Q. I have a concept for an animated comedy series, is it best to write a spec pilot and bible - or to pitch it as a producer?
Note: I'm a former film-school type that sidetracked into the creative agency world. I'm used to making things happen myself, and I've even had the crazy idea to actually create a pilot on spec. (Does anyone do that and succeed - assuming the product is good, of course, and not a heap of amateurish junk?)
My knowledge of the animation world is not deep. I've (re)written exactly one animated feature, which hasn't come out yet. So take this answer with a handful of kosher salt.
Both routes are viable, I think. I know if I had a really great idea for an animated series, I could take a pitch bible or spec pilot to a network, without drawings, and if they loved it, they'd team me up with an animator. Or, I could find an animator, and flesh out the pitch bible with a package of key art. I've seen those around. Then I could probably take that to a production company that does animated series and ask to co-produce with them. I probably couldn't propose myself as a sole producer to the network because I have no track record as an animator, though; so while you could be a producer, you wouldn't likely be the sole producer.
With animation, as with musicals, the concept goes beyond the words. It's hard to imagine an animation series without seeing the key art. So if you can lock down the key art, you'll be ahead of the guy whose pitch doesn't have it.
That said, though, you need great
key art. If you team up your great animation idea with mediocre key art, it's dead. The studio or network may have animators they already want to work with. So don't bring in an artist just for the sake of bringing in an artist. Bring in an artist who really illuminates your idea.