Animation Guild

Winter 2018

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Page 17 of 47

18 KEYFRAME O N T H E J O B TELL ME A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR PREVIOUS WORK EXPERIENCE. WELLMAN: Mostly script coordinating and freelancing on other preschool shows for Disney Junior, Nickelodeon, and Netflix. HOHLFELD: I started writing in regional theatre then went into feature films where I worked for about 15 years. When some people I'd worked with in Disney live-action features moved onto TV Animation, they asked me to take on a Winnie the Pooh project. I did two theatrical releases and several specials, and on the strength of my connection with the franchise I was asked to develop a new show. I came up with My Friends Tigger & Pooh, which I produced and story edited for two seasons. DUBUC: I started as an apprentice staff writer—a great entry-level position the Guild offers—on Kim Possible. From there, I wrote on a lot of shows—action, comedy, preschool, some freelance and some staff. I became a story editor on My Friends Tigger & Pooh, and after serving in that capacity on other shows, I went on to executive produce on Transformers: Rescue Bots and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. JOHNSON: Most of my resume consists of series and animated movies from the action/adventure realm, with a heavy dose of superheroes. Years as head writer at Marvel and Hasbro have preceded shows written for a younger audience (Transformers: Rescue Bots, Miles From Tomorrowland). HANEY: Before The Rocketeer, I was staffed on The Lion Guard at Disney Television Animation. That was my first writing gig and a crash course in all things writing for television animation—including talking animals, S&P notes, and how to move props when your characters don't have opposable thumbs. Before writing full time, I was a Story and Editorial Coordinator at DreamWorks Animation on Kung Fu Panda 3 and Trolls. SILVER: My most recent job was co-story editing the Disney Junior show Goldie and Bear. I've written for many kids shows for Disney and others, and also developed some single camera comedy pilots for networks. WALK ME THROUGH YOUR TYPICAL DAY. WELLMAN: I generally support the writing staff and production to track the scripts and our notes from the network. HOHLFELD: As a staff writer, my duties are pretty clear-cut and simple—I write. Or I get ready to write, or think about getting ready... With so many episodes to come up with—48 11-minutes—we're always looking for story material. We generate story ideas individually and also sometimes brainstorm as a group for both ideas and story- breaking (working out the beats and plot points). Then we go through the writing of each step of each episode—premise, then outline, then first draft, second, maybe third, and record draft. With notes on all of it coming in between drafts so there's always at least three to five different episodes I'll be working on at a time. JOHNSON: Once I'm thoroughly sick of checking in with Social Media, I get to work. The writing process involves overseeing the development of Springboards (a short paragraph story pitch), Premises (the springboard expanded to one page), Outlines (the premise expanded to five pages), then various drafts of the script (outline expanded to 18 pages). As story editor (head writer), I give notes on the first internal pass of each of these steps that come from the writers, and upon receiving their V2 (version 2), I do my own pass and send it up the ladder to Nicole. She does a (hopefully) small pass, and then has our Script Coordinator submit it to Disney. Network notes are then addressed in pretty much the same order. HANEY: Coffee. Lots of coffee. And then I typically start the day reading through what I wrote the previous day and/or rereading another writer's outline/script/ etc. to get in the right mindset and voice of the show before getting back to my own work. From there, it's all writing, with the occasional break for a meeting. Or snack. Or to bother Claudia. SILVER: It depends on where I am with a story/script—I might be coming up with ideas for new stories, or writing an outline or draft of a script, or incorporating notes on a draft from Greg and Nicole or Disney. DUBUC: My current job requires a lot of communication with all the departments WRITERS SPEND A LOT OF TIME ALONE, CLICKING ON THEIR KEYBOARD, TRYING TO CAPTURE IDEAS ON PAPER. BUT IT CAN ALSO BE A COLLABORATIVE PROCESS, ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO WORK ON STAFF. WE MET WITH THE WRITING TEAM BEHIND DISNEY JUNIOR'S NEW SHOW, THE ROCKETEER, SLATED TO DEBUT IN 2019, AND LEARNED MORE ABOUT WHAT THEY DO. INSIDE THE WRITER'S ROOM

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