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Hornet Films Seeks Pitches for Original Animated Kids Series

Hornet Films Executive Producer Jan Stebbins outlines the company’s development path and what they’re looking to add to their slate.

Hornet Films, the original content arm of award-winning animation studio Hornet, is seeking new original concepts for their development slate. According to Executive Producer Jan Stebbins, they are looking for animated kids series for the 6–11 age group, but will also consider contemporary preschool ideas. There are no limitations on animation style, genre, or episode length.

“Ultimately we’re looking for what the networks and SVODs are looking for since eventually we need to be able to sell it to them. Since that’s a constantly moving target aside from the standard request for ‘unique characters and compelling stories,’ I look for projects that immediately grab me. If I go home and can’t stop thinking about a pitch then I know that there’s something there. At the end of the day I need to love the project as much as the creator does so that I can be the best possible champion for it,” explained Stebbins.

Hornet Films came into existence as an extension of Hornet’s commercial animation business. When writer/directors from the commercial roster showed interest in telling longer stories, the studio chose to work with them to develop and pitch their ideas. “As producers, we also develop the talent we represent and we didn’t want to hold our directors back to just the thirty and sixty seconds of traditional advertising,” said Managing Director, Michael Feder.

Under Stebbins’ guidance, original series from Hornet directors Dan & Jason (Rocket Monkeys) and Julia Pott (Summer Camp Island) were successfully developed and sold. Cartoon Network, Disney, Nickelodeon, 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures and Sesame Workshop are among the various partners Hornet Films has worked with in recent years.

In 2015, Hornet Films expanded their talent pool, welcoming creators from outside the Hornet roster to pitch their original concepts. The company’s development model is to stay lean and mean, focusing on a small but active slate.

“Since we are a small operation I keep the slate deliberately lean so that every single project is being actively developed or pitched. We don’t option things willy nilly and then let them sit in development limbo. If a creator is going to trust us with their baby I want to ensure that it will be well taken care of,” Stebbins added. Stebbins is looking to option 1–2 projects from this round of pitches.

Interested parties should email Stebbins directly at to obtain the necessary release form. Pitches should be submitted via email and include a series overview, character descriptions, and episode seeds. Original art is welcome but not required.

Source: Hornet Films