cartoon a day. This helps see what's going on and keeps creativity flowing.
2. Have lots of ideas - you never know when an idea will meet what the industry is looking for or when you'll need another idea in a meeting for some other concept.
3. Determine good inspiration for your work
4. Learn how children think, react, learn, etc. (Nickjr.com - parenting link - list of cognitive resources)
Other good resources: Kidscreen and Cynopsis (enewsletter).
She also spoke a lot on pitching. Some highlights...
1. Pitch the hero
3. Develop the hero (write their journal, etc.)
4. Have character quirks
5. Describe characters in "Like the time..."
6. Make your movie poster.
7. Have a very tight log line.
8. Show, don't tell - big pics, few words
For the pitch itself...
1. Have fun
2. It's ok to say you're nervous
3. Goal: get a second meeting
4. Explain, don't read
5. Take criticism well
And while a lot of take centered around seeing where the industry is and where's it's going, she had a great piece of inspiration from Carl Banks and about how they didn't make their comic books for kids, but for themselves. It's great to have the best of both worlds - enjoy it!