Ottawa International Animation Festival 2009: Day 2: Tooned Up
Creator, writer and story editor Ian James Cortlett (Being Ian, Yvon of the Yukon) spoke later at the Arts Court Theatre during a workshop for animation writers. He provided nuts-and-bolts information on the writing process and writers’ tools, including examples of what makes a good pitch bible and story bible, and how to approach outlines and scripts. He also advised aspiring animation writers “to watch a lot of cartoons.”
Cortlett notes that writers working in Canada do not have the luxury of participating in writers’ rooms and are often writing scripts on their own to tight deadlines. This can be very hard, especially when writing comedy. He says to take advantage whenever possible to bounce ideas off of others who may be working on the series, and to ask questions of story editors (within limits).
Cortlett screened a new kids’ project called Our Basement TV, which is a series of silly shorts currently available on YouTube.
Cortlett is also working on a new animated TV series called Elliott & Lucy – based on the characters in his children’s book, E is for Ethics: How to Teach Kids About Morals, Values, and What Matters Most – due out December 8 from Atria books/Simon and Schuster.
Corlett is creator and executive producer, and he is teamed with Skywriter Media, Entertainment Group and Atomic Cartoons to develop the property for a major Canadian broadcaster.
“I actually wrote the book to take a break from animated series,” Cortlett told AWN. “Then I realized the characters were perfect for an animated show. I went to Kidscreen in February, and 90 days later, broadcasters wanted it. Suddenly, it was greenlight, greenlight, greenlight!”
Following that greenlight, Elliott & Lucy is slated to air in 2010.
Now it’s time to watch more cartoons.
Janet Hetherington is a writer and cartoonist who shares a studio on Ottawa with artist Ronn Sutton and a ginger cat, Heidi.