Jeffrey Scott reveals secrets of "How to write for animation"

When Walt Disney's "steamboat Willie" hit the theaters on 1928, it gave birth to a new era- the era of animation.

Today, animation transcends time, geographical locations and language. Without animation, Advertising, Entertainment, and Interactive displays are uninspiring,. It’s a discipline that's studied; an advertising tool that delivers clear messages and a cinematic media that enthralls audiences.


Animation- The Indian Market Scenario and The Scope of writing

India is also one of the most important players in the world animation Industry.

The populace has shared a profoundly joyous relationship with its favorite animated characters (ala Mowgli from Jungle book, Tom and Jerry, Spiderman, The Disney characters etc). Today, there’s an unprecedented use of animation in feature films, advertisement films, infotainment and games. The nascent animation industry has seen a meteoric rise.

Indian studios have made their mark in the world. They’ve provided top notch animation for big Hollywood projects such as, Puss in the Boots, Tinker bell etc. This rise has also propelled a parallel growth in other related fields- such as Concept Designing, VFX and CG.

Indian Animators have delivered top notch animation for Bollywood films such as, the critically acclaimed “Arjun the Warrior Prince”, “Little Krishna”, “Lav Kush - The Warrior Twins”, “Hanuman” etc. Cartoon films and series, based on traditional mythological characters are loved by the young and the old. "Chota Bheem", “Mighty Raju”, “Tenali Raman” are just a few cherished animated series.

Pricewaterhouse Coopers reports that India’s animation industry is set to expand by about 23 per cent in the next four years. The value of this industry was estimated at Rs 18.5 billion in 2009. By the year 2014,it will be- a whopping Rs 54 billion. This income is generated due to the growing reputation of India as a quality destination, for outsourced animation work.

 The Indian sub continent is rich in stories, folk lore and legends. With a rise in demand for animation in television and films, the job opportunities in the writing and allied fields of animation, may see a tenfold rise.. To meet this unprecedented demand, professionals with high level skills in animation and art of storytelling will be needed.

The Need for Learning Resources

Truly, there is a dearth of training resources in India for animation writing, camera work and direction. Animation is a different media that requires a specific treatment. Since, the protagonists of most animation features are fantastical characters, mythological creatures and animals, a great deal of imagination is needed to write for animation.

Script writers, who write for films and television, take time to understand the media and its intricacies. Most professionals have little or no experience in animation. Hence, they’re at loss while writing for animation. Moreover, they don’t have the time to re- learn these skills.

The Quick Solution

Here we found a great book for learning the principles of animation writing, storytelling and techniques-“HOW TO WRITE FOR ANIMATION” by Jeffrey Scott.

Jeffery Scott, an animation writer, has more than 25 years of writing expertise with the best names in animated films and television series. Pac-Man (Hanna-Barbera Productions); Spider-Man, Dungeons & Dragons (Marvel Productions), Plastic-Man, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Zorro, James Bond, Jr. (Fred Wolf Films); Duck Tales, Winnie The Pooh (Disney), are just a few names of the projects that he has successfully written. He’s the proud recipient of many Emmy Awards since 1985 and FICCI BAF Awards. 

He is extremely well versed with writing for animation for the Indian industry too. He has collaborated with Reliance Animation for the extremely successful Indian Television series, “Shaktimaan”. He has also written for the acclaimed series,” Little Krishna”. The phenomenal success of these series, remarks this legend’s command on art of writing.

HOW TO WRITE FOR ANIMATION reveals Jeffrey’s successful writing secrets to aspiring animation writers, freshers and professional, all over the world.

“HOW TO WRITE FOR ANIMATION”- What’s it all about?

Jeffrey Scott’s HOW TO WRITE FOR ANIMATION is a comprehensive guideline and is the only book of its kind. It covers a wide array of topics related to animation in a coherent manner and simple language. His explanations are lucid and his style of writing is inimitable.

WOW- But, will it work for me?

Yes! In his book HOW TO WRITE FOR ANIMATION, Jeffery introduces the reader to animation world, describes the various kinds of animation and talks about the different tools that are used to create animation. Once, the reader is comfortable with the media, Jeffery then proceeds to elaborate the writing process for animation. He reveals to his reader, the various tricks of the trade that he has learnt in the past twenty five years.

He describes the process for writing an animation script, creating dialogues and gags with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sample exercises which keep the viewer enthralled. The reader is encouraged to try their hand at creating a written premise, beat sheet, and outline for the episode "Mobster from Dimension X". This allows the reader to try and apply the lessons. The exercises are very effective, more so, since they relate to an actual product.

Jeffrey also elaborates on the techniques to create funny stuff, a fast paced screenplay and using single line sentences to attain a better view of your story.

He reveals the secret to keep the audience attention rooted to the screen. Some of his secrets are-

  • Know your Audience  
  • Which Animation medium will be used- 2D, 3D or Stop Motion 
  • What will be the genre of the film- Action, Comedy or Drama? 
  • What’s the subject to be written- series, film, a commercial or educational? 
  • What is budget for whole project- A script can stretch budget if not written carefully.
  • Communication over the subject.
  • A unique Idea 

 Jeffrey says “Finally what makes something different in writing is making your ideas unique. I made a decision when I first started writing that I would always try to make my ideas unique in some way. I owe a lot of my success to the fact that I was able to come up with new ideas instead of regurgitating material already seen in other cartoons. But what makes something different? The answer is not necessarily in the basic idea itself, but in the way it’s executed. You can take a similar story and change its setting or its data or characters and make it fresh.”

The best part of HOW TO WRITE FOR ANIMATION isJeffrey discusses the selling of the animation concept. He includes some brilliant tips on how to create successful presentations and how to write for pilot episodes. For this, he uses “The Extreme Adventures of Wacky Willie” as an example.

Jeffrey Scott’s book is a must read for all aspiring animation writers and film makers. 

HOW TO WRITE FOR ANIMATION has received tremendous appreciation since its first release. 

Nancy Kanter, Senior Vice President, Original Programming at Disney Junior quotes “Jeffrey Scott has written the definitive sourcebook for anyone interested in the world of animation and script writing. Infused with humor and a love of the craft, this book is filled with the practical information one needs to get started, and is a great resource for producers, directors and executives already in the business." 

Jeffrey's book has everything you need to know about writing for animation. A must read for animation professionals and film makers. 

This, one of its kind book is now available in India at-“M. M. Mukhi and Sons” book dealer in Mumbai, India. You can also buy it online at: amazon.com   flipkart.com

So what you are waiting for? Go grab your copy today! 

To know more about Jeffery Scott contact him at: http://www.jeffreyscott.tv 

To read script samples by Jeffery Scott -http://www.jeffreyscott.tv/Scripts.htm 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.