or, perhaps Olive the Woolly Blogger...

Tag: Dreamworks Animation

Imagine the possibilities

You’re a talent scout for a major animation studio. Or perhaps you’re an executive for Dreamworks Animation, Pixar, Sony Animation, 20th Century Fox Animation (Blue Sky Studios) or Walt Disney Animation Studios. Your studio just released or is about to release the likes of Cars 2, Kung Fu Panda 2, The Smurfs, Winnie The Pooh, Happy Feet Two. Life is good–audiences love these movies.

But an animation studio cannot rest on its laurels and must constantly be on the lookout for the next blockbuster hit.

Certainly the fact that there are many sequels being produced indicates that animation studios can get added mileage out of a good initial movie. Cars, Kung Fu Panda, Happy Feet and scores of other movies have all spawned sequels.  Similarly, producing a movie based on long-established characters such as Winnie the Pooh or The Smurfs offers instant recognition in the marketplace.  It’s easy to see why remakes and sequels get made: it’s easier to build on an established and successful film than to create something totally from scratch. But are sequels always as good as those that preceeded them? That’s discussed often: HERE is one such website.

This is not to say that brand new ideas aren’t being made into animated movies. Earlier this year we saw Gnomeo and Juliet, Rio, and Rango. All seemed to be at least reasonably popular given their box office ticket sales.

But what about the next great, truly unique storyline?  Where does the previously unheard of idea come from?

I’m glad you asked, and the answer is right here.

A catchy title. A unique concept. An engaging cast of characters. The framework for a storyline which can be built upon. All the elements of a good children’s story. A strong underlying message of environmental conservation and awareness that also promotes getting kids outside and exploring nature. Olive the Woolly Bugger offers all this.

So, if you’re that talent scout or studio executive, consider this food for thought. You may not have heard of Olive the Woolly Bugger, but a lot of people have. And with your vision, a lot more people will.

Tag, you’re it.

Olive on the Big Screen, Take Two

So far the phone hasn’t rung, yet. I anticipate that any day it will. On the other end will be Pixar, Dreamworks or perhaps another up and coming animation studio, pleading with me to let them make a feature length movie starring my favorite woolly bugger, Olive.  I wrote about my plans a while back, here.

Since then I’ve done a little research and have discovered a couple of things. First, Pixar doesn’t accept external submissions: all creative concepts come from within (I am confident they’ll make an exception for Olive). Secondly, I have learned that in order to pitch an idea to major movie studios, one must be represented by an agent. Unfortunately I don’t have an agent. Fortunately I have a friend who lives in LA and is a well-connected sort. As luck would have it, she did know someone in the agency world, and gave me the name of the company and agent. I fired off an introductory email, and waited.

After a week of deafening silence, I called the agency and introduced myself. I informed them that I had sent an inquiry email and was referred by my friend. Clearly the voice on the other end of the line had no idea who I was because my email had probably gone straight into a junk mail filter. That, and I’m a nobody so there is no reason why they would have had any idea who I am. They politely took my name and number and said they would pass it along to the agent. They did not say that I could expect to hear back. Well, I did. Unfortunately it was a voicemail on my phone- I’d missed the call. The message politely revealed to me that they weren’t accepting any new clients at this time. Apparently the talent agency profession wasn’t hit as hard by the recession as say, just about every other industry!  They did give me a glimmer of hope, however, by suggesting that I call back in a couple of months.  That was May 25th. I’ll wait until July 26th before I call–I don’t want to appear too eager.

In the meantime I’m building a strong pitch in hopes of convincing not only an agent to represent me and get Olive in front of studio execs, but a convincing case for the studio execs themselves.  I had hoped to get 12 confirmed people from Olive’s Facebook page to commit to paying the price of admission if the movie were made. I did better than that and got 21 confirmation comments (and that doesn’t include the 18 “likes” my comment received)!

With that level of enthusiastic support, an animation studio would be remiss if they didn’t produce an animated Olive the woolly bugger movie. Mind you that is not simply 21 individuals that would pay to see the movie, but rather 21 people who would likely bring family members as well. The number could skyrocket! Not to mention dvd sales! Olive plush toys…

And so, while I wait for July 26th to arrive, I’m going to continue to let my plans marinate. Play it cool. Not appear too needy. Maybe an executive from Pixar or Dreamworks will find this blog and contact me and ask me what they can do to make it happen. That would save me the cost of a phone call to the agency.