Animated Shorts Program For Underrepresented Artists Coming From HBO Max

For years, adult animation was viewed as a fringe art form with a niche audience. All of that changed after shows like "The Simpsons," "King of the Hill," and "South Park" proved there was longevity to be found in the style. Shows like "Daria," "Family Guy," and "Futurama" followed suit, opening the doors to future juggernauts like "BoJack Horseman" and "Bob's Burgers," or entire channels like Adult Swim. Now, WarnerMedia is launching a brand new program in an attempt to strengthen the skills and accessibility allotted to aspiring creators of adult animation programming.

HBO Max and WarnerMedia are joining forces for the Access Animated Shorts Program, providing up to seven artists from historically and systemically underrepresented communities with the training, tools, mentorship, and connections to create original one- to five-minute animated shorts for adult audiences. Each artist will be mentored by a veteran producer and will be given the chance to showcase their completed projects to viewers all across the globe through HBO Max streaming.

What Are The Program Details?

The Access Animated Shorts Program is scheduled for six to nine months, kicking off in January of 2022. Artists will be shown the ropes of the business side of animation production, while also receiving insight into the multitude of career pathways available. Master Classes on topics like storyboard and animatic, scriptwriting, and character/location design will be conducted virtually.

The theme of the initial program will focus on the topic "Only You" as a means to encourage HBO Max's goal of highlighting and encouraging unique artists unafraid to push the envelope. In an interview with Deadline, Aaron Davidson, Director of Comedy and Animation at HBO Max, said "So many of the world's best animators got their start with an animated short." He continued by saying, "We're proud to offer a space where creators that have yet to be discovered can nurture and share their ideas with the world while learning from and working with the very best storytellers the industry has to offer."

WarnerMedia's Senior Vice President of Equity and Inclusion, Karen Horne, echoed the sentiments, saying "The future of animation for mature audiences has never been more promising, and HBO Max is eager to discover artists with a distinctive creative lens who push the boundaries of primetime animation and creative storytelling in ways no one else is doing," According to Horne, "We're looking for unique visual artistry, originality and characters that transport viewers into boundless, imagined worlds."

Each selected project will be provided with a budget of up to $60,000 to cover all costs through development, production, and post-production.

How Can You Apply?

Interested applicants are able to apply for the program for free as long as they are 18 or older, have not yet created an original animated piece for a network or streaming service, and have the right to work in the U.S. or Canada. All applications must be submitted by 11:59 pm PT on Sunday, October 24, 2021. For additional information, visit the program's application site by clicking here.