LA Weekly has two articles this week profiling Amy Winfrey and her animated webseries Making Fiends and Stefan Bucher’s Daily Monster video podcast. What do both of these creators have in common? Their ideas started out as independent self-financed Internet projects that gained a popular fan following and were ultimately given TV deals by major companies. Making Fiends is about to debut as an animated series on Nickelodeon, while Daily Monster was collected into book form this year and will also appear as a segment on PBS’s new Electric Company in 2009.
The paths that both of these properties have taken offer a view into how new TV animation ideas will be discovered in the future. The dysfunctional system of pitching and development in TV animation still exists, but it is on the wane and being dismantled by the Internet. As Winfrey and Bucher have demonstrated, creators are no longer beholden to clueless and sheltered development execs who don’t have the foggiest about what their audiences want to watch. Today an artist can create an uncompromised piece of animation independently, post it online, and attract a significant audience without any assistance from broadcasters. The cherry on top is that if your idea is successful, major companies will be knocking at your door to pay you money to produce more episodes.