We founded Frederator to find creative filmmakers and artists making cartoons. It’s hard to believe, but we’ve gone on to produce more than 200 creator-driven shorts, many of which have spun off to series for Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, and our own Channel Frederator and Cartoon Hangover. Series like Adventure Time, The Fairly OddParents, Bee and PuppyCat, Dexter’s Laboratory, Bravest Warriors, and The Powerpuff Girls.Throw in a few more shows—for partners including Amazon, Netflix, and Nicktoons—and founder Fred Seibert and Frederator Studios have helped bring to audiences dozens of animated properties. We’re constantly on the prowl for greatness, turning over rocks and beating bushes for even more creator-driven, funny cartoons.
If you’re at least eighteen years old, we’ll be happy to listen to any ideas you have for cartoons. While we are open to consider any genre, the heart of Frederator Studios’ business has always been producing character-driven, comedy cartoons. The projects can be for any age, really, but our core audience is of thirteen-year-olds and younger. The ultimate litmus test is asking if there’s a character we want to “be or be with.”
When it comes to looking at pitches, we accept any one of several formats.
Beatboard. Most of our successes in the past twenty years began through a simple beatboard—not a detailed storyboard, but rather maybe a third of the drawings. Those drawings can be very rough. Most, if not all, of the dialog should be there. A thumbnail pitch, really. For example, here are a few links to beatboards we greenlighted for Cartoon Hangover.
Pitch bible. Next, we’re also accepting more traditional series pitch bibles: a dozen or so pages containing a brief overview of your series, a few character descriptions, a bit about the world, and a few sample storylines with clear beginnings, middles, and ends. Rough art is great, but it’s always good to see at least one piece of finished art to show how you envision the final look. Less is more for the initial pitch. You want to give executives just enough to get them excited to see more, or enough that they can then pitch the idea to their bosses. Here is the pitch bible we created to sell a Rocket Dog series.
Script. Finally, we’ll accept a script. Please make sure it’s formatted to industry standards (go here for a good tutorial; here’s some free screenwriting software). Also keep in mind being introduced to an animated world through a script alone is a tough sell—imagine if you read the script for the first episode of Ren and Stimpy, SpongeBob SquarePants, or Adventure Time. You probably wouldn’t be as nearly as engaged without visuals.