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Podcast EP 213: Aaron Augenblick and His Pitch for PBS’ ‘City Island’

The animator, director, and producer returns to discuss his pivot from adult animation to kids and the 4-year journey bringing his educational kids series from concept to fruition – now on PBS Kids.

Check out Terry Ibele’s Animation Industry Podcast featuring a new podcast every week focusing on the stories of today’s animation professionals - how they got to where they are and what they learned along the way. Now home to 213 episodes, the podcasts cover all areas of the industry, including storyboarding, writing, animating, directing, visual development, and game design. Guests have included returning guest Aaron Augenblick; the notorious JJ Villard; Spike & Mike’s Spike Decker; Disney Director John Musker; Sony Lead Animator Humberto Rosa; Frederator’s Fred Seibert; Tumble Leaf’s Scarlet Nelson; and many others from major animation studios all over the world.

Episode 213: Aaron Augenblick and His Pitch for PBS Show City Island

This chat features Brooklyn-based Augenblick Studios founder Aaron Augenblick. The animator, director, and producer shares how he pivoted from producing primarily adult animated content, such as Superjail! and Teenage Euthanasia, to educational kids’ content – City Island. Augenblick outlines the four-year process of transforming the show’s lofty idea into an actual series - subsequently picked up by PBS and now available on PBS Kids YouTube channel.

Tune in to Ibele and Augenblick to hear:

  • Augenblick’s “secret sauce” to the perfect pitch package
  • The various stages of treatment a pitch goes through before it airs
  • The influences that went into making City Island unique

Ibele has begun to publish the interviews as videos as well – you can find previous interviews here!

Read more about Augenblick on AWN… including ‘City Island’: Aaron Augenblick’s Most Autobiographical Project Yet, and then check out Augenblick’s Social Links:

Ibele, himself a stop-motion animator (see AWN’s Fresh Takes piece on his whimsical short, The Silly Duck Wizard), deftly digs into all manner of topics, encouraging interviewees to share insights and opinions on a wide range of topics like pitching shows, marketing your work online, key skills studios look for when they bring on talent in storyboarding, vizdev, character design, and animation.

In 2018, Ibele, who lives in Toronto, decided to quit his career as a Marketer and pursue his love for animation. Since then, he’s become well known for his viral animation productions, which include the previously mentioned Silly Duck Wizard, which is how A.W.N. first came to know him and his work.

Learn more about Ibele’s work and podcast by visiting You can find all The Animation Podcast episodes on his Soundcloud site:

Debbie Diamond Sarto's picture

Debbie Diamond Sarto is news editor at Animation World Network.