For the past few years Nickelodeon has hosted and funded a popular shorts program. Nickelodeon is probably still a bit bummed for missing out on Adventure Time and is now keen to give no restrictions to artists in coming up with ideas. And so they created the shorts program as a sort of ‘show, don’t tell’ idea, which allows them to spot whether shorts have the legs for a long term project aka series. At Annecy they presented the opportunities this program could give.
Each year they have a open call for short pitches. This past year they received over 900 pitches from 55 countries in the space of just a few weeks. Anyone is welcome to pitch, and so there are students, professionals and even a cat psychic who pitched this year. From all these pitches Nickelodeon picks only a handful of shorts they will help to produce. Though Phil Rynda, VP artist development, says they also are happy to listen to pitches for non-comedy/action adventure, they do have 1 requirement: as long as its fun.
To be honest, the opportunity sounds amazing and during the presentation they emphasized that it was all about the creator. Creators who successfully pitch get a mentor and local studio assigned to them who help them in the process. And then it’s just up to them with as little interference from Nickelodeon as possible.
At their Annecy presentation Nickelodeon showed 3 new shorts who are currently all being developed into series:
- ‘Urchin’ by Hamish Steele
- ‘Leander, Dre and Cyppy’ by Nickelodeon Storyboard Artist Monica Ray
- ‘Summer Memories’ by Adam Yaniv
All 3 were lovely little shorts, but the one that stood out the most for me was Monica Ray’s short. Though Phil pointed out that the styles of all selected shorts was very diverse, I actually felt many of them fell in the same category and few jumped out of the crowd. Monica Ray’s short however was vibrant, the characters were unique and the story was simple but gave a taste of more to come. Keep an eye out for it when it’s published on Nickelodeon’s website!
If you feel ready to submit an idea yourself, go to www.nickshortspitches.com come January 2016!