Continuing its mission to open its doors to more creative talent than ever before, Nickelodeon for the first time will hold an open call for original animated projects at Comic-Con International: San Diego 2014 – the biggest fan event of the year. On-site from Nickelodeon’s booth on the convention center floor, the network’s animation development team will take live, in-person pitches from Thursday, July 24, to Saturday, July 26, to greenlight a project for its global Animated Shorts Program. The pitch chosen will be developed into a short with the potential to air on Nickelodeon, appear on www.nick.com or the Nick App, or even be developed into a long-form animated TV series.
“Comic-Con has always been a place to make connections and discover new, original ideas, so we thought we’d use it as a platform to find someone who could be the next big thing in animation,” said Russell Hicks, Nickelodeon’s President of Content Development and Production. “Our Shorts Program helps us source talent and it feeds our content pipeline. It has expanded our relationships with creators who range from budding amateurs to experienced professionals, and we’re looking forward to bringing the program’s energy to the convention.”
Nickelodeon’s Comic-Con booth this year features a windowed pitch room at its center, where the network’s animation development team will hold the open call during select times each day. The team’s meetings will be with Comic-Con attendees, as well as with distributors scouted during the convention. Participants seeking appointments must register in advance atwww.nickshortspitches.com, where information, guidelines, requirements and restrictions are posted. Deadline to register is Friday, July 18.
Most recently from the network’s Animated Shorts Program, the network greenlit 13-episodes ofThe Loud House by first-time creator Chris Savino (Rocko’s Modern Life, The Powerpuff Girls)–a graduate of the 2013 Program. Inspired by Savino’s chaotic life growing up in a huge household, the series will follow 11-year-old Lincoln as he gives an inside look at what it takes to survive in the bedlam of a large family, especially as the only boy with 10 sisters.
The network also has announced 11 finalists from the 2014 Program, which include: “Francine” by writer/comedian Katie Crown; “Meat Pie vs. the Dark Ages” by Nickelodeon director Gabe Swarr; “Shelf Life” by Nickelodeon storyboard artist Robert Iza; “Summer Memories” by writer/director Adam Yaniv; “Ice Station Zedonk” by Nickelodeon director Tom Parkinson; “Night Crew” by independent animators Caitlin Boyle and Tara Helfer; “Planet Claire” by Nickelodeon executive producers Chris Viscardi and Will McRobb; “The Outsiders” by writer Eric Bravo; “Leander, Dre and Cyppy” by Nickelodeon storyboard artist Monica Ray; “Ugly Mutt” by PUNY Entertainment’s Shadi Petosky and Dave Hagen; and “Bad News Bunny” by California State University, Fullerton, graduate Tarryn Henderson.
Nickelodeon’s Animated Shorts Program, which is designed to identify and develop original comedy-driven content for kids, was launched in 2012 and took 600 pitches in its inaugural year. The program became global its second year. Concepts are received in all animation, styles from 2D, digital 2D, stop motion, CG and mixed media. Finalists are provided with the necessary artistic and production support teams to help them complete their fully animated original, humor-based and character-driven shorts.