Tips and Advice in the Animation Industry

KeldeoKitty

Slacker Musketeer
Joined
Sep 9, 2018
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1,509
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USA
To those as avid animation enthusiasts and those who keep up with animation, their networks, and business, what valuable tips and advice would you have to someone who wants to work in the animation industry?

Here’s one, if you ever get a cartoon you pitched greenlit, make sure you make it’s first season as high quality and all-encompassing as you can because it’s first season could be it’s last. Remember animation is more expensive than live-action and graphic novels and networks could axe it sooner than you’d want. Quality over Quantity.
 

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Joined
Jan 19, 2004
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33,939
Location
Framingham, MA
Here’s one, if you ever get a cartoon you pitched greenlit, make sure you make it’s first season as high quality and all-encompassing as you can because it’s first season could be it’s last.
This sounds like good advice, and animated shows should CERTAINLY never end their seasons in cliffhangers for the reasons you say, but I don't think a first season of ANY show (especially animated) should ever be all-encompassing. This goes double for Pilots and early episodes. What I think a first season should be is a baseline for the show and sort of give the audience a solid idea of what to expect. Play around from there after the show is established, but I've noticed particularly in animation, a show will do an early "edgy" idea that hurts the franchise in the long run. The reveal of Joseph Gribble in the Pilot of King Of The Hill was that episode's biggest laugh. But both the viewers and the characters had to live with that for the rest of that show's VERY long run and it was freaking unpleasant. Ditto for making Steve Smith's school-friends so repulsive as a joke in their first appearance in American Dad. Because that was the baseline to start off with, they had to stay that repulsive from that point forward, which hurt that show.

First seasons should be about establishing what you are trying to say with the characters and premise. You start playing around with and messing with those ideas and the formula once those two things are already firmly in place.

The first season is not the place for risks. You can wind up hurting the show long-term by taking them.
 

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