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Animation Pitch Bible

(modified from an original written by Lowell Boston, University of the Arts)

What is the Animation Production Bible?

The Animation Production Bible is the attempt to organize into words and pictures the idea, vision and style of your animation. It is a guide that contains detailed aspects concerning nearly all levels of the project's production - your premise, character descriptions and designs, story context, storyboards, etc. In this process of creation an animator immerses themselves into answering and resolving any unforeseen questions, and problems that might arise. The Bible therefore becomes:

The act of organization, visualization and full realization of your idea.

Production Bibles can be tailored made for many different things - writers and directors, production crews, style guides for licensing and merchandising, Pitch Bibles, or grant proposal supplements for foundations. The content and format depends on the nature of your idea and whom it is for. The look and content then stems from there.

For this class we will follow a 'generic format'. Many Bibles you will find will be similar in content, while others may be different.


1. All of your Bibles will be created in laser printed quality type. Handwritten Bibles will not be accepted, or those printed in handwritten-like fonts. Legible handwritten information may be presented with hand drawn artwork - model sheets, layouts, storyboards, etc. That will be the only exception.

2. All Bibles must be presented in formats that can easily be reproduced. 81/2 x 11, 81/2 x 14, or 11 x 17 size paper. If it cannot fit into a copy machine, do not use it. Multiple paper sizes may be used, for example, if your Bible contains any foldout pages, (layout samples, character line ups, storyboards, etc.) but all paper edges must conform to one general size.

3. Proper spelling, punctuation and grammar count. Design your Bible to be comfortably and easily read by others. Unprofessional mistakes will reflect on you, casting you as an amateur.

4. No original artwork is to be placed in the Bible. Everything must be a CLEAN reproduction of your artwork and writing, and designed to be reproduced neatly. If you have color, you must present it as a color copy - not the original work!

5. Cover artwork will enhance the look of your Production Bible.


Your Animation Production Bibles are to be formatted in the following order:
  1. Cover page with title and image (one page)

  2. Table of Contents (one page)

  3. Concept Statement, Premise, Six sentence story (one page)

  4. Remember:

    Concept Statement:
    Definition: A concept is the main idea that underlies the story.
    Ex: You never appreciate something until it is gone.

    Definition: A premise is the brief description of what happens in the story.
    Ex: A man treats his tomatoe plant with no respect until finally the plant stops providing the only food the man has.
  5. Expanded Premise (see below) (one page)

  6. Character description in paragraph form (one page for each character and should include drawing of character)

  7. Script - must be presented in professional script writing format (maximum of 3 pages)

  8. Character model sheets (drawing) (one page)

  9. Pose and expression concept artwork of character (at least 6 poses and 6 facial expressions)

  10. Maya textured and rendered image of character (one page)

  11. Setting and character concept art (drawn)

  12. Character in the setting image(s) (drawn)

  13. 3D render(s) of environment/setting (optional)

  14. Additional concept art - props, secondary characters, etc. - (optional)

  15. Storyboard (reproduction in a size that fits in the notebook)

  16. DVD containing the following:

  17. → Animatic as a Quicktime H.264 (.mov)
    → 3D modeled environment (Maya file)
    → rigged character with textures (Maya file)
    → digital images of concept art (.tif or .jpg)

  18. The DVD needs to be inserted into a DVD sleeve in the back of the Bible.

  19. Notes and Appendix - Optional

Expanded Premise - The Bible's expanded premise is a tight, succinct over-view of your project's idea/story. Rather than told in a cinematic, shot-by-shot fashion, the premise is written in a manner that conveys the plot's beginning, middle, and end. At least one page in length, but no longer than two, many animation Bibles follow a specific format to readily communicate information to the reader.

Paragraph one - log line

(Title) (format - animated series, short or feature film) (target audience) (plot summary).


The Devil's Due is a short, animated film for teens and young adults, about a poor Kansas farmer who sells his immortal soul in order to save his farm.

Paragraph two - context and character.

The time, place and social/cultural setting of the story are conveyed here. For genre-based stories - sci-fi, fantasy, horror, etc. the story's context must be fleshed out before any character can be introduced.


Kansas, 1939. The Great Depression has left the American heartlands as nothing more than struggling dustbowls and ghost towns. Beset by a seemingly endless drought, the homesteads and farms of the small town of Fallon have been foreclosed and sold one by one; all save for Connor Wilkes', the town's last homeowner, and hero of the Great War. Discovering secrets within the pages of his immigrant grandmother's journal, the Kansas farmer finds the only way out of ruin and homelessness, but at a final, terrible price.

Paragraph three - Production methods and/or value

Describe any interesting production methods that will cause your project to stand out from others.


Traditionally animated and digitally composite with lush, water colored backgrounds, the production design of The Devil's Due captures the light color, and atmosphere of 1930's Americana that is both haunting and mesmerizing.

Also mention in this section any music, musician, or composer who will also add value to your production.

Paragraph four - Theme and/or message

In the premise's last paragraph reinforce 'why' you believe your project should be produced. Often underscoring any vital message or theme that the story may convey best does this.


What is the cost of happiness? The Devil's Due explores the choices one makes when one has everything, and nothing to lose. Set to a stirring, original score, this animated film with take viewer on a visual journey to a tactile world of hope and betrayal.