From the long-ago age of 2008- the nockFORCE pitchbook written by Jim Gisriel and Ian Jones-Quartey
In my last post, I explained that nockFORCE was a cartoon and music project by Jim Gisriel and yours truly, but what has never been known publicly is that we were also pitching nockFORCE to networks as a TV series. (WHAT!!!!!! ITS TRUE!!!!)
I can finally reveal—- That was the secret meaning behind this cartoon:
I was working at [the now defunct] World Leaders Entertainment in NYC as an animation director for Venture Bros at the time, and we signed a deal with them to develop nockFORCE as a TV series. If it was picked up, WLE would have produced new TV-quality full episodes. We shaped the existing material into a show format and pounded the pavement to several networks to see what they thought! The pitchbook was the end result of the development process and we were pretty proud of it. I still am actually. We even included a peel-off vinyl sticker on the inside cover!
How did it go? Not that well, I think… apparently adult swim enjoyed our video content, but then said something like “what the hell is this even supposed to be? we have no idea who these guys are. stay out of georgia!!!”. Comedy Central, FOX and others pretty much went the same way.
Looking back, we were maybe a little naive about getting it made, and we worked so hard on it that we never considered that we would need additional talent, practice & exposure to become the kind of people who networks would want to buy a show from. BUUUUT we learned a whole lot from it, and I remember that the day we got our final rejection and terminated the contract, we just kept on making cartoons and music like it didn’t matter.
And maybe it didn’t! I know if we were doing this today, we probably would have just had our audience support it using tools like patreon or kickstarter. And we never would have had to suck up to any networks!
Thanks to everyone involved from back then- our producer Ben Stein; our moral support from Natasha Kaser; our champions at WLE Miguel Martinez-Joffre, Nick DeMayo, Rachel Simon & many more; and also Rebecca Sugar who conceptualized the pitchbook layout & contributed animation and designs to several shorts.
Ian J is one of my earliest influences, and one of the reasons I went to animation school to begin with. Ahhh Nockforce was an early internet GEM.