INT. JEFFREY'S OFFICE - TIGHT ON JEFFREY
hard at work
writing another script. He senses someone watching, looks up to see YOU staring
Oh. An animation writing apprenticeship. In that case you've come to the right place. If you're seriously interested in becoming a professional cartoon writer, or selling your animated project, I've got some valuable options for you. I also do consultation and script analysis. Read on...
GENERAL CONSULTING SERVICES
No matter what stage of production your feature or series is in, if you havenít had the plot and characters professionally evaluated you are putting your entire budget at risk. Whatever creative material you may have -- screenplay, treatment, animated series bible, pilot script, etc. -- Jeffrey can analyze your creative material and give you vital input on its global appeal, crossover potential, appropriateness vis-ŗ-vis audience demographic, merchandising potential, character development and story structure. Click here for complete information on consulting services.
Jeffrey is a busy writer, and the services described below are not always available.
When I first started out as a cartoon writer I was clueless! My father was story editor of Hanna-Barbera's DYNO-MUTT: DOG WONDER animated series. When his assistant quit, he asked me if I wanted to replace him. I accepted, figuring $500 a week was a king's ransom. But when he asked me to write a premise I said, "A what?" He explained what a premise was and I wrote one. He scribbled all over it with his red pen and told me to rewrite it. I did so until he was satisfied. Then he told me to write an outline. "A what?" Again he explained it to me, and I wrote one. More red scribbles. I knew what a script was (but not how to write an animated one), so the process continued. I wrote my first Dyno-Mutt script, he edited it, I rewrote it, and into production it went. And thus I was given a priceless six-month apprenticeship by my extremely talented father. At the end of it I became story editor of my own series, SUPER FRIENDS, which became an international hit that's still on the air, and selling on DVD. I'm telling you this because I want you to understand the importance of apprenticeship. It's probably the best form of education on Earth. Too bad it's fallen out of style. But I'm going to do what I can to revive it, at least in the field of toon writing.
THE RULES OF THE GAME
A writer learns by writing, not by thinking about writing. And most of the answers to cartoon writing questions are in my book, HOW TO WRITE FOR ANIMATION. So although I am happy to answer some questions during the apprentice program, I will only do so up to a point. Beyond that I urge apprentices to focus on the writing and rewriting steps. You'll learn more from writing and being critiqued than from asking questions. It is not intended nor expected that a writer will learn to write professional quality animation scripts after going through one apprenticeship program, only that he or she will be a better writer and know more about this craft. I have written hundreds of scripts and learned from each experience. Don't expect your final revised script to be as good as it can be, nor sellable. It will just be better than it would have been without an apprenticeship. At least in my opinion! The apprenticeship will take place entirely via email. There will be no telephone calls or snail mail exchanged. I make no promises whatsoever, other than to read your material and give you my honest, professional viewpoint and technical comments. The rest is up to you!
The cost of the apprentice program, as described below, is US $1,500 for a quarter-hour (11-minute episode), US $3,000 for a half-hour (22-minute episode). The full fee is due in advance. Satisfaction is NOT guaranteed. This is the entertainment industry where NOTHING is guaranteed! But I will do my very best to give you the maximum learning experience and try to make the process enjoyable. If you liked my book there is no reason you shouldn't find this process as rewarding and fun. Once you commit to doing the apprenticeship I will tell you how to direct payment to me.
are the exact steps of the program. They are presented in the same manner and
sequence as they would be if you were a professional writer in the animation
industry submitting your work to a story editor. If you wish to modify them
in any way you must get approval from me before starting the apprenticeship.
1. Prerequisite: Before beginning the actual apprenticeship you must read my book, HOW TO WRITE FOR ANIMATION...twice! The book is not included as a part of this apprenticeship, but may be purchased at Amazon.com by clicking here.
2. You may choose any animated series to write for, including any from the Sample Scripts page of my website. If you want to write a script based on your own series concept I won't be able to comment on the integrity of your characters or format (as you will know the series and I won't), so I will focus, instead, on general story, structure, plot and dialogue quality.
3. Next, you should study your chosen series (read scripts or watch episodes) to familiarize yourself with the tone, style, format and characters, as would any freelance writer before attempting to write for a series.
4. You will then submit, via email, three one-page double-spaced premises* for the series you've chosen.
5. I will critique the premises and email them back to you, either instructing you to go to outline on one them, rewrite one or more of them, or start from scratch. If I instruct you to go to outline, you will go to step 8, below.
6. If I instruct you to rewrite your premises, or write new ones, you will do so based on my critique, and resubmit them to me within one week.
7. I will critique the rewritten premises and pick one that you will expand into an outline.
8. Based on the premise I have approved, you will write an outline (maximum 8 pages double-spaced for an 11-minute episode, 15 pages for a 22-minute episode), and email it to me within one week from receipt of your approved premise.
9. I will critique your outline and email you my comments.
10. You will rewrite your outline based on my critique and resubmit it to me within one week from receipt of your critique.
11. I will critique your outline rewrite and email it to you with instructions to begin writing your first draft script.
12. You will write your first draft script (maximum 17 pages for an 11-minute episode, 35 pages for a 22-minute episode) and email it to me within 3 weeks of my notice to commence the first draft.
13. I will read and critique your first draft and email you my comments.
14. You will then write your second draft and email it to me within 2 weeks of my notice to commence writing it.
15. I will read and critique your second draft and email you my final comments, at which point the apprenticeship is over.
Over the years,
many people have asked me for help in getting an agent or getting their scripts
to producers. Nine out of ten times their writing samples were not up to professional
standards and I declined their request. However, if, at my sole discretion,
after completing an internship, I determine that an apprentice's script is of
high enough professional quality, I will submit it to an agent and/or producer.
Please DO NOT ask me to submit your work to agents, producers or others. Such
submissions are totally up to me.
that I am a busy writer, and so may not have time to accept apprenticeship
requests. If you want to take part in the apprenticeship program please go to
my email page by clicking here, and send me an email.
*If you are
uncertain about the definitions of any of the words on this page please see
the glossary at the back of my book. It is expected that having read it...TWICE!...you
will know what premises, outlines and scripts are, as well as their basic format
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