HBO Max and WarnerMedia to mentor under-represented talent through new animation program

WarnerMedia announced that they have geared toward developing historically under-represented talent in primetime animation. Under their new mentorship and training program, HBO Max x WarnerMedia Access Animated Shorts Program, they will provide up to seven artists with the tools, instruction, and resources to create original animated short films for adult audiences. 

The theme for this inaugural program is ‘Only You’ as HBO Max looks to discover artists whose style and voice push the boundaries of possibilities in animation and storytelling. The six to nine month program launches in January 2022.

The program is intended for historically under-represented creators who identify as indigenous, black, LatinX, Asian, MENA and other communities of color, people with disabilities and members of LGBTQ2+ communities.

The participants will explore various career pathways and learn the business of producing an animation project. Comprehensive production budget resources to develop their original one to five minute animated short will be provided to them.

Industry experts will conduct virtual master classes on production cycle topics, including script writing, storyboard, animatics, character and location design. Selected creators will work independently on their projects and will have scheduled check-ins with a dedicated mentor. A seasoned producer who will guide participants through the entire process will also guide them.

Completed projects will have the opportunity to reach global audiences, streaming exclusively on HBO Max. It is a golden chance for them.

“So many of the world’s best animators got their start with an animated short. 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,” said HBO Max director, comedy and animation, Aaron Davidson.

Talking about the initiative WarnerMedia senior VP, equity and inclusion, Karen Horne said, “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.”

“We’re looking for unique visual artistry, originality and characters that transport viewers into boundless, imagined worlds,” Horne added. 

Here is the eligibility criteria:

1. The organisers will accept the submissions from international candidates provided the creators have the right to work in the U.S. or Canada.

2. The Canadian component of the program will seek out indigenous artists, selected through a key collaboration between imagineNATIVE and WarnerMedia Access Canada. Applicants must be a resident of Canada for the Canadian cohort only.

3. Applicants must be 18 or older. They can apply for free between 5-24 October.

4. Artists who previously have not had the opportunity to create an original work for a network or streamer are eligible.