I spent most of 2015 developing a TV show for Adult Swim. I was given a fancy title. There were attorneys involved. Bank account numbers were exchanged. But don’t get excited just yet. How the TV business works is they pay people money to develop shows – about 20 shows per year, at each network. It’s called a development deal. Then they pick one of those 20 pilots to actually run on the airwaves. After the pilot episode airs, a few more episodes may run too. Then they cancel the show and play Mad About You reruns instead, because those cost nothing to make and they get higher ratings. An inefficient process, I know. (Don’t worry, the internet will replace TV soon, and it should.)
During that development year of 2015, I drew the characters for my show by hand, designed the pitch books, created plot outlines for each episode, and wrote the scripts. When I got notes from the network executives, I revised it all. Then I got more notes, so I revised again. Finally, someone called and told me that my show didn’t get picked up. So I finished eating my turkey sandwich and I moved onto the next project.
But, let me ask you, reader of this website, where do you think I learned how to come up with those concepts and put all those materials together? Where could I possibly have learned the persistence necessary to hear comments about my work, and to calmly go back to the drawing board time and time again? At the Brandcenter, that’s where I learned it.
Every creative process, whether it’s for a TV network or for Bagel Bites, is very similar. It’s about ideas, writing, pitches, phone calls, video calls, meetings, listening to feedback, revisions, sandwiches, scripts, drawings, victory, failure, and endurance. The Brandcenter taught me how to do this stuff.
-Todd Lamb, Freelance Creative Director, Writer, and Director, VCU Brandcenter art direction track, class of 2000