ARTICLES - Interesting Debate on Cartoon Brew about Animation Magazine's Pitch Party

I just found an interesting debate on Cartoon Brew thanks to it's mention in a podcast by Alt Animation.  The debate is about whether the Pitch Party that Animation Magazine provides to  animators who have shows they want to pitch is worth the $375 USD it costs to buy a 2"x5" ad based 'pitch' for your show in their magazine.  The ad will be viewed and judged by a panel of industry execs.  The winning 'pitch' will receive their submission fee back and get the opportunity to actually pitch their show to the panel exec of their choice.

Amid at Cartoon Brew raised his objections about the Pitch Party in an opionion piece titled A Pitch Party Where Everyone Looses Except Animation Magazine and Animation Magazine have posted a rebuttal on their site.  I enjoy a good debate and I think Amid raises some valid concerns about whether the participant exposure/benefit is worth their cash investment especially when judges base their decisions on a 2"x5" ad panel as opposed to actual animation.

I don't really feel it's doing a disservice to people who willing opt into it because, generally, any chance to get your work in front of execs is a good thing.  I think the real issue being debated is whether Animation Magazine is banking on it's name in the industry to sell something that won't actually benefit the people that purchase it.  I certainly don't know how beneficial it is and the only real way to tell would be to pole all the participants from each year and see if the exposure they received was worth their investment.  Some of the comments on the Cartoon Brew post seem to infer it was conceived as an exploitative tactic by Animation Magazine, which I find a bit ridiculous. At $375 USD per ad I doubt it's making them enough money to be considered a cash cow. I expect it was created as an idea for Animation Magazine to help it's readers meet with execs and because they run a business they had to make sure that it would pay for itself.  It was also created 10 years ago, before YouTube and the other plethora of free video uploading sites existed, let alone affordable means of producing animation.  So maybe the competition just needs a little rejigging as opposed to being completely done away with.

One thing that can be said about the Animation Magazine panel is it is a decent cross section of execs from networks that provide programming for all ages.

Another good venue for pitching, where you can meet with as many reps as you like (if you book in time) is the TAC Fast Track conference in Ottawa.  That costs you $485 CAD and guarantees that you get an in person meeting with multiple development execs of your choice.  I participated in that last year and it was a good experience pitching, but I develop shows for adult audiences and the only shows the execs involved with Fast Track last year were interested in were for children (aside from a last minute SPIKE rep that I saw who wanted adult action films à la Afro Samurai).  This year there are two execs interested in adult programming at the TAC Fast Track pitching sessions one of whom is Mitsue Eguchi from Gauguins International Inc. - he specified, however, that it can not contain erotic content (I'm interested what his definition of erotic is).  That being said, Brook Keesling from Cartoon Network lists Bob's Burgers and Archer as her favourite non-CN shows so she might have a soft spot for something adult skewed (unfortunately her target age is 6-11).

One final note is that neither Animation Magazine nor TAC have reps from FOX Animation at their pitch events.  I'd be interested to know why that is since 20th Century FOX Animation is a fairly dominate force in the animation industry.