Pitch Party Voting Underway!
Animation Magazine’s 6th Annual Pitch Party is on and you can now click here: www.animationmagazine.net/pitch_party_07_vote.html to view all of this year’s entries and vote for your favorites. All pitches are presented as 1/6th-page advertisements that offer new ideas for animated shows that that just may get picked up for development. Results of the online reader poll will be announced along with the picks of our distinguished panel of industry judges and AniMag staffers in the August issue of Animation Magazine.

VOTE FOR YOUR PITCH PARTY FAVES!

The Pitch Party offers independent artists an opportunity to advertise their animated properties for a greatly reduced rate in the pages of Animation Magazine, which is read all over the world. Our esteemed panel of judges then reviews all entries and selects one winner for the opportunity to pitch their ideas to the participating execs of their choice.

Last year’s official judges were Spawn creator Todd McFarlane, Radar Cartoons exec producer Rita Street, Sony Pictures Animation senior VP of development Nate Hopper, Nickelodeon animation development director Peter Gal, Kids’ WB! senior VP/GM Betsy McGowen, Exodus Film Group exec producer Max Howard, DIC Ent. chief creative officer Michael Maliani, Gotham Group founder and CEO Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Jetix Europe senior VP of programming Michael Lekes and [adult swim] director of development Nick Weidenfeld.

As an online voter, you too can help get someone noticed by the animation community and possibly get their big break!

•WHAT'S A PITCH PARTY?

For the sixth year in a row we're opening up an entire section of our publication (read by more animation decision-makers than any other) to 1/6th page advertisements that pitch new ideas. For less than the cost of a workshop on "breaking into the biz" you can get your great idea in front of our major readers. [NOTE: This opportunity is only available once a year. AND to help you out, we're offering these ads at a heavily discounted price!]
PLUS!
We've enlisted a panel of ten powerful development execs, producers and agents to judge your entries. The Pitch Party winner will receive a chance to pitch the judge of his or her choice. AND the winner will receive FREE Pitch Party Participation.

• WHO'S JUDGING THIS THING?

Wow! The call is just out and, already, we've got some of the most powerful people in Hollywood—make that "the world"—ready to judge the work of our Pitch Party Participants. Check back here everyday for the next few weeks to see what doors you could open just by entering our Pitch Party! Here are a few judges so far...

Nate Hopper
Senior VP of Development, Sony Pictures Animation

As senior VP of development, Nate Hopper manages the day-to-day process of developing both internal and external projects to feed the pipeline of Sony Pictures Animation. Hopper joined Sony Pictures Animation as VP, creative affairs in August, 2002, from Twentieth Century Fox, where he was VP of production. While at Fox, he supervised production and development on the feature films such as Big Momma’s House, Black Knight and High Crimes and was responsible for the development of X2: X-Men United, Aliens Vs Predator and Stuck on You.

Hopper began his career as an agent trainee at United Talent Agency, which led to him working as creative assistant to the president of Tri-Star Pictures. He also worked as a creative exec and director of development for Tri-Star Pictures. Prior to his stint at Fox, Hopper ran the day today operations and development for Apatow Productions, where he set up six pitches in one year at three different studios.


Evan Spiridellis
Head Art Guy, JibJab
Brothers Gregg and Evan Spiridellis founded JibJab in 1999 with a few thousand dollars worth of computer equipment, a dial-up Internet connection and a dream of building a global entertainment brand. In 2004, their Flash-animated election parody This Land became an instant international sensation and was viewed more than 80 million times online.  NASA even contacted the brothers to send a copy to the International Space Station! Since then, JibJab has premiered eight original productions on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and received coverage on every major news outlet. In 2004, Peter Jennings named the brothers “People of the Year.”



Ellen Goldsmith-Vein
Founder/Chief Executive Officer, The Gotham Group

Ellen Goldsmith-Vein founded The Gotham Group in 1994 and quickly grew it into the largest representation firm in the world focusing on creative talent in the animation and family entertainment business. Recognized as the powerhouse management firm in the animation industry, The Gotham Group boasts a roster of over 250 top directors, writers, producers, illustrators, artists and content creators, providing a full range of services in both live action and animated feature film and television including packaging, corporate consulting, strategic career planning, children’s programming, prime time television series, and animated and family entertainment content for emerging new media.

This past year saw Goldsmith-Vein dramatically ramp up Gotham Group’s production arm in both features and television. Currently Gotham is producing a feature film based on client Doug TenNapel’s graphic novel Creature Tech at New Regency with Forrest Gump producer Wendy Finerman; The Devil You Know with Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps Entertainment at Fox; The Spiderwick Chronicles, for Paramount to be released in February 2008 and based on the recently published best-selling series of fantasy books written by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi. On the television side, Gotham is executive producing Creature Comforts with Aardman Animations and Academy Award winner Nick Park (Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were Rabbit) which airs on CBS in June 2007.

Dominating the animation and family entertainment fields and rapidly expanding their reach into all aspects of the entertainment industry, The Gotham Group is uniquely positioned to create career opportunities for its diverse range of A-list clientele. Among these clients are such major talents as John Williams, producer of Shrek; vanguard writers/directors Tim McCanlies (Secondhand Lions) and David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express, George Washington); writer John O’Brien (Cradle 2 The Grave, Starsky & Hutch); breakthrough CGI director Ralph Zondag (Dinosaur); stop-motion innovator Henry Selick (James and the Giant Peach, Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas); and widely celebrated writers Billy Frolick (Madagascar), Chris Cleveland and Bettina Gilois (Glory Road, The Hurricane), Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow (Evan Almighty, Toy Story, Cheaper By The Dozen), Chris Viscardi and Will McRobb (Snow Day, Tale of Despereaux, Measle and the Wrathmonk).

Eric Coleman
Vice President/Executive Producer
Animation Development and Production
Nickelodeon

A 15-year veteran of Nickelodeon, Coleman supervises the development and production of the network's animated pilots and series. He reports to Marjorie Cohn, Executive Vice President, Development and Original Programming.

Currently Coleman serves as the Executive in Charge of Production on the hit series SpongeBob SquarePants, as well as overseeing the current animated shows Avatar, Fairly Odd Parents and El Tigre, and the upcoming series Tak and the Power of Juju, Back at the Barnyard, The Mighty B and Making Fiends.

Coleman began his career at Nickelodeon in the New York office working on the first wave of original Nicktoons: Rugrats, Ren & Stimpy and Doug. As Manager of Development, he worked on numerous animated pilots including Rocko’s Modern Life, Hey Arnold! and Angry Beavers, then served as Development Executive on such pilots as SpongeBob SquarePants and The Wild Thornberrys.

Since moving to Los Angeles in 1997, Coleman has served as Executive in Charge of Production on the series Invader Zim, CatDog, My Life as a Teenage Robot, Avatar, Catscratch and SpongeBob SquarePants, overseeing that TV phenomenon through its reign as the top-rated kids’ show for eight years running.

A resident of Los Angeles, Coleman grew up in Scarsdale, NY, and graduated Cum Laude from Duke University with a bachelor's degree in English literature and art history.

Betsy McGowen
Senior Vice President and General Manager, Kids' WB! on The CW

Betsy McGowen was named Senior Vice President and General Manager, Kids' WB! on The CW on April 21, 2006. The CW, a joint venture between Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corporation, launched in the fall of 2006.

McGowen, a senior executive at Kids' WB! since its inception in 1995, oversees all series development, current programming and scheduling as well as brand, image and marketing for Kids' WB! on The CW. Under McGowen’s direction, Kids’ WB! won 47 PROMAX awards for on-air branding, image and show promotion, and two Prism Awards for anti-smoking campaigns.

With McGowen at the helm of programming and development, Kids’ WB! has launched several breakout animated series, including “Legion of Super Heroes,” “Loonatics Unleashed,” “Tom and Jerry Tales” and “Shaggy and Scooby-Doo Get A Clue!” In addition, the Kids’ WB! programming slate has maintained its No. 1 Saturday morning children’s broadcast rating during The CW’s inaugural fall season.

In May 2004, McGowen was promoted to Senior Vice President and General Manager, Kids' WB!, overseeing all programming and marketing aspects for network television's No. 1 rated Saturday morning children's block. She previously served as Senior Vice President, Kids' WB! Marketing, and has held a top marketing position at Kids' WB! since 1995, where she helped shape the network's distinct brand image and on-air campaigns.

Before The WB, McGowen worked as a freelance writer/producer/editor for many clients, including Fox and Disney Channel. From 1992-93, she was a staff promo writer/producer for Fox Kids Network. Prior to Fox Kids, McGowen was an offline/online videotape editor at NBC and Fox.

McGowen majored in fine arts and theater at Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, and currently lives in Los Angeles. McGowen is a volunteer at St. Robert’s Center Weekend Food Pantry for the Homeless in Venice, California. She is also on the Board of Directors of the San Damiano Foundation, a not-for-profit organization producing films for charitable organizations to use as promotional tools.

Maxwell Atoms
Creator, The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy

Atoms was raised traditionally as a nerd and spent a lot of time shut in his room drawing crude comic strips. He later attended The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where he created several short animated films and worked to create graphics for computer games. After receiving the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences animation internship in 1996, Atoms rose quickly through the cartoon ranks, working on shows such as Felix the Cat and I Am Weasel. He was nominated for an Annie Award for his storyboard work on Cartoon Network's original animated series Cow and Chicken. The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy won the Cartoon Network’s The Big Pick award in 2000. Atoms cites his influences as classic Hanna-Barbera and Warner Bros. cartoons, Surrealism, science and old monster movies.

Nick Weidenfeld,
Manager of program development, Cartoon Network’s [adult swim]

Nick Weidenfeld is manager of program development for Cartoon Network’s late-night block, [adult swim]. He personally receives and reviews all pitch presentations for original animated programming from both established and as yet undiscovered animators with new concepts for adult-targeted properties. He manages the development of selected projects from pre-production to premiere date. Weidenfeld is based in Atlanta and reports directly to Mike Lazzo, senior vice president responsible for [adult swim]. Among the many shows Weidenfeld has helped develop and produce to date are The Boondocks, Moral Orel, Minoriteam and Metalocalypse. Currently, Nick's wading through pitches and helping diversify the successful late night block, developing shows outside of Williams St. Productions.

Eric Radomski
Producer
Shaggy and Scooby-Doo Get a Clue!

Three-time Emmy Award winner Eric Radomski enters his second season as Producer of the hit Warner Bros. Animation series, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo Get a Clue!, the top-rated animated series within the Kids’ WB! Saturday morning lineup on The CW. Prior to taking the reins of the latest Scooby-Doo incarnation, Radomski was supervising producer of the popular animated series Xiaolin Showdown, which airs on both Kids’ WB! and Cartoon Network.

Radomski began his animation career in the early 80's as an Apprentice Animator at a small commercial studio in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. After two years animating in Ohio, Radomski headed west to join Rick Reinert Pictures and eventually became an Assistant Director on a variety of network and cable properties.

In the early 90's Warner Bros. hired Radomski as a background stylist on Steven Spielberg's Emmy Award-winning Tiny Toon Adventures. Soon to follow, Radomski was asked to develop and produce Batman: The Animated Series, eighty-five episodes later Eric won the first of three Emmy Awards. Radomski continued on with Batman producing and directing the critically acclaimed animated feature Mask of the Phantasm. Eric's also directed on Steven Spielberg's Freakazoid for which he received his second Emmy Award.

Radomski's appetite for originality compelled him to seek new challenges outside of daytime animation, and what better place to call home than the late night world of HBO. Along with HBO executives Chris Albrecht, Carmi Zlotnik and Catherine Winder, HBO animation was born. Eric produced and directed two late night series for the trend setting cabler Todd McFarlane's hugely popular "SPAWN" for which Eric received his third Emmy Award for Individual Achievement in Animation, and Spicy City with the Godfather of adult animation, Ralph Bakshi.

Prior to returning to Warner Bros. Animation, Radomski served Film Roman as Executive Creative Director, heading the company's restructured animation development efforts. Under his tenure, Radomski broadened Film Roman’s animation spectrum with a development slate that included some of the entertainment industry’s most recognized creators: projects such as Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Mike Meyers Austin Powers, Norman Lear's Til the Fat Lady Sings and Doomsday with Howard Stern. One of the Founders of Level13.net (Film Roman's Internet entertainment site) Radomski shepherded the attitude and direction of this innovative development venture, working closely with young creators from around the world discovering, developing, and producing unique and original properties outside the standard Hollywood model. Two short films developed and showcased on Level 13 were so successful that they secured series status with MTV and the Sci-Fi Channel.

Radomski has five individual Emmy Nominations; twice nominated for the Annie Award and three times nominated for the Golden Reel Awards. One of his treasured nods is Mindless Bob, a collaborative effort with DEVO founder Mark Mothersbaugh, for which Eric was awarded Best Experimental Film at the Brooklyn Film Festival.

Catherine Wai
Director of Creative Affairs, Jetix Europe

Catherine Wai was promoted to the role of Director of Creative Affairs for Pan-European Programming in June 2006. She is responsible for overseeing the development, production and franchise management aspects of Jetix Europe’s programming. Building on her relationships with studios and her background in the independent theater sector, she is also forging relationships with innovative creators in order to develop new content which could work across all Jetix’ business lines.

Catherine joined Jetix in 2004 as Production Manager of the Pan European Original Series unit. She previously worked for the Noddy brand at Chorion, where she respectively held the positions of Production Supervisor in London and Business Development Manager in Hong Kong. She previously worked for the Hong Kong Arts Festival and Arts Center.

Joy Tashjian
President, JTMG, LLC.
Joy Tashjian currently serves as president, JTMG, LLC. (JTMG), formed in 1998, specializes in the development, implementation and strategic retail development of entertainment trademarks for consumer products. JTMG is the agency of record for NBC/Universal TV programming (including Conan O’Brien, House, Jay Leno and 30 Rock) and Bravo Television Properties such as Top Chef, Top Design, Cathy Griffith—Life on the D List and Workout.

JTMG also reps Endemol (Fear Factor, Deal or No Deal, 1 vs. 100) for Disney (Life with Derek), Nickelodeon (Ricky Sprocket) and Cartoon Network (Bo Bo-Bo) as well as WGBH/PBS properties (Fetch and Peep) and Telemundo. JTMG, LLC represents several production studios including: Bejuba/Studio B, Breakthrough Films and Television, Coneybeare Studios, Endemol USA, Fathom Studios, Shaftesbury Entertainment, Zorro Productions. JTMG Agency was recently nominated for Promotion of the Year for their work on Deal or No Deal with Toys R Us.

Widely respected within the licensing and merchandising community, Ms. Tashjian was the President of the Worldwide Merchandising and Sales for DIC Entertainment from 1982 to 1998 during that time she worked with DIC Entertainment, ABC/Capital Cities and the Walt Disney Company from 1992 to 1998. During her time at DIC, she created, developed and supervised DIC's Consumer Products Department. She was responsible for the successful development of several multi-million dollar brands including Madeline, Sailor Moon, Inspector Gadget and World Wrestling Federation, which gave DIC Merchandising global recognition and increased sales. Additionally, with the ABC and Disney acquisition of DIC Entertainment, Ms. Tashjian assumed merchandising responsibilities for several ABC Saturday morning network series and Disney properties.

• AND WHAT DO I WIN?

For one thing, a whole lot of print and online coverage! Not only do you get a 1/6th page ad in our print edition, if you're a winner, you'll get additional editorial coverage, a chance to pitch your idea to the judge of your choice and the cost of your entry reimbursed. BUT, WAIT! There's more … (here's a big list of everything you could get just by entering).
  • 1/6th page in the August edition of Animation Magazine, distributed to readers in over 100 countries with bonus distribution at the San Diego Comic-Con.
  • A high-powered panel of development execs and producers will personally evaluate your pitch.
  • If you win, you get to pitch your idea to the Judge of your choice. Plus! You'll get editorial coverage in our August edition.
  • If you win, you get FREE Pitch Party Participation.
  • If you come in second or third, you'll get editorial coverage in our August edition.
  • We also run a STAFF PICKS contest. So if our staff picks you, they'll write about why you won in our August edition.
  • Finally, we run an ONLINE READERS' POLL using your 1/6th page ad. So for one week your ad will be online and oggled by more than 100,000 unique visitors. AND! You guessed it! We also write about the winners of the online poll in our August edition. (Don't worry, we monitor our ONLINE READERS' POLL carefully. No reader can vote more than one time!) The Online Readers' Poll begins on or about June 7.
• HOW DO I ENTER?
1) Call 818-991-2884 or e-mail [email protected] to reserve your entry space. One of our great sales execs will contact you immediately. Entry Deadline is June 10, 2007. What you'll need to provide via e-mail: a JPEG or TIFF image from your pitch, a 30-word description of your pitch and your contact information. The entry fee is $375. Ask about our special student discounts.

• FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How Do I Protect My Idea?
Well, the easiest answer is "by entering the Pitch Party." If you're pitching your idea in our magazine then your idea has appeared in print with your name attached; your idea is no longer floating around out in the ether for anyone to pick up. To further protect yourself though, we suggest registering your idea with the Writers Guild. Go to www.wga.org for more info.

WHAT KIND OF STUFF CAN I ENTER?

Anything! As long as your idea has the potential to be animated, you can enter a television series, movie, game, whatever! Be forewarned, however, our judges are strictly from the movie and TV arena.

WHEN DO YOU ANNOUNCE THE WINNERS?

As soon as our August issue hits the newsstands, around July 1. We will also be hyping our winners online during the week of the San Diego Comic-Con, July 26-29 (www.comic-con.org).

WHAT SHOULD I ENTER?

Basically an idea that's different; something our judges haven't seen before. Most development folks want a show that is "character-driven" or "kid-relate-able." In artist-speak that just means they're looking for a show that has a strong character at the center of the action and, if it's a TV show, a character that kids can latch onto. Remember to pick a really strong image for your entry, one that describes your show or its main character in a striking visual manner. Concerning your 30-word description, all we can say is re-write, re-write, re-write. Don't just give us the first thing that trips off your fingertips onto the keyboard and into Microsoft word. Work it! Then read it to your friends. They'll tell you if they get it or not. (And, we know this sounds dumb, but run a spell check.)

• LEGAL STUFF

Animation Magazine is not responsible or liable for ensuring the images used in Pitch Party Participant advertisements are the property of the advertisers/participants.