Wednesday, August 14, 2013

How to Write Funny Scripts for Disney's "The 7D"

In our never-ending goal to demonstrate the art of animation production, Cartoonatics is proud to present a step-by-step analysis of the script-writing process used for the upcoming animated television series, Disney's "The 7D."

Step One

To create stories for "The 7D," assemble a team of top-notch animation writers.  Since your budget is limited, offer these writers relatively low salaries but throw in attractive perqs like free bowls of breakfast cereal and unlimited elevator rides to and from the workplace lobby.

Back row:  Paul Rugg, Randy Rogel, Tom Ruegger, Roger Eschbacher.  Front row:  Sherri Stoner, Deanna Oliver, Shea Fontana


Step Two

Once you have hired seven writers, one for each of the lead 7D characters, gather those writers together into a "think tank" (AKA "cubicle").

Each work day, the writers meet to think up funny story ideas.   This process could take quite a bit of time, anything from a few minutes to more than 26 months, depending on various factors, including budget, burned-out brain cells and distracting YouTube videos.   


Step Three 

Once a writer comes up with an idea, he shares it with the writing team.  Whether the idea is brilliant or lame, the rest of the team is supportive and embraces the idea with enthusiasm. 


Step Four

The story editor quietly informs the writer that the proposed story idea is unfeasible, hackneyed, unfunny, already-been-done and rejected months ago by the network.  Other than that, it's a keeper.


Step Five 

The writers resume the process of thinking up funny story ideas. 


Step Six

11 am:  Lunch Time!


Step Seven 

2 pm:  The arduous story-breaking process resumes.  


Step Eight  

Inspiration strikes!  

Unable to come up with an original idea, the team decides to do a parody of a  popular TV show or movie...but with a "7D twist!"


Step Nine

The writers decide that each story will be character-driven and will feature the unique, charming, lovable, funny and friendly personalities of our seven stars:   the 7D.  


Step Ten   

It's the job of the writers to make sure every story includes not only comedy and adventure, but also a warm, gentle moment that will touch the hearts of our audience. 


Step Eleven

And if the script comes in short -- add a song.   A peppy song. 

If it's really short -- add two songs! 


Step Twelve   

After an exhausting day of profound pondering and crafting fairy tales for the 21st century,  it's quitting time!  


And that's just a peek at the fast-paced process of writing cartoon comedy for the new animated TV series, Disney's "The 7D!"

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Disney's "The 7D" -- Some of the Crew Members -- Part 1

For the past year or so, I've been working with an incredible team of artists, directors, writers, actors, musicians, producers and creative network execs on a new animated series called "The 7D," which will premier on Disney Junior sometime in 2014.   Here are just a few of the characters who have come together to help make this show happen...

Above:  an afternoon stroll by some of the crew, including (left to right) Paul Rugg (writer and the voice of Lord Starchbottom), Randy Rogel (series writer), Charles Visser (series director), Roger Eschbacher (writer), Deanna Oliver (series writer), Carson Kugler (storyboard artist), Kevin Frank (storyboard artist), Alfred Gimeno (series director), David Shair (storyboard revisions), Sherri Stoner (story editor and writer), Barry Caldwell (storyboard artist) and Roger Dondis (storyboard supervisor).

Lunch at the Sonora campus commissary with Kevin Michael Richardson , series composer Parry Gripp, and Emily Hart, who is the network executive on the series.  In addition to her creative input on The 7D, Emily is also Disney Junior's Executive Director of Programming. 

Series art director Frank Montagna and background designer Brad Gake.  

Writer Paul Rugg is given brilliant script notes by a visiting Amish woman.