Mark's Question(s): Can I Use Animated Material for Live-Action TV?

Author:
Publish date:

Today's questions come from Mark, who posted them in the comments section a few days ago. Mark asks...

First: How do you ask a question of Chad?

And...

Second: If I'm a
produced animation TV writer, and want to "break into" non-animated TV,
should I include samples of my produced work in my spec package to
literary agents representing non-animated TV writers? Or would my
animation credits count for nothing in the non-animated world? (Are
there agents that deal in both worlds??)

Well, Mark-- Question One: Posting in the comments is always a great idea, and sometimes even faster than emailing. My email is WDScriptNotes@FWPubs.com, but that actually gets routed through Writers Digest and doesn't always get to me right away. Plus, I'll be honest-- I hate checking email, so I sometimes stall. Or they get lost. Or I pretend they get lost because I don't want to check email.

The point is: posting in the comments is great.

Question Two: It often can be tough to transition from animated to live-action. Much tougher, in fact, than going from live-action to animation, like Rick Wiener and Kenny Schwartz, who started on traditional sitcoms like Mad About You and Two Guys, A Girl, and a Pizza Place before joining American Dad a few years ago. This doesn't mean it can't be done; Bobby Bowman was a story editor on Family Guy (in its first run) before going on to Yes, Dear, My Name is Earl, and Sons of Tucson.

The bigger issue isn't animated-to-live-action, but children-to-adult. If the animation you've produced is children's programming, it'll be much tougher to transition into "adult" programming. But material from shows like The Simpsons or King of the Hill will be more effective. If you've been doing children's animation... and you simply want to switch to children's live-action... then it's probably fine to include some of your produced work.

Basically, look at it this way: you want to prove to someone that you are the right person to hire in a very specific live-action arena (whatever that specific live-action arena may be: comedies, dramas, sci-fi, whatever). So you want to show them material that will convince them you're the guy to hire. If your goal is to get into live-action one-hour sci-fi dramas like Caprica or V, a brilliantly produced children's cartoon probably won't convince anyone, even if it's about robots and spaceships. But if it's a sophisticated adult cartoon, it might impress them. So ask yourself as your prepare your submission: "Would this piece of work convince me that the writer/producer is the exact right person for the project I'm working on?"

Crystal Wilkinson: On The Vulnerability of Memoir Writing

Crystal Wilkinson: On The Vulnerability of Memoir Writing

Kentucky’s Poet Laureate Crystal Wilkinson discusses how each project has its own process and the difference between writing fiction and her new memoir, Perfect Black.

From Script

Approaching Comedy from a Personal Perspective and Tapping into Your Unique Writer’s Voice (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by ScriptMag.com, interviews with masters of comedy, screenwriter Tim Long ('The Simpsons') and writer-director Dan Mazer (Borat Subsequent Movie) about their collaboration on their film 'The Exchange', and filmmaker Trent O’Donnell on his new film 'Ride the Eagle' co-written with actor Jake Johnson ('New Girl'). Plus, tips on how to tap into your unique voice and more!

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Not Accepting Feedback on Your Writing

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Not Accepting Feedback on Your Writing

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake is not accepting feedback on your writing.

Writer's Digest Best Creativity Websites 2021

Writer's Digest Best Creativity Websites 2021

Here are the top creativity websites as identified in the 23rd Annual 101 Best Websites from the May/June 2021 issue of Writer's Digest.

Poetic Forms

Englyn Proest Dalgron: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the englyn proest dalgron, a Welsh quatrain form.

What Is a Palindrome in Writing?

What Is a Palindrome in Writing?

In this post, we look at what a palindrome is when it comes to writing, including several examples of palindromes.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Set a Trap

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Set a Trap

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, it's time to set a trap.

5 Ways to Add a Refrain to Your Picture Books (and Why You Should)

5 Ways to Add a Refrain to Your Picture Books (and Why You Should)

Children's author Christine Evans shares how repetition is good for growing readers and gives you the tools to write your story's perfect refrain.

From Our Readers

Describe the First Time a Book Transported You to Another/Magical World: From Our Readers (Comment for a Chance at Publication)

This post announces our latest From Our Readers ask: Describe the First Time a Book Transported You to Another/Magical World. Comment for a chance at publication in a future issue of Writer's Digest.