How do you manage your risk during the process of developing an animated TV series?


“Do we pitch the concept first or make the series first?”

Animated Series is an expensive business. For new beginners, my advise is to be careful. Do it step by step to minimise risk.

So here is the summary of steps.

1) First, make sure you have a strong pitch bible and strong 2d concept design. When I said strong concept design, I mean design that is merchandise friendly.
Some examples: Link

2) Go to major market like Kidscreen, MIPTV or MIPCOM to get distributors or broadcasters’ feedback. After you have gotten the feedback, go back to refine your bible and designs.

3) If you have some cash, work on some scenes mockup in 3d if it is a 3d series. The mockup will just be 3d renders touched up in photoshop. If it is a 2d show, do some 2d renders. This is just to give buyer a feel of how the series will look like. Again get feedback at the market.

Example: This is what we did.
http://www.zzzforce.com/Concept.jpg
http://www.zzzforce.com/Zzz01.jpg
http://www.zzzforce.com/Zzz02.jpg
http://www.zzzforce.com/Zzz03.jpg
http://www.zzzforce.com/Zzz04.jpg
http://www.zzzforce.com/Zzz05.jpg

4) Next create a teaser. Not a trailer. A trailer is too expensive to make. Young Asian Studios always like to make trailer. Too risky in my opinion. Do it only after the whole series is completed. Bring your teaser to the market to get feedback.

Example of a teaser

Example of a trailer
(DON’T DO THIS. TOO EXPENSIVE AND RISKY IF SERIES IS NOT COMPLETED.)

5) If you do no have the money to produce a pilot episode. Try to get interested broadcasters or distributors to give you a “Letter of Intent.” With this prove of interest, talk to your government (if they have some form of support) or investors to seek investment for 1 episode. Again get feedback at the market after the episode is done.

6) Sometimes with 1 episode and 2 good scripts, you can secure pre sales. Sometimes, broadcasters needs 3 episodes. From here, it will get you started step by step ensuring you are on the right track before moving to the next step.

However if you go ahead and complete the entire series without getting any feedback only to realise you cannot sell it globally later, it will lose money and time altogether.

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