Animation Production: Netflix Series Pitch

Having been tasked with creating an idea for a four part animated Netflix series for this module I began by researching important aspects of creating a pitch. The end result for this projects will be to produce a document that showcases my vision for a show and where I plan to take it should it be cleared for development. https://www.cartoonbrew.com/educational/the-best-thing-youll-ever-read-about-pitching-animation-ideas-98191.html

As always with most of my previous projects in this vein I know that I want to develop stronger comedy in my writing and animation. However I know I also enjoy fantasy and medieval period settings for shows. So in order to try and create a show which I personally would like to see on tv I began by deciding that I wanted to use the ‘Sitcom Formula’ for the basic structure of my show. Obviously with some of the other tropes which are common to the fantasy genre I may be able to blend the two to create some intriguing parodies or over exaggerations to heighten the comedic elements of the fantasy genre.

Philip Larkin, a writer and poet who always seems to be considering his audience once said, “A satisfying story has a beginning, a muddle and an end. New writers often start at A and get to Z in a straight line. The muddle in the middle is what makes a story involving.” Therefore it is useful to think of how a story is organised in it’s three acts. This is the classical narrative structure and every story has this, so the main way to create appeal and comedy in a Sitcom is the characters and location. Archetypes are ancient memes humans have wired deep into their brains and we can use these to create the right kinds of characters for the show we want to see. For the kind of show I’m hoping to develop I know I will need at least four maybe five core characters who’s stories make up the main plot of the show as well as sub plots. As this is only a four episode show the main plot will have to intertwine all of the characters in a simple and cohesive way as there is not a lot of time to develop something elaborate in the narrative. I may have two protagonists upon whom the main acts focus and a few foils and supporting characters for them who make the story more interesting.

For this project I do not have to write a script but it is useful to know the sorts of elements which would need to be involved in one so I did some minor research in this area as well.

For my actual pitch I’ll need to create:
1. Title
2. Logline
3. Pitch idea – synopsis
4. Netflix title card image
5. Character concepts and biographies
6. Basic outline/ story of episodes
7. Background concepts and digital paintings/layouts of at least one internal and external environment
8. Production plan – showing list of tasks and approaches – similar to a Gantt chart but without dates

Before I begin creating these I need to have my story idea fleshed out. When planning this idea, I knew the characters should come first and if they are the right characters they will arrive with their world attached. There are some really nice examples of ensemble Sitcoms with interesting characters such as “Brooklyn 99”.

Examples of ensemble character uses for comedy from Brooklyn 99

In the genre you can also play more over the top characters against a ‘straight man’ for comedic effect.

A bit of Fry and Laurie

This particular use of character driven comedy can be great for a more relatable down to earth protagonist especially if you introduce a twist at the end of a scene such as the talking dachshund.

As I want to create a fantasy environment I decided to look to Dungeons and Dragons (role play based tabletop game) as it already incorporates a lot of the elements I will be examining and trying to incorporate into my narrative.

I also looked into the fantasy genre in literature and TV to explore how writers use particular tropes to establish their genre. By doing this I will be able to best formulate my 4 part series around a clear structure which can be easily interpreted by the audience. Creating relatable moments and scenes are the best way to keep your audience engaged. I also re-examined works by Terry Pratchett in his ‘Discworld’ series and how fantasy is used for comedy there and ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’ by Dianna Wynne Jones for the same use of comedic fantasy.

Tropes commonly appear in stories because most of them are universally relatable — and people enjoy the familiar. At their heart stories are about characters which represent some aspect of human nature. Many novels in fantasy use the character archetypes as outlined in Vogler’s “the Heroes Journey”. Using these archetypes is not a bad thing, so long as your character development aligns with the narrative arc and doesn’t overly rely on cliché pitstops.
I know that in order to make the best comedic use of some of the most overused character stereotypes in fantasy in such a small cast of characters I may have to combine several different tropes. For the protagonist it is most common to make them, ‘the chosen one’, ‘reluctant hero’ or ‘the secret heir’. I can maximise the value of the traits associated with these character stereotypes by giving some combination of all 3 in my protagonist.

The story I’m creating will also be taking advantage of the sitcom tropes. This means creating an ensemble cast of interesting characters who are complimentary and fulfil the best possible traits to act as foils to each other. This leads us to giving the Protagonist a friend or mentor who can bring out their most interesting narratives. We may also need a love interest and a rival in order to create versions of some of the most common sitcom character arcs.

Now that we have some idea about the types of characters we want to create (using the list of character archetypes as our most basic structure https://blog.reedsy.com/12-common-character-archetypes-every-writer-should-already-know/) we can begin building our characters with personality, quirks and physical attributes. As specified before I will be creating at least 4 main characters for the main plot and then a group of background characters and acquaintances to help flesh out the world and fulfil subplots. The protagonist, their friend (also fulfilling the role of more experienced guide or mentor), the foil to both of them in the form of ‘The Joker’ (The fool, the clown, the jester, the hedonist, the laid-back stoner. In modern culture, they’re often the comic relief. See Joey from ‘Friends’) and finally ‘The Magician’ who gives order and structure to the world the characters inhabit being the main catalyst of events or ‘quests’.
Behind these characters we have some more minor roles which will not be as well explored in the short time of the show but are still necessary for plot and intrigue. ‘The Lover’ or to use the sitcom term, the love-interest, for the protagonist (see Jessica from ‘Rick and Morty’ or Guinevere from ‘King Arthurs Disasters’). Alongside the love interest is ‘the rival’ in this case being one of the antagonists directly in the way of the protagonists quest. Then we have ‘The Ruler’ who’s decisions will influence the story as a whole and push narrative in unexpected directions, this character may never be seen in situ but could almost be a whimsical “Act of The Gods” creator.

Some basic starting points for characters

As I am also looking at shows such as ‘Superstore’, ‘Gravity Falls’, ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch’ and ‘Disenchantment’ for influences on this pitch I know that I will also have a few very minor characters which are mostly used to create ‘skits’ or very short comedic scenes for the purpose of comic relief. The world will be set in a pseudo-European Medieval environment but keeping use of modern ideas and plot devices (such as ‘Plebs’ or ‘Over The Garden Wall’) for comedic juxtaposition. As part of the stories narrative background taverns may be frequented and duels are probably a daily occurrence. The story will not take place in actual Europe, but creating a world that resembles the continent’s medieval era. This setting is a mainstay of fantasy — significantly it was mostly solidified in the genre by ‘The Lord of the Rings’, but does have some roots in European folklore and tales of ‘King Arthur’.

Now that we know our characters a little more and their roles lets think about the setting of the story. I prefer the idea of using a limited location which can offer plenty of engagement with passing characters and opportunities for narrative development. ‘Superstore’ had a particularly good example of this by using the stores location as the central location to all the characters or Monica’s apartment and the coffee house in ‘Friends’. So to develop my location I began with creating a shop, or market or emporium, essentially somewhere where retailers have shop assistants and sell a variety of goods to a diverse range of customers. This shop (currently named “The Empress Emporium”) would have everything your average adventurer needs. Weapons, potions, books, food and The Enchanted Forest aisle would all exist here along with a space to leave your young children whilst you shop (Mr. Minotaurs Fun-Zone, a labyrinth from which only the strongest children return) this shop has whatever you may need to face the next Great Beast. The secondary location which our characters will engage with is the bulk buys outdoor market (currently named “The Goblin Market” to use the poem by Christina Rossetti (https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44996/goblin-market) where they purchase stock to sell in their shop.

Thanks to all of this research and build up I can now start building my pitch book. I have decided the title, logline and pitch idea for my show.
1. Magic Mart

2. Logline: “It takes a true hero to work in retail!”
3. Synopsis: Magic Mart, a vast shop which can fulfil the requirements of any adventurer. Only employing the best staff in the land who will do everything in their power to assist you. During your shopping spree you may encounter many strange and magical beings, make some friends and fall in love with our high quality magical items.
Many of our staff work for us while avoiding problematic prophecies and fatalistic fates as ‘Magic Mart’ offers our employees complete anonymity. Unfortunately our heroes can only hold off destiny for so long on minimum wage.
4. Characters: Set in an enchanted kingdom far far away we encounter our three protagonists; Beau, Rowan and René.
Beau has gotten a job at ‘Magic Mart’ as a retail assistant and hopes to avoid any potential moments of prophecy fulfilment by avoiding his destiny.
Rowan owes Marnie (‘Magic Marts’ proprietess) a life debt and must stay by her side working in ‘Magic Mart’ until it is repaid.
René is Marnie’s daughter and uses the shops extensive potion room to experiment with her own concoctions while helping her mother in the store.

Beau, our protagonist: a young man who is destined to someday become king due to a prophecy about his rather unusual birthmark. His birthmark was registered at his birth by a holy order called, ‘The Recorders of Destiny‘, his mother keeps the receipt of registration under her mattress for safety. Beau however is incredibly happy under the rule of the current Queen and does not wish to do anything which could jeopardise the current stability of the kingdom. He does not want to accidentally fulfil his destiny so he avoids quests and magical journeys which may lead to him being appointed King as he has no idea how to run a kingdom. Rather unfortunately for Beau however his mother, ‘Mum‘ would quite like to be upgraded to ‘regents mother’ so that she may buy a larger home to keep Beaus 12 younger siblings in. So he frequently faces pressure from her to join quests and go out into the great and enchanted land and acquire the skills and items which could make him powerful enough to rule.
He also faces threat from members of the kingdom who don’t believe that a random selection system based on interesting body parts is a good way of choosing official rulers or heroes and other such roles. So he must attempt to keep his identity as the future King secret to avoid ‘The Assassins Society‘. A sect who cannot assassinate the current regent as attempts to do so in the past have resulted in mass death and the spontaneous occurrence of natural disasters, but who assassinate those who have not yet fulfilled the destinies which place them in positions of power.
By working in ‘Magic Mart‘ as a retail assistant Beau hopes he will be able to avoid any potential moments of prophecy fulfilment.

Rowan, mentor, friend and encourager of mayhem in order to alleviate the boredom of the daily routine. An elf of great intelligence, with an excellent education from the best magic schools in the land behind her. When she was still an adventurer, ‘Marnie‘ saved Rowans life at which point she became deeply in-debted to ‘Marnie‘ many years ago and must remain with her until they can repay the life debt in kind. Rowan took on the position at ‘Magic Mart‘ in the hope that she would eventually earn enough money for the store to repay the debt, but has never been promoted beyond retail assistant. In this position Rowan has encountered a secondary issue in the fact that she’s not used to minimum wage jobs and frequently finds herself left broke as her shopping habits are rather high end.
When Rowan is first introduced to Beau she has been working in ‘Magic Mart‘ for 5 years, ‘Marnie‘ has become so used to them doing all she asks that she frequently requests more from Rowan than any other employee. However Rowan is always worried that ‘Marnie’ will fire them before she’s repaid the life debt so she does sometimes go overboard on following ‘Marnie’s‘ instructions to the letter. As well as this Rowan’s lack of customer service skills sometimes lead to ‘Marnie‘ being more threatening than necessary when delivering her instructions.

René, beautiful and kind with a talent for mixing potions. René is Marnie’s daughter (adopted) and spends much of her time frequenting the shop while using the potions space in the basement for her experiments. She also helps in the store on a part time basis whilst also completing her training as a healer. She cannot help but see the good in everyone however due to ‘Marnie’s‘ influence she is quite focussed on only courting a strong and worthy ‘hero’.
Despite how her parents died René enjoys looking for quests and often plans what the best ways to defeat certain beasts would be. She usually experiments with creating potions that can render a gorgon’s stare useless or remove a dragons flame, but her potions frequently offer unexpected results. Some of her potions are used by the ‘Potion’s Barista‘ at his mixing bar to create interesting concoctions for customers. More often than not by combining her experimental potions he has turned more than a few customers into livestock.
Currently René is in a relationship with ‘Jasper‘ and though he is heroic and brave he does not always see the best in all people as René does. She usually fails to notice his less than stellar qualities as she is usually enjoying being regaled with tales of his quests. She seems to hope that once she is a trained healer she could go out on her own quests and help her party members, but for now she will simply live vicariously through ‘Jasper‘.

Marnie, powerful and charismatic owner of ‘Magic Mart‘. She frequently finds herself having to ward off unwanted and strange customer complaints, usually due to customers misunderstanding what the purpose if their magical items is. However most complaints are easily dealt with by her ‘peacemakers’, a pair of fine Dwarven battle axes from her days as an adventurer. She retired from adventuring in order to make a better profit by selling equipment to those who wish to quest.
During her time spent on quests she made many connections in the adventuring community and has amassed a surplus of strange jewels, enchanted rings and cursed coins which she now sells. Several of her current employees are creatures she aided during her past such as ‘Mr Minotaur‘. ‘Mr Minotaur‘ runs “Mr Minotaur’s Fun Zone’, a space for children to be left whilst their parents complete their shopping. Marnie and ‘Mr Minotaur‘ occasionally has to venture into the ‘Fun Zones’ labyrinth at the end of the day to retrieve children who have become lost in it’s depths.
As owner of ‘Magic Mart‘ Marnie is particularly well known for her incredible anti-thief system which can take a thief’s head off in 0.5 seconds if they manage to reach the door. Spending most of her time in the basement in order to keep an eye on stock and deliveries Marnie has created a small lab down there which she allows her adopted daughter ‘René‘ free reign over to create new potions which can be sold in ‘Magic Mart‘.
She adopted ‘René‘ after her birth parents were killed on an quest to steal a large horde of treasure. Raising her single handedly Marnie frequently tries to deliver her life lessons on how to find a good husband, however her advice does tend to be very ‘hero’ centric and also usually favours Dwarven suitors.

Jasper, handsome and strong warrior with a taste for adventure. He is ‘René’s‘ boyfriend and is always looking for little ways to bring happiness to her life whether it’s flowers finds on his walks back from quests or pretty jewellery he finds in dungeons which sometimes unfortunately turns out to be cursed. Not the most intelligent of men he tries his best in all he does and is endearing for it. Although he does also unfortunately view most of the creatures he comes across as potential opponents rather than fellow citizens. Despite ‘Mr Minotaur’s’ status as retired monster Jasper frequently asks him to fight in order to improve his battle prowess.
Although he is in love with ‘René‘ it is not uncommon to see women fawning over Jasper when he returns from his adventures.

Secondary characters:

Mr Minotaur, having retired from the treasure guarding, dungeon dwelling life style he now enjoys running a children’s day care in the floor above the shop. ‘Mr Minotaur’s Fun Zone‘ will happily keep your young ones safe in a labyrinth of joy for up to three hours whilst you finish your shopping excursion. Mr. Minotaurs Fun-Zone, a labyrinth from which only the strongest children return.

The Potions Barista, he created a deal with ‘Marnie‘ which allows him to keep a potions cart outside the shop and sell his wares from. He and René are quite close and often discuss recipes for experimental potions.

Gloria, a shelf stacker who happens to be a snake: Cursed with extremely high level sentience Gloria frequently finds herself questioning her position in the store and worries over the meaning of her existence. She is also employee of the month, every month.

Plath, a regular in the store: An old woman who frequently visits the store to make use of their abundant ‘Enchanted Forest Aisle’. Plath speaks in the third person and frequently requires assistance in small matters.

Mum, Beau’s mother her name is Mum which is short for Mumbriel: Though well meaning Mum often feels that Beau is not fulfilling his potential and should do more to prepare for his eventual destiny. Though with twelve other children to look after she struggles to push him to do more for himself.

Magic Mart store sign

The story outline: “Young Beau, needs a job so he can move out of his mothers house. He needs to find a career where he can avoid accidentally becoming king of the land as the prophecy at his birth foretold. He aims for something with few regal or adventuring skills and find his way to the cities retail district. Luckily for him Magic Mart needs a retail assistant and he’s got the job. Whilst finding his feet in the harrowing world of questing retail he encounters many others who like him are just trying to find their way in the Kingdom Felinor. Rowan, the veteran retail assistant who just wants to repay the life debt she owes Marnie the owner of Magic Mart so she can get back to working as a high end spell caster for the rich. René, the genius potions student who helps her mother Marnie to run the shop and longs to go on adventures and quests but currently can only live vicariously through others.”

Episode 01: In which housing is expensive and jobs are scarce
We meet Beau on his first day as he’s introduced to the more experienced Rowan, another retail assistant who has worked in the store for years. Rowan shows Beau the ropes and gives him a tour of the store where they meet other interesting workers and customers as well as seeing some of the more mystical items the store has in stock.
• Self flipping spatulas which occasionally malfunction and spank customers.
• Enchanted mirrors which point out observers flaws. They are particularly scathing toward Rowan who then shatters one.
• A snake who is also employee of the month, attempting to stack shelves.
• The ‘Enchanted Forest’ aisle where fresh foods and strange mystical ingredients are kept, as well as the odd wandering customer who has gotten lost in the vast forested space.

At the end of his tour Beau meets Marnie, Magic Marts owner. She sets him up on tills and stock where he has further unusual encounters. Marnie then tells Rowan take over Gloria’s stacking (she is a snake she can’t actually stack things) and tells her that if she doesn’t do a good job she’s fired.
Beau meets the beautiful René when he clumsily spills a pile of enchanted toadstools in front of her. They laugh about it and she helps him pick them up. Beau develops a burgeoning crush however an incredibly handsome man in armour appears and she introduces him as her boyfriend Jasper. So Beau resigns himself to admiring her from afar.
At the end of the episode we encounter Beaus mother who criticises him for not developing more skills which would be useful for running a kingdom (as his destiny it to become the next king according to his birthmark).

[Insert flashback to Beau’s birth and the registration of his birthmark by robed monks, very mysterious and ceremonious until they give his mother a receipt.]

However he assures her that the current queen (who is a decent woman and tries to do the best she can for her kingdom) is unlikely to hand over the throne for many years and he has time to go questing and develop regal and powerful skills once he can afford his own house.


Episode 02: In which bartering occurs at The Goblin Market
Whilst opening the shop the retail assistants are given a list of tasks to complete for the day.
• Beau is given a single item on his list, Rowan however has a scroll which unfurls, hits the floor and rolls out of the shops front door.
• Marnie motivates the team with a speech then turns to Rowan and instructs them to go to the Goblin Market and get the best deal possible for a sale on Enchanted Swords. She threatens to fire Rowan if she doesn’t get the best deal for her.
• René enters through the aisle of talking mirrors which all sing her praises (literally singing).

René accompanies Beau and Rowan when completing the bulk buy from ‘The Goblin Market’, supposedly to help carry stock. When they arrive Rowan approaches an incredibly large and intimidating Orc who holds the Enchanted Swords Sale. Bartering with more intensity and ferocity than necessary Rowan gets the swords price reduced even further. Juxtapose Rowans dark intense bartering (at one point standing on the table and pleading with the Orc while gripping it’s shirt, “Please you have to drop the price she’s gonna fire me if I can’t get it cheaper, it’s my destiny to work in there I need this job!”) with Beau and René’s lighthearted sweet conversation.

Upon their return Jasper greets them and lets them know he must depart for a dangerous quest. He is clearly adored by Marnie who thinks he will be the perfect husband for René and they all exchange fond farewells.
• Marnie drags the tall warrior down to her level to pinch his cheeks.
• Outside the shop Jaspers has a fanclub of young women admiring him and walking him to the edge of town.

The episode follows another day in the store with further encounters with strange customers and other workers. Interspersed with this are moments of René talking about how sweet and brave Jasper is.

Marnie is displeased with the enchanted swords as some of them have ‘bad’ personalities and she makes Rowan and Beau sort through the pile to pick out the ‘good’ ones.
• Sword which makes catty comments like a ‘mean girl’ – reject when it tells Rowan their outfit is so last season.
• Sword which tells Beau together they can be the Greatest Warrior in the kingdom – keep but Beau questions why we never call it a queendom given the Queen Margot has been in power for a decade since she became queen at 21.
• Sword which hiccups drunkenly and tells them both that they’re it’s best friends – cut scene to Beau, Rowan and the sword all in a pub drinking, Rowan, “Now that’s an enchanted Sword!”

Episode 03: In which a hero dies
Open on the ‘potion barista’, an incredibly ancient old man with runic tattoos (think hipsterish) mixing potions for a shady customer wearing a hood. The costumer grabs the potion as soon as it’s finished and makes a run for the door.
• Marnie spots this, sighs in annoyance and pulls a rope hanging above her head. A large guillotine falls to the floor, not showing a decapitated thief but implying.
• She then orders Rowan to re-set the anti thief security system.

After this we see Beau and René re-shelving stock. Beau keeps trying to have a conversation with René but is continuously interrupted by Plath, who asks him to retrieve strange items for her. During this exchange the “Death Herald” (a herald dressed in all black who announces when warriors have died, his presence is always pre-empted by a sad trumpet noise and a ‘Wilhelm scream’) arrives tells them that Jasper has sadly perished after his battle with the great beast.

[Flash back to Jaspers death, he defeated the beast very easily but unfortunately choked on his wine during the victory feast.]

His death leads to René’s mourning, she dons all black and starts wearing a veil. Beau makes some misguided attempts to help her feel better. Beau’s ‘help’ has led to René leaving so he and Rowan set out on a quest to find her. Cut to a montage of the two exploring a variety of grim and humorous areas.
• Rowan fights off skeletons with swords while Beau checks inside a cave.
• Beau being partially eaten by a large carnivorous plant while Rowan attacks it with weed killer.
• Beau attempting to open a trap door while Rowan and her harem fight off an invading horde of vikings.

Eventually they simply walk through the city streets checking pubs. Rowan voices her concerns that Beau is only doing this because he is still infatuated with René. Beau denies this at first and they find René drunk at a bar and return her to her flat making sure she’s safely in her room with some water. As they leave Beau admits Rowan is right and he still wants to try dating René but he doesn’t think that’s what she wants so he thinks they should just stay friends.

Episode 04: In which the tramp stamp of destiny is revealed
The show begins as normal with the focus mainly being on the comedic skits which take place throughout the store in most of the episodes.
• Gloria attempting to stack shelves.
• René being complimented by the talking mirrors while she sweeps the floor.
• Marnie threatening the fire Rowan if he doesn’t pull his weight and saying she needs a better work ethic, like Beau, who is standing at the tills doing nothing while Rowan is already overburdened holding stock for the magical items shelves.
• The Potion Barista actually serving potions as if they were in a Starbucks. Calling out customers names as they hand over vials.

These are interspersed with scenes showing Beau and René talking with each other and smiling. They seem much closer than they originally did at the beginning of the series. After establishing this more sweet, less emotionally charged setting in the store the “Death Herald” arrives again and announces the death of the queen. Beau looks incredibly uncomfortable and glances around the store anxiously. As the “Death Herald” then rips off his black tunic to reveal the exact same outfit except instead of being all black his clothes are red and gold. He is now the “Monarch Announcing Herald” (Almost exactly the same as the “Death Herald” except pre-empted by fancy regal trumpeting) he announces that the location of the new king, as foretold by the prophets and noted at the time of his birth by the placement of his birth mark, is known and the royal guard will be through to collect his new royal highness thusly.

Beau runs into the cupboard in a panic. Rowan seeing this follows and Beau explains his destiny, showing her the birthmark which marks him as ‘The New King’.
• It’s a crown shaped mark in the same area as a ‘tramp stamp’.

Rowan is understandably surprised but tries her best to reassure Beau whilst he hyperventilates into a bag. Beau then states that he cannot go be the new King as he isn’t ready, he hasn’t developed any skills and he has a contract with Marnie which is signed in blood and cannot be broken. Rowan eventually convinces him that he has to at least explain to the rest of Magic Mart what’s going on. As they leave the enchanted closet the royal guards arrive with Beau’s mother who points him out. The guards all reach Beau and then bow ceremoniously. Beau and René make eye contact while Rowan and the other sales assistants look on in awe/surprise/horror. René looks extremely confused at this moment while Beau simply looks panicked.
(End on a cliff hanger to begin the next season)

The first draft of my pitch for Magic Mart presents a simplified version of the stories and characters, the ‘Elevator Pitch’ stage.

The designs of the characters themselves underwent a few changes between these initial sketches and the finalised product which I put into my pitch packet. I also removed ‘Jasper’ from the line up and replaced him with ‘Gloria’ who makes a more interesting character as the snake manager of Magic Mart. I also used the font ‘Moon Flower’ light as the font to present the project initially as it matched the medieval and magical themes but also conveyed a sense of the quirkiness I want the show to embody. I also had to think about how Netflix itself would view the design aspects of whatever title I created and how it could be used. https://server.designtaxi.com/news/398975/Psychology-Behind-Typography-Of-Your-Favorite-Netflix-Shows-Might-Astound-You/

I also looked at how Netflix chooses certain kinds of title card to show viewers, https://netflixtechblog.com/artwork-personalization-c589f074ad76
In the end I created a title card which show cased the humour and the magical elements of the show.

Magic Mart Title Card: Charlie Maxwell

In my attempts to develop the artwork for this show I began exploring more ‘character driven’ animations aimed towards adults. The style of Rick and Morty didn’t really embody the more sleek narrative structure I was developing. When I did some market research with a group of 25 individuals aged between 18 – 35 I found that a lot of the art styles I myself favoured, ‘The Gorilaz’ and the more illustrative work of Ghibli films such as ‘Spirited Away’ and ‘Howls Moving Castle’ weren’t popular as a look. So although my concept and story were highly praised and well received with interest I lost a lot of people during image testing. This is something I’m working more into and have begun exploring styles with a more mainstream focus, ‘Harley Quinn’, ‘She-Ra’ and ‘Avatar’ all have much better received styles of animation among my target demographic.

There’s so much more progress I’m attempting to make with this pitch I truly feel that if I can create a cohesive document and put together ‘proof of concept’ for Magic Mart I may be able successfully garner some funding for this project. I can either crowd fund this online or attempt to get funding through a company such as Netflix, it all just depends on my ability to successfully show the value of the work.
To see the full pitch package please request a link.

Creating my production schedule without dates was a tad strange I simply tried to consider which elements would need to be completed first in order to move onto the next stage. I used advice from Tim, who led the ALT studio project on how to do this. He talked about needing to wait for approval and hand offs while working for clients so I tried to incorporate a schedule which allowed me to leave time for that sort of development as well as revisions. I also incorporated a slot for when I may need to pitch for funding once ‘Proof of Concept’ had been made and ready to sell to a studio. This idea may not be 100% accurate to what would actually need to be done at each allotted time but I believe that the way I’ve laid this out is at least somewhat logical.

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