Wed | Oct 18, 2017

The Pitch Bible according to Bento Box

Published:Monday | March 21, 2016 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke
Joel Kuwahara (left), co-founder and executive producer at Bento Box, making a point to animation aspirants Ronaldo Kenyon (centre) and Dave Rose at the recent KingstOOn Animation Festival at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts.

At the recent 2016 KingstOOn Animation Festival, held at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, the Pitch Bible was explained and interpreted for those who were gathered in the Vera Moody Hall for a Sunday afternoon session.

Joel Kuwahara of Bento Box went through the all-important document which is a project's introduction to potential backers page by page, after explaining a one-page version which can be used as well. However, the Pitch Bible is a more comprehensive document, printed in colour if possible, which gives a detailed though still concise overview of a proposed animation project.

One of the Pitch Bible's key components is the synopsis, which Kuwahara who held up an example for the audience said tells what the show is about. "They want a very quick way of getting the essence of your story, the world, the characters, and the tone," he said. He cautioned about being concise, saying that a single paragraph is ideal as "nobody wants to read pages of what the show is about".

Also in the Pitch Bible is character designs. Kuwahara said most shows have about five main characters and "anything beyond that is normally incidental."

Then there's the world in which those characters live, as well as the Story Ideas. For the latter Kuwahara told the audience that persons making a pitch should not feel committed the stories they include will actually be made. "I would say 90 per cent of the ideas are changed, remade or thrown out once the show gets picked up. The network people get in and give their idea," he cautioned.

"And don't be offended if they don't like the idea. It is about getting your show on the network. You have to be able to roll with the changes and not have so much ego or pride to not expect these changes."

A very important part of the Pitch Bible is the contact information, which Kuwahara ensures is printed on the back of his printed document so that it is readily visible.

In actually making the pitch presentation, Kuwahara said the objective was to get the persons to whom the project is being proposed excited. However, one should leave them "wanting more. Do not overstay your time when you are pitching. Read the room. If they are excited they will be asking questions about your show".