Hello friends! Dan Harmon, one of the founders of the awesome Channel101, screenwriter on the brilliant Monster House, co-creator of the Sarah Silverman Program and just all-around awesome dude, recently revealed what it’s like to write for Dreamworks Animation.
My hats off to anyone that can write a Dreamworks Animation film. They have a unique process.
First they storyboard the entire film. That is the first step. Not kidding. No writers, no script, just a story, and an entire film drawn on pieces of paper.
Then Katzenberg watches an animatic of the boards and says, surprisingly, “this needs a lot of work. You have a month.”
Then they hire their first writer. And spend that month changing as much of the storyboards as they can, which is about 20 to 30 percent.
If the 30 percent change isn’t the right kind of change, people get fired. Maybe the director, maybe the writer, maybe both.
Sometimes, only the writer gets fired and an additional director is hired to help out. It all depends on who is better – at pointing a finger with one hand while covering their own ass with the other.