In its ongoing drive to expand its slate of original programs, Snapchat is turning to animation. Snap Inc., the social app’s developer, is calling for pitches for animated comedy series. It will select up to ten projects, awarding each winner $40,000 to create a series of ten episodes (each 2-3 minutes).

Creators are asked to submit a pitch (1-2 pages), and strongly encouraged to supply video material too, whether an animatic, a proof of concept, or a full sample video. Series must be conceived in Snapchat’s signature vertical format and should appeal to its core user group of 13-24 year olds. The scheme is only open to those in the U.S.; applications can be made here until August 26.

In its call for entries, Snap highlighted the qualities it’s looking for:

  • A visually exciting concept with a strong comedic POV
  • Something fast-paced with lots of jokes — like highly concentrated tv
  • Dynamic characters who pop off the screen
  • Episodes structured with clear beginnings, middles, and ends
  • Visually dynamic — can include elements like split screens, graphics, and text to refresh the eye

It added:

Selected creators will work with the Snapchat development team to learn best practices for creating mobile content and shape their idea for the platform. They will then produce their show (within our content guidelines), and deliver it fully animated, edited, and ready to air to Snapchat. We’re looking for all types of creators! This initiative is for cartoonists, illustrators, animators, motion graphic artists, Snapchat Lens Studio creators, comedians, and comedy writers. ISO talent with a strong comedic voice who can write and has experience creating great animated content.

Snapchat currently has 190 million daily active users, and says it reaches 90% of all 13-24 year olds in the U.S. For all its bullish claims, the app has struggled with stagnating growth: its user base has fallen from 191 million in early 2018.

Snap clearly sees original programming as a cornerstone of its growth strategy. For some time, it has worked with partner companies to develop news-oriented shows and scripted content. It is now commissioning unscripted programs directly from influencers young and old — Rickey Thompson and Arnold Schwarzenegger are among those developing shows for the platform, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Since 2018, Snap has also been expanding a slate of scripted series, including a batch of comedies that are launching on the platform throughout the summer. One of these, All Dog$ Get Money (pictured above), is animated. The comedies’ creators were found through a similar initiative to the new animation scheme.

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