IN DECEMBER 2011 I STEPPED OFF A PLANE FOR A LAYOVER IN CHICAGO AND LISTENED TO A VOICE MAIL THAT SAID CARTOON NETWORK WANTED TO TAKE MY CARTOON SHOW PITCH INTO DEVELOPMENT
But let's start at the beginning!
In October of 2010, after seeing my work on the internet, an executive at Nickelodeon emailed me and invited me to pitch an idea for a show. I honestly thought it was a joke at first but, luckily, it wasn't. I was living in upstate New York at the time, splitting my time between freelance illustration, comics, and a part-time job.
A couple months later, my girlfriend at the time was offered a job in San Diego, California. So we crammed as much stuff into the car as we could and on January 9th, 2011, my 26th birthday, we started driving across the country to Southern California. Once we were all settled in San Diego, I decided I probably ought to take the Nickelodeon executive up on her invitation to pitch something. So I spent most of May 2011 drawing and writing and working on a pitch. I scheduled a meeting at Nickelodeon and in June of 2011 I rode the train up to LA. When I got up there, through a series of amazing and unexpected lucky breaks, I found myself pitching not only to Nickelodeon, but to Cartoon Network and Disney as well.
Seven months later, in December 2011, I was on my way home for Christmas, to my parent's house in Syracuse, NY. I checked my voicemail as I stepped off the plane for a layover in Chicago and learned that Cartoon Network wanted to take my pitch into development.
So in 2012, after a few months of lawyers nitpicking through big long contracts, we went into development, working towards making a pilot. Pizza Sandwich, the show I'd pitched, was my main project for most of 2012. Writing, drawing, storyboarding. It was fun, it was exciting, it was very surreal.
Unfortunately Pizza Sandwich never made it out of development. Towards the very end of September 2012 I got word that the network did not want to move forward with the project. It's a bummer, but things will be okay! I'm amazed I made it as far as I did, this one project being the first and only show I've ever pitched and me being a guy who previously had zero animation/television experience. To make it as far as I did is rare, and I learned a lot of cool stuff and met a lot of great people. I've since had a few poeople try to hire me to work full-time on other shows (I've been too busy illustrating books!) and I've been able to continue working in animation from time to time as a freelancer character designer or development artist.
I asked the network if it would be okay to show off some of the stuff I drew and was told that it would be okay as long as it's stuff from my original pitch. I can't show anything I drew after we officially went into development (so no storyboards. sorry!). I'm not going to share everything from the pitch package, and I've removed a lot of the text that went with these images, but here are some peeks and glimpses...
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