Ahhh, the ol' "is it in-house or not" question. Thank you, Rich,
for bringing this up in terms of the animation area of entertainment. This
inquiry reminds me of a famous quote by probably the most famous writer of all
time: "To in-house or not to in-house, that is the
question." Which, I believe, was changed from its original form (for
an apparent reason that will be clear): "To in-house or out-house,
that is the question." Which is a question of a completely different
sort (the sort that we won't be sorting through in the least).
Of course, Rich, your question has to do with a specific area of the
entertainment industry, namely that of animation, which I've had only some
experience with. There may be special "rules" when it comes to
animation, but, as far as I've experienced my some experience, I haven't seen
any. The truth is that producers, story editors, and all down the chain
like to hire those people whom they have hired before and like their work.
It's that simple. Before you cry, "Nepotism!! Down with the
king and all that he stands for!" consider that, if you were in a hiring
position, that you, too, might very well be inclined to want to hire those you
already know, those you like working with, those whose work you
appreciate. In other words: Your friends. Or at least those
whom you can stand the sight of.
But here's where you come in as a new writer to a particular
"fold." No matter how "in-house" (you
can read: "incestuous" if you like Freud) a company may
want to be, that company is going to need new material, fresh, well-crafted
material -- and they are not always going to be able to find it in their blocked
out gene pool. Without "fresh blood" (and I'm not implying that
any vampire-like activity occurs in the entertainment field, that producers and
studio executives would ever really "suck the very blood and marrow"
out of a writer until he was merely a husk of his former, creative and energized
self. I'd never say that. Never.), a production company, be it in
animation or features or whatever, cannot continue to thrive.
As to your specific question, I urge you to ask a different one, which goes
Why wouldn't an animation
company be open to you submitting an original holiday script about children and
Not to get too carried away here, Rich, but do
you see the importance of how you pose your question? Your original one
begs for a negative response. I don't think you would want to call an
animation company and ask them if they'd consider looking at your script.
Better would be to call the company and let them know that you've written an
original, family/holiday script, which you would like them to take a look
at. Do you see the difference between the two approaches?
On a personal note, I did get some script ideas
into a major animation studio because a colleague worked at the company and
opened a door for me. That's always nice when that happens. But who
is to say that you can't "open your own door"? I'm not going to
start into a lecture about persistence (I don't have the persistence to), but
all I can say is that, if you believe in your animation screenplay, Rich, then
let that belief translate into taking action to let others know about it.
Make it part of your routine. Along with taking action, visualization can
be a helpful device. Here's a good visualization (that is if you like to
visualize. If you get stuck on that part, just visualize yourself enjoying
Picture yourself on a boat on a river with
tangerine trees and -- No, that's not the one. Oh, yes... (And this one is
specifically tailored to Rich's situation):
Picture/visualize that there is an animation
company out there that is looking for a wonderful holiday script, exactly the
kind that you have written. It's actually looking for your script, so to
speak. Continue your imaging (if you prefer to) and see yourself
contacting this company, somehow connecting with it, letting it know about what
you have to offer, and the company responding favorably. You can even
expand the visualization and see the company purchasing your animation script
for the amount of money you desire to have in your little animation-writing
They say (whoever "they" are) that
visualization is a powerful tool that, when used properly, can bring about
excellent results. I've used it many times and found it to be very
helpful. I mean, even at this moment, I'm visualizing that I'm coming to
the end of this article and finishing this paragraph.
Wow. It really works.