Pitches, Pilots, and Beyond: A Look Into the Visual Storytelling Process At SDCC Special Edition

At the 2021 Comic-Con Special Edition, Impact24 PR presented a highly-anticipated panel Pitches, Pilots, and Beyond: A Look Into the Visual Storytelling Process featuring showrunners, producers, and directors for many beloved projects including Netflix’s “F Is For Family,” “Julie and the Phantoms,” and “WWE: Escape The Undertaker;” Disney’s “Monsters at Work;” First Bloom Films’ “Balloon Animal;” and, independent animated series “Battle of the Bands.” The packed house of fans were treated to an insightful conversation about how films and television shows get made through the process of writing the pitch to shooting a pilot episode, as well as building out and establishing a storyworld in both linear and interactive stories.

The panel was moderated by actor and content creator, Chris Villain, and featured showrunner and co-creator Michael Price (F is for Family, The Simpsons), supervising director, director and writer Stephen Anderson (Monsters at Work), actress and producer Katherine Waddell (Balloon Animal), CEO of Bridge Works Entertainment and Executive Producer George Salinas (Julie and the Phantoms), Director and Executive Producer Ben Simms (WWE: Escape The Undertaker, Running Wild with Bear Grylls) and creator and showrunner Allissoon Lockhart (Battle of the Bands).

The panelists started off the conversation by discussing the art of collaboration, which is especially important, as leaders on their projects. Reflecting on his work as showrunner on “F is for Family”, Michael Price shared, “The most important thing I’ve learned in my career is that it’s important to create a sense of ownership for everyone. We are all in it together and it’s my job to make sure everyone is recognized for their joint efforts.”

Steve Anderson continued, elaborating on the importance of balancing direction with trust and delegation. “Oftentimes, you can mistake dictating for directing,” Steve shared. “For me, it’s important to understand that directing is taking a step back and embracing the ideas from the people you work with. When you have a strong collaboration, the final work is always excellent.” Ben Simms echoed Steve’s sentiments. “I strive to lead with inspiration and not fear,” he related. “Collaboration can be easy if you hire people you trust and lead by example.”

The panelists then reflected on their goals to create more inclusive environments in the entertainment industry, both as leaders and allies. Katherine Waddell began by relating the inspiration behind forming her own production company First Bloom Films. “Women-centric content is a big inspiration for me,” she said. “That is why I wanted to create a female-focused independent film company that goes out of their way to put women in front of the camera. Our projects focus on kindness, compassion, and empathy and I am excited to continue creating more inclusive projects.”

George Salinas added in his process behind the mission for his company, Bridge Works Entertainment, which focuses on discovering and uplifting diverse content. “I saw a need for IP, especially because there was a lack of content about Latinx superheroes,” he added. “It is my goal to bring that to the mainstream media and give universal exposure to the talented professionals in the Latinx world.”

The panel then transitioned to a series of quick hitting questions, discussing filmmaker inspirations, favorite moments of triumph and fulfillment, and secret easter eggs in their projects. Allissoon Lockhart discussed her original independent animated series. “For Battle of the Bands, I’m inspired by a lot of genres of music and you can see easter eggs honoring my inspirations like AC/DC, Scott Pilgrim comics, and Lord of the Rings. I’ve even had a chance to bring on some of my favorite bands just by cold emailing them after discovering them on Spotify.”

The panel ended with moderator Chris Villain challenging each panelist to give their best advice for making it in the industry. Allisson ended the panel with six simple words: “Be yourself, be kind, be creative”.

The full house of audience members at the panel left with important insight into building their own projects, changing trends and opportunities, and more as they headed off to explore the rest of Comic-Con Special Edition

Photo Credit: Art Vega, Impact24 PR

Poster Credit: Impact24 PR

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