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Anatomy of a Hit Animated Series

Title: Anatomy of a Hit Animated Series
Sponsored by Animation Magazine
CTNX09: Filmed Nov 2009; Posted Aug 2010
Length 45 min
[hdplay id=30 ]

What are some of the key ingredients of creating and producing a hit TV animated series in an ever-changing entertainment landscape?  Swampy Marsh and Dan Povenmire, creators of the hugely popular animated show “Phineas and Ferb” (currently airing on Disney Channel and XD cable network worldwide), and Jamie Mitchell and Ford Riley, creators of the hit preschool toon Agent Osso (airing on Playhouse Disney, Disney Channel) will share their experiences with the audiences and  offer helpful tips on how to take a show from the first stages of development to the final steps of delivery. Among the topics discussed are how to pitch your idea to network executives, production do’s and don’ts, how to put your team together, how to process network notes, the nuts and bolts of a successful animated production, the plus and minuses of 2D animation vs. CG animation, toys and licensing rights, and how to stay true to your original vision for the show. After the discussion the panelists and moderator will retreat to the “Shop Talk Lounge” to carry on the conversation and Q+A.

Ramin Zahed _thumbModerator: Ramin Zahed

Ramin Zahed is the Editor-in-Chief of the Los Angeles-based monthly publication, Animation Magazine. He has been covering the animation and visual effects world for over 15 years.

Before joining Animag, he was a senior editor at Daily Variety. His articles have also appeared in Variety, Hollywood Reporter, The Los Angeles Times and Entertainment Weekly.

When he’s not interviewing artists and executives who work in the animation and vfx field, he can be found disturbing people with his karaoke stylings, watching “SpongeBob” and “Mad Men” on TV, or reading cheap, time-wasting blogs online.

smarsh_thumbPanelist: Swampy Marsh Co-Creator/Executive Producer
Emmy Award-nominated Jeff “Swampy” Marsh is co-creator and executive producer of Disney XD and Disney Channel’s animated comedy series “Phineas and Ferb,” for which he nabbed two Emmy nominations for “Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics” and “Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music” in 2008. He also writes songs heard in the series and voices the character of Major Monogram. Over the past 20 years, Marsh has worked for many of the top names in animation, including Hanna Barbera, Klasky Csupo and Nickelodeon. He worked for over six seasons on the critically-acclaimed series “The Simpsons,” including three episodes that won Emmy Awards. He also worked as a storyboard artist and designer for the Emmy Award-winning series, “King of the Hill,” and for four seasons as a writer and director on “Rocko’s Modern Life,” gaining the show an Environmental Media Award.  Additionally, he spearheaded production of several feature films and series for the UK-based BKN New Media Ltd. Marsh returned to the U.S. after six years of working various projects for the BBC, ITV and Carlton TV in the U.K. Born in 1960 in Santa Monica, he now lives and surfs in Venice, CA and has two children and four grandchildren.

jamiemitchell _thumbPanelist: Jamie Mitchell Director / Co-Executive Producer
Jamie Mitchell is co-executive producer and director of Disney Channel’s newest Playhouse Disney animated series, “Special Agent Oso.”

Mitchell’s recent credits include “Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too,” for which he received an Emmy nomination, and “Mickey’s House of Villains.” He is also responsible for producing, directing and developing such popular Nickelodeon shows as “Hey Arnold,” “Fatherhood” and “Planet Kate,” as well as directing the animation for Universal Studios’ 3-D Jimmy Neutron theme park attraction.  Mitchell began his animation career working on Disney’s first major animated television series, “Adventures of the Gummi Bears.”  His other Disney credits include the series “Duck Tales,” “Tailspin,” “The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh” and “The Little Mermaid,” as well as “Duck Tales: The Movie” and the award-winning special, “Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too.”A native of Los Angeles, Mitchell studied film at Loyola Marymount University.  He currently resides in Manhattan Beach, California with his wife and two daughters.

dpovenmire_thumbPanelist: Dan Povenmire Co-Creator/Executive Producer
Emmy Award-nominated animation veteran Dan Povenmire is co-creator and executive producer of Disney XD and Disney Channel’s animated comedy series, “Phineas and Ferb,” for which he nabbed two Emmy nominations for “Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics” and “Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music” in 2008. Povenmire also writes and performs songs heard in the series and plays the voice of the ridiculously evil character, Dr. Doofenshmirtz.

He has 20 years experience in the animation industry, ranging from directing, storyboarding and/or writing the critically acclaimed series “The Simpsons,” “Family Guy,” “Rocko’s Modern Life,” “Hey Arnold!,” “Catdog,” “Looney Tunes” and “SpongeBob SquarePants.” In 2000 and 2006, Povenmire was nominated for an Emmy Award for his directorial work on “Family Guy” and he was also recognized with an Annie Award nomination for his work on the same show. Born in California and raised in Mobile, Alabama, Povenmire attended USC Film School.

Ford Riley_thumbPanelist: Ford Riley Creator / Executive Producer
Ford Riley is the creator and executive producer of Disney Channel’s newest Playhouse Disney animated series, “Special Agent Oso.” Riley was responsible for developing the animated television series “The Land Before Time” and also wrote the screenplay for Harmony Gold’s “Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles,” helping to revive that franchise after twenty years.  Riley’s previous Disney credits include “Higglytown Heroes,” “Teamo Supremo,” “Teacher’s Pet,” “Recess” and “Timon & Pumbaa.”  Riley resides in Glendale, California with his wife, Holly, and their two children, Fiona and Quinn.  His son Quinn was diagnosed with autism in 2005 at the age of two.  Quinn’s disability, and subsequent therapies, served as part of the inspiration for the curriculum found in “Special Agent Oso.”  Riley and his wife are active members of TACA (Talk About Curing Autism), a national organization dedicated to providing information, resources and support to families affected by autism. A native of Pittsburgh, Riley attended the prestigious Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, where he studied playwriting, film and theater.

For time and date please refer to CTN-X Schedule. (Schedule subject to change.)

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