Suggestions for how to get a cartoon released on tv etc.

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Tsongo
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Suggestions for how to get a cartoon released on tv etc.

Post by Tsongo » Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:14 am

Hello,

I've been making an animated film for just over two years and now it's nearing completion but I suspect that might've been the best part !

In my innocence as to how these things work I looked up tv companies to see what they looked for but it seems that they only talk to agents that have approved work to show them.

So I looked at agents and how to go about this sort of thing and from what I could gather they're far more interested in ideas rather than complete films and give lots of information about how to pitch such an idea or make storyboards which would then be taken to a tv station that would pass it on to an animation studio. There was no mention on completed works in any of their submissions criteria and on some of their websites it seemed that animation qualifications and experience in the industry ( I have none ) were more important than what you've actually done.

I looked at competitions and they seemed to be looking for short animations which my film isn't as it's thirty five minutes long. Also I discovered to my horror that by putting anything on You Tube or something like that will mean giving away rights to it and I really can't do that.

So if anybody out there has any ideas about how to go about this sort of thing or feels like having a rant or telling a story about what happened to their creations please let me know as I really haven't got a clue where to start.

Thank you.

ps. I'm in the UK if that makes any difference.
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slowtiger
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Re: Suggestions for how to get a cartoon released on tv etc.

Post by slowtiger » Fri Jan 25, 2019 1:45 pm

Welcome to the club. Has happened to many of us.

1. Broadcasters (and agents) are interested in ideas only because they make money while producing stuff. Think of any film production as a great opportunity to bill others. Additionally they aquire the right to the "intellectual property" which gives them even more opportunity to make a profit, in case that thing is successful and may spawn merchandise and more seasons.

2. A 35 min film has an uncomfortable length for broadcasters, who think in terms of 3 - 7 - 15 - 21 - 45 min chunks of program. As a one-time event it just doesn't fit into their fixed schedule.

3. Broadcasters don't pay much attention to any offering of a single film, because it's just too much trouble. Most prefer to buy complete bundles of pre-selected stuff which lasts a whole season. That's why almost all TV entertainment comes in series.

4. Broadcasters trust any offering much more if it's presented to them in the context of an intellectual property market, like MIFA. That's where production companies and broadcasters meet and business is made. Events like that exist all over the world, but as a filmmaker you just don't get access. In Europe there are government-funded programs where you could apply with your project, and if it gets selected you are allowed to present at such an event. No guarantee for any sale.

That's the bad news. The good news:
You can submit your film to festivals. See viewtopic.php?f=9&t=32379&hilit=festival for some hints I've collected. Don't expect to make money this way, the opposite is true: you need to spend time and money to do this right.

Hope this helps.
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Tsongo
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Re: Suggestions for how to get a cartoon released on tv etc.

Post by Tsongo » Fri Jan 25, 2019 6:10 pm

Hello,

I suspected something like this was the reason why complete projects aren't wanted. Another case of greedy people wanting to extract as much money for themselves from somebody else's work/ idea.

Also that series' are more in demand, I suppose that fills in more time space and can re use the same models and backgrounds so saves money, gives more content and increases profits.

The taking of the intellectual property as part of a deal is a bit nasty and I'd really have trouble handing that over on principal.

So I guess for now I'll just be happy with the fact that I've gone from no knowledge of animation to making a film.

Thanks for replying and I'll investigate the festival link, sounds like a possible option.
Tsongo
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Re: Suggestions for how to get a cartoon released on tv etc.

Post by Tsongo » Fri Jan 25, 2019 6:20 pm

Wow !

Excellent post full of information but at first glance it makes jumping over the fence at Glastonbury blindfolded look like an easy way into a festival !

Thanks for putting that up and linking me to it, I'll investigate it when I'm ready for total concentration.
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Greenlaw
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Re: Suggestions for how to get a cartoon released on tv etc.

Post by Greenlaw » Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:59 pm

I agree with SlowTiger's comments above. Commercial TV productions are generally looking at marketability so, unless your film is a pilot or a pitch reel for a series calculated to appeal to a very large audience, it's going to be a tough sell. Plus, as you noted, you'll probably have to go through an agent or have meaningful connections in the industry.

Or, as an independent artist, you could release it on your own, and if you make a lot of money or otherwise get a lot of attention for your work, TV/film people will come to you. (It's been done. Sometimes it's a matter of releasing the right project at the right time, but you won't know that until you put it out there.)

The important thing is to get it seen.

If you don't want to upload the film to YouTube, you might consider Vimeo. Vimeo is preferred by many indie filmmakers because it offers more control over your content and how you present it. If you have a paid Vimeo account, uploading is significantly faster than YouTube. Also, unlike YouTube, Vimeo allows you to replace an upload without losing your viewership data. Vimeo's also offers multiple ways to monetize your work, like pay-per-view, pay-for-download, subscription, etc. I've had a Vimeo Plus account for several years and I recommend it if you just want to show/share your work. But if you wish to sell content, you'll need a Vimeo Pro or higher account.

A 35-minute film might be more appropriate for the short film circuit. I don't have any experience with that but SlowTiger has posted some excellent info about this elsewhere in this forum.

Naturally, there are no guarantees for success, but it helps to know your intended audience. If you can find the right one for your work, success will follow.

And if that fails, don't get discouraged; learn from the experience and start working on your next film.

Hope this helps.
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Artist/Partner - Little Green Dog | Little Green Dog Channel on Vimeo | Greenlaw's Demo Reel 2019 Edtion
Lead Digital Animator, Dreamworks Animation

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slowtiger
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Re: Suggestions for how to get a cartoon released on tv etc.

Post by slowtiger » Sat Jan 26, 2019 9:59 am

Addendum: Film festivals are great. Once your film has been selected, several good things will happen:
1. You'll feel appreciated immediately.
2. Your film gets an audience.
3. You'll witness audience's reactions and get feedback (of any kind). Of course for this you'll need to be there as well.
4. If you're in competition there's always a small chance you'll win some award.
5. You get in contact with other professionals, maybe even with broadcasters, distributors, or agents (but mostly with scouts from other festivals, and of course other filmmakers).
6. You get exposure - the real kind. People will recognize your name.
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Tsongo
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Re: Suggestions for how to get a cartoon released on tv etc.

Post by Tsongo » Sat Jan 26, 2019 1:30 pm

Thank you both for the extra information and encouragement.

I'm going to have to investigate these options. My main concern with all this is that I don't want to give away the rights to the actual story and what happens. Although I'm not looking to make piles of money from it I really don't like the idea of watching my idea funding the next golfing holiday or flashy car for the executives at some already very rich company.

It's a children's story that most adults can connect with as it deals with a fairly common event but the final outcome is original and surprising. Ideally I'd just like people to think of my story when it happens, so getting it seen is a priority but without losing control of it.

I rather like the idea of releasing it myself or at a festival that way I could just "drop the bomb" and see what happens.

I certainly have a lot to think about and one thing I do know is that I'd much rather be bringing things to life in Anime Studio. That's the good bit... Apart from lip synching and voice recording, my personal hate !
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