The creator and executive producer of one of Nickelodeon’s most popular animated series SpongeBob SquarePants will discuss the fine points of pitching an original show. He will bring his SpongeBob pitch bible and will screen the pilot that launched the hugely popular series.
SpongeBob SquarePants has received numerous Emmy nominations and ASIFA Annie awards. Hillenburg’s first feature film, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie debuted in 2004 and he is currently writing the sequel.
Stephen received his MFA in 1992 from CalArts in Experimental Animation, and a BS from Humboldt State University in natural science with an emphasis in marine biology. As a graduate student, Hillenburg made several independent animated films, including The Green Beret and Wormholes, which have been exhibited internationally in such festivals as Annecy, Hiroshima, Ottawa, Oberhausen and the Los Angeles Animation Celebration.
Prior to becoming a filmmaker, Hillenburg worked as an exhibit preparator and science educator for kids. “Working as a marine science educator, I had the chance to see how enamored kids are with undersea life, especially tide pool creatures. By combining this knowledge with my love for animation, I came up with SpongeBob SquarePants.”
He also served as creative director on the Nickelodeon animated series Rocko’s Modern Life, in that show’s last season.
SpongeBob SquarePants has received an Emmy nomination 6 times since 2002. The show won a Golden Reel award in 2008. It received an Annie for Best Writing in Television in 2005 and in 2004 for TV Production. In 2002, the series won the Television Critic’s Award for Best Children’s Program. In 2003, Comedy Central nominated SpongeBob SquarePants for its “Commie Awards” in the category of Funniest Animated TV Series. Also in 2002, Hillenburg was the recipient of the Princess Grace Foundation’s Statue Award in film. Hillenburg was honored in 2001 by Heal the Bay (Southern California’s premiere environmental public interest group) with the organization’s highest honor, the Walk the Talk Award. He received this award for elevating marine life awareness through SpongeBob SquarePants.
Tonight in Seminar, Stephen will screen his CalArts MFA 2 film The Green Beret and premiere his new hand-drawn experimental animation Hollywood Blvd, USA.