Friday, March 30, 2012

So it Begins

Okay, so today is the first of many in my trip to (hopefully) becoming a screenwriter for an animated series. What is the series about? Why should you care? Well, I can't tell you. That's right--I'm keeping the actual content of the series under tight wraps for now. Instead, I am going to blog about my journey from being a "writer" to aiming for something a bit bigger, where I can combine my love for art and literature.

This morning, I awoke early and continued my research on what I need to do in order to approach a company with my idea. I found tons of amazing information about writing a proposal for an animated series and how to go about developing the proposal so it focuses on the main character and how s/he sees the world and interacts with it. I discovered that related to one of the biggest mistakes people make when they work on a proposal.

People are creative, and because of that, we want to lay out the world our story takes place in right away. We want to give away all of the secrets and show off how complex the setting is before actually giving our audience a reason to care about it. This is why you should introduce the main character and have the setting unravel naturally--that way, the audience has someone to like and follow. They have a point of view to sympathize with.

I also found a few resources that might help me get my proposal out there once it's complete; that's pretty far down the line, though, and I am just nosing around now to make sure the goal I have in mind is actually achievable. So far it seems I have as fair of a chance as anyone else. Maybe a bit better, because unlike some people, I know how to write and I can draw (I am in no way a fantastic artist, but my work is clear enough that I won't need to hire an artist and spend countless hours trying to iron out the details of the characters). Visuals are pretty important because they give the audience something to relate to more than just the words.

At the same token, I know I am nowhere near talented or trained enough to animate (though I have tried my hand at it, and was pretty pleased with what I came up with). Sources say that if the company you propose to asks, "What would you like to do?" saying, "A little of everything," is a bad idea. I agree! I don't want to do a little of everything. Can you imagine how long that would take? Yeah, I'd like to be involved in design and see how my characters are being portrayed, but I also trust the animators and designers to do their job. After seeing my initial sketches, they will simplify and streamline the characters and settings much better than I ever could.

Okay, where do I want to be then? Writing. I want to be the one working with the writers, developing the world and the scenes and the characters through text. I want to be the one who hears someone speak the lines I wrote. So if you ever want to do something like this, ask yourself where you want to be. If you say you want to do "a little of everything," rethink that. Do some research; maybe production is your best fit, or design.

Speaking of animation, I'd love to hire the people who did "Avatar: The Last Airbender" to animate my series, but that's way down the line! (not to mention a little bit of a dream...)

I have the story mapped out in detail already, so I just need to do the art and write episode synopses (most sources suggest having 13-15 episodes outlined), and write a 22-23 page episode sample. Since I know exactly what is going to happen in the first season, writing out the synopses won’t be too difficult. The part that will take the longest is going to be the art. So, I am off to get a sketchbook (one that doesn't have a dozen pictures in it already). Oh, and I am making daily goals, small ones that let me stay on track and give me a reasonable deadline.

Today's goal: Start working on the series bible, specifically, focusing on beginning the sketching process.