Sr. Project: Fall Pitch 2016

Due the second Wednesday of fall semester



"Simply put, your job is to put your project in our heads."


Pitch us a concept for your Sr. Project that best communicates the progress you have made over the summer and a clear indication of where your project will be headed over the next two semesters.


Carefully read the document below.  While some details may not apply directly to your project many will and you will be held to all of the underlying principles.



Every student will participate in the pitch process either by pitching a project of their own creation or by pitching their personal skill set as a resource to completing a project pitched by someone else.  Every student graduating from the Animation Program is required to participate at some level in an approved green-lit Senior Production.  Either as a full crew member or through temporary freelance assignments.


Green-lit pitches will be held to the criteria listed in this document.   The pitch itself, whether chosen to move forward or not, will count for 10% of your fall semester grade.


The Pitch:  Communicate a cohesive view of the work you have done so far, the direction your project is headed,  and a realistic plan as to how you are going to get us there.  Concept Pitches will be judged on 3 criteria:


Strength and Clarity of Concept: How well have you thought this through?

Strength of Pitch: How well did you communicate?

Do-ability of Your Project: Did you show an understanding of the project requirements and address how you will meet the demand?




 Written Elements:  It is your job to make us believe in larger vision of your project...we can fill in smaller gaps in development.

Technical Description: In two or three sentences describe your project.  Is it a 2D graphic game pilot to a series or a short animated film?  What medium will you be utilizing?  Is there anything unique about the way you are approaching the work?  How long is it?  How many levels?   Who is your primary audience?

Controlling Idea/Theme: In a single sentence state what is your film/project is about.  Often this can be stated in a "What if. . ." question.  Brad Bird's pitch to Warner Brother executives for Iron Giant was; "What if a gun had a soul"

Plot Synopsis: In a single paragraph tell us the story or arc of your piece.  If you're unclear about certain events in the plot try not to let them distract from the telling. 

Team-members: Who are the players and what are their respective roles?


Visual Elements: Whatever images you present they should help to inspire a singular visual direction for your project.  Depending on the nature of your project use some or all of the following:


Storyboard/Story Reel: If you are pitching boards be sure and format them so that you can "flip" from frame to frame as if it were an animatic.  Even better to cut the boards into a Story Reel with scratch audio and sound queues. It's hard to under estimate how valuable a good Story Reel can be in selling a film concept.


Reference Images: Reference is a great way to lay out the direction of your film in areas that are yet to be developed. These images should convey a singular vision for your piece. Do not show a laundry list of rejected possibilities. 


Design Workbook: At this point, many rough images are better than a handful of polished ones.  Include anything that can help us see the direction you're project is taking.  Feel free to show images that represent the struggle but don't overwhelm us with drawings that distract from your vision.    Be sure to make use of the development tools we have used in the program thus far; Exploration sheets, Character turn-arounds, pose sheets, character line-ups, color keys, etc.. 


Test FootageMaya Files, Etc.: Set up any files you have in such a way that they are easy to navigate in front of an audience.  If the file is to cumbersome consider using rendered images and playblasts. Take time to edit these down to concisely communicate what you want us to take away.  Be sure to include any footage that showcases your technical research.


Inspirational Examples: Bring examples of work that is similar to what you are pitching.  This may take the shape of short trailers, frame grabs and concept art that are closely related to your project.  Excerpt what you need to keep things concise and to the point.




The following are possible outcomes to the fall pitch process:


Congratulations!. . .Your project is green-lit: This means you have the means to move forward on executing your project as pitched.  You can assemble your team (with some help from the faculty) and begin working on revisions from your pitch notes.

Approval pending continued development: This means that we are excited about the project but it still needs a level of refinement.  If development is not satisfactory by mid-semester the team could be redistributed to work on other projects.

Freelance development/production roles: For various reasons the number of projects allowed to move forward will be limited. If your pitch is not approved you will be assigned to a project(s) where your stylistic influence, production skills and/or artistic interests can best be utilized to keep things moving forward.  Depending on the demand of your particular skill sets these assignments will most likely be on a “freelance” basis.

Portfolio development: The personal Portfolio option can only exist for the length of a single semester.  If you choose this path (or it chooses you) we will help you to put together a strategy for your portfolio development.  At the same time you will make your skills available on a “freelance” basis to help projects move forward in ways that will continue to enhance your portfolio.




Sr. Project Pitches will not take place until the second week you are back.  That is the Wednesday after Labor Day Break.  This should give you time to go over the details of your pitch to make sure everything is in order.  Do NOT wait until August 25th to start working on our pitch.


If you have any questions concerning your pitch please feel free to contact us over the summer.    The best way to do this is to already have work assembled that we can respond too. Posting to Google Drive and sending a link is the recommended workflow for a productive conversation.


For technical and naming specifications go here: