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Small Screen Wonders: The Art and Business of Creating Animated Hit Shows

“Small Screen Wonders:  The Art and Business of Creating Animated Hit Shows for Today’s Fragmented Audiences”

While the Internet and other digital platforms compete with TV shows for the attention of the public, television is still considered the holy grail for both animators, show runners and writers. This panel will focus on the creative and real-life challenges of delivering a high-quality show for today’s demanding and highly distracted audiences.  Join top creative executives and directors in this frank and revealing look at what it takes to get an original show on the air. Panelists will discuss the trials and tribulations of bringing their concepts to animated life, the challenges of producing shows that don’t look and sound like everything else and what network and cable development execs are looking for in their quest to find the next SpongeBob SquarePants.
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.

Panelist: Pendleton Ward is the creator of Adventure Time with Finn & Jake, a new animated series from Cartoon Network Studios. Based in Los Angeles, Ward created the pilot for the show with Fred Seibert of Frederator Studios, which was then picked up as a full series by Cartoon Network.Ward was most recently a storyboard artist for Cartoon Network’s animated series The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, working with show creator Thurop Van Orman.

Ward graduated from the CalArts Character Animation Program.

Cartoon Network (, currently seen in more than 97 million U.S. homes and 166 countries around the world, is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.’s ad-supported cable service now available in HD offering the best in original, acquired and classic entertainment for youth and families.  Nightly from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. (ET, PT), Cartoon Network shares its channel space with Adult Swim, a late-night destination showcasing original and acquired animated and live-action series for young adults 18-34.

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.

Panelist: Mark McCorkle, Exec Producer, Nickelodeon’s “Penguins of Madagascar”
Panelist: Rodney Barnes, Former Exec Producer, Adult Swim’s “Boondocks”
Panelist: Adam Burton, Exec Producer/Director, Disney Channel’s “Fish Hooks”

Panelist: Sandro Corsaro is the executive producer of Disney XD’s Emmy-nominated animated original series “Kick Buttowski – Suburban Daredevil.”

Previously, Corsaro served as creative director for Disney Online, a unit of Disney Interactive Media Group where he oversaw innovative creative initiatives across the flagship web site including the expansion of Disney franchises online, site re-design and content development.  Prior to joining Disney in 2006, Corsaro worked in creative development for a number of other leading entertainment companies including Warner Bros. Animation, MTV Networks and Crest Digital. Specializing in digital animation, he created projects for global properties including “Gone in 60 Seconds,” “Thomas & Friends” and “Barbie.”

For Corsaro, animation is among his many endeavors. While in college, he worked on the renowned animated feature film “The Iron Giant” and developed his passion for storytelling. An accomplished author and animator, Corsaro has two published books, The Flash Animator and Hollywood 2D Digital Animation: The New Flash Production Revolution. In them, he shares his distinctive techniques for applying traditional animation principles in the Flash environment.  Corsaro has spoken at Siggraph, NAB, Flashforward, and on G4. He also served as an Adobe Systems Flash consultant.

Corsaro earned degrees in both Fine Arts and Animation from the University of Southern California.

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