Pitching stories is just storytelling. It’s performance. This post will give you what I think is the best examples of a person telling a story in a way that suits animation.
I first discovered the comic actor Rik Mayall (1958-2014) from from the wild English comedy show The Young Ones. He also appeared on Black Adder, and was the star of Bottom with his longtime partner Ade Edmondson. It was his children’s television program Grim Tales that left the greatest impression on me. Most episodes included some short animations produced by independent studios, but other than that it was basically him telling a story in his high energy style. Dressed in pajamas and and robe he gives every character a disinctive voice, and he effortlessly switches between them. Sometimes he sits in his puppetted chair, but he also roams about and delivers whatever attitude is needed with is body.
One man. Telling a story. I couldn’t take my eyes off him.
Really, you just have to watch some, and imagine you are a television executive with him in your office pitching stories. You would not be bored. I recorded all his shows off televsion and onto VHS and kept them too long. Now we have YouTube. All the episodes are great, I have selected these based on the video quality. There doesn’t seem to be a dvd available, or I would buy it in a heartbeat.
When Mr. Mayall passed away, I posted this animated video “Don’t Fear Death.” It’s also worth checking out.