Animag is up and running with the 2013 edition of our annual Pitch Party contest — the online/print pitching competition that puts your animated project ideas into the hands of industry decision makers. Submissions are still open for this year’s contest, with the winners set to be announced in our July Comic-Con issue. Don’t forget: The pitch with the highest ranking from our judges panel of animation executives will get the chance to pitch their idea to the judge of their choice.
Last but not least, the final pieces of our judging panel have come together! Learn more about them below, and be sure to visit the Pitch Party page for more information.
Jenna Boyd – Senior Vice President, Animation Development, Nickelodeon
In her current role as SVP for global kids’ entertainment giant Nickelodeon Group’s toon division, Jenna Boyd oversees the pipeline of all new animated series as well as the comedy shorts program, focusing on finding creator-driven original comedies, fresh animation styles and developing contemporary classics for the new generation. Previously, she served as VP of Live Action Development, overseeing scripted and unscripted programming slates for Nickelodeon, TeenNick and family originals for Nick at Nite, including Wendell & Vinnie.
Boyd’s career with Nickelodeon began over 15 years ago as a production intern for the studio’s live-action comedy Kenan & Kel at their Orlando, Florida studios. She then moved to New York to work in the TV Land programming department, transitioning to Nickelodeon production where she developed and produced live-action and animation properties for the network. Boyd relocated to Los Angeles in 2004 to serve as Director, Development where she oversaw production of critically acclaimed animated hit Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Having grown up in New Jersey, Boyd received her degree in Telecommunications from Ohio University. She currently lives in California with her husband and young twins, who must be a great test audience.
Kate Lambert – VP Original Programming, Drama & Comedy Development, FX
As veep of original programming for Fox Entertainment’s edgy branch-out channel FX, Kate Lambert has already scored big points with the toon community by being the primary development exec behind Matt Reed’s animated spy comedy Archer. She has also been involved in developing pilots of hit series Sons of Anarchy, Justified, The Americans, American Horror Story and Louie, to name a few. Most recently, she has worked on the newly-green lit animated pilots Chozen from Danny McBride’s Rough Pictures and Big Foot from executive producer Seth Rogen.
A USC graduate, Lambert began her career in television at HBO Entertainment as a development assistant in the original programming department, specifically working on iconic series The Sopranos, Deadwood and The Wire. In 2006, she moved to FX Networks, where she served as the development assistant to Matt Cherniss, then-head of Drama and Comedy development for FX. During that time, she worked on the critically-acclaimed series Damages and The Riches pilot. Last year, Lambert was named one of Hollywood’s Fastest-Rising Stars on Hollywood Reporter‘s Next Gen list.
Lambert graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism and Cinema/Television. Having grown up in New Jersey, Lambert has adapted to her SoCal home—when she’s not hard at work on FX’s next hit, you can find her at the beach.
Curtis Lelash – Vice President of Comedy Animation, Cartoon Network
As veep of Cartoon Network’s comedy animation, Lelash oversees the development and ongoing production of the network’s hilarious toon series, which has helped drive CN to consistently rank as the #1 network among boys. Creatively responsible for projects from pilot development through series production, he also supervises the studio’s shorts development program as a means to discover new series and to cultivate new talent.
Lelash is an executive producer of Cartoon Network’s pop culture phenomenon Adventure Time and the Emmy® Award-winning Regular Show, both of which are produced at Cartoon Network Studios in Burbank, CA. He is currently overseeing production on three new original animated comedy series— Steven Universe, Uncle Grandpa and Clarence —each developed from Cartoon Network Studios’ vibrant and prolific shorts program. In addition, he also supervises hit original comedies produced at outside studios for Cartoon Network, including The Collective’s Annoying Orange and Warner Bros. Animation’s MAD and The Looney Tunes Show. Previous projects he has overseen include the animated comedies Robotomy, Secret Mountain Force Awesome, The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, Squirrel Boy and Class of 3000.
Walter Newman – Director of Comedy Development, Adult Swim
In his role as director of comedy development, Walter J. Newman is responsible for developing and producing comedy live-action series and animated programming for Adult Swim. Newman supervises original Adult Swim live-action and animated comedies including Loiter Squad, The Eric Andre Show, Black Dynamite, China, IL, The Boondocks, SuperJail and upcoming pilots including Harold & Kumar, which is based on the popular movie series.
Prior to joining Adult Swim, Newman was a development executive at Comedy Central where he discovered and developed the comedy group Mail Order Comedy into the current series Workaholics. He also spent time in program development for VH1 as well as the film and TV production company Circle of Confusion.
Newman graduated from UCLA in 2001 with a bachelor of arts in English and creative writing concentration.