Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Chrissy Metge Teaches Pitching at Escape

Chrissy Metge
We're delighted to welcome back animation & VFX producer Chrissy Metge to Escape Studios on Monday 25th November.

Chrissy will teach a class on "Pitching for Animators" to our second year undergraduate animators at Escape Studios, helping them to perfect their pitching skills. 

Chrissy is an experienced producer, and also creative director at Fuzzy Duckling Media and Duckling Publishing.  She has worked in the animation film and TV industry for 18 years, and has film credits on many movies, including VFX blockbusters The Hobbit, Ironman 3 and Hunger Games 2.  You can see Chrissy's full list of credits at her IMDB page here

Pitching - hitting the target
Pitching animation
Pitching is a vital and often misunderstood part of the production process. It's all very well to have a great idea for a film, series or game, but to bring it to life, you need the skills to sell it.

Good pitching skills are the artists' best friend - if you can sell your ideas, you can make sure your projects are possible, and secure financing and investment from enthusiastic investors, agents and distributors.

Our students need to learn the nuts and bolts not just of how to create great animation content, but how to make a convincing case for it; in short - how to pitch it.

Pitch for AN5002 - animal and creature animation
Our students will be honing their pitches for AN5002 - the animal and creature module that our second year animators are currently immersed it. The module concludes with an animal or creature performance that may or may not contain dialogue and lipsync. One of the challenges of creating any piece of animation is this: why should anyone want to watch it? Is it compelling and interesting?  Animators are performers, and we must give a performance to keep the audience engaged.

Where and when
Chrissy's class takes place in Winterfell on the third floor at 9.30am on Monday 25th November.

Nickelodeon explains the art of the pitch
David Steinberg at Annecy
At this year's Annecy animation festival in June, David Steinberg from Nickelodeon explained the art of the animation pitch.

Nickelodeon does most of their design and creation in house, and, while the "meat and potatoes" of animation is usually subcontracted out to overseas studios, development of new material is done in-house.

Pitching to Nickelodeon
Nickelodeon does a huge amount of work, such as Paw Patrol, Spongebob, and many others, in all kinds of different styles. The distinction between 2D and 3D has blurred; nowadays "it's just one big toolbox".

Character is key
Nickelodeon looks for polished pitches - but there are "no hard and fast rules".  A great pitch often comes with a polished piece of animation, but Nick also look for imaginative pitches which simply have "a great idea for a character which can spawn hundreds of stories".

Pitching at Escape Studios
Planet Mars - began with a pitch
Pitching projects is a vital skill at Escape Studios, because our group projects are typically decided by majority vote, and the artist who pitched the original idea usually goes on to direct the project. Group project work is one of the five pillars of what we call the Escape Method, which includes intensive classroom teaching, online support with video tutorials, industry engagement, critical feedback, and group project work.

PR5001 Studio Project – 45 Credits
The 2nd year of undergraduate animation study at Escape Studios culminates in the PR5001 Studio Project, where students collaborate to work together to a brief, designed as closely as possible to simulate working on a live client project. The Studio Project runs for 12 weeks, with a week off for Easter.

The Studio Project is broken up into two projects, giving students the chance to practice their film-making skills twice in a short space of time. This allows our animators to learn from their mistakes and polish their skills. A number of these 2nd year projects, including Planet Mars and The Golden Acorn, have gone on to win prizes at International festivals. And every successful project begins with a great pitch.

The Escape Studios Animation Blog offers a personal view on the art of animation and visual effects. To find out more about our new BA/MArt, now recruiting for September 2020, follow this link.   To apply, visit the official page here.

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