Universal Animation Writers ProgramEnter Now
The Universal Filmed Entertainment Group (UFEG) animation writing program for both film and television identifies and develops an inclusive pool of talent with unique points of view that build upon UFEG’s commitment to telling stories and creating narratives that appeal to and reflect the vast diversity of our audiences. During the one-year paid program, Global Talent Development & Inclusion (GTDI) will partner with animation divisions such as but not limited to, DreamWorks Animation and Illumination, to work closely with writers in enhancing their creative process in feature and TV animation.
UFEG’s Global Talent Development and Inclusion department is offering three distinct experiences, and we ask that you select the experience for which you are eligible for and most passionate about. Think thoughtfully about your career ambitions and how these programs align. Please apply to ONLY ONE experience. Applicants who apply to more than one will be disqualified. You can learn more about the other experiences here:
Prices & Deadlines
Applicants have the option to submit writing samples for a program that includes Television for Preschool 3-5 and Kids 6-11 and Feature Film. Material has to be suitable for all ages (Co-Viewing/All Audience). Writers selected for the Animation Program will work closely with GTDI, creative executives, and producers on writing samples such as adapting a pre-existing DreamWorks series, a pilot script, and feature treatment.
Although the hope is for TV staffing opportunities or projects to move into development, these and/or other desired outcomes are not guaranteed. However, writers can potentially contribute to active studio projects in development and/or production.
Those selected for the Program will be hired under a writing service agreement requiring the participants’ exclusive, full-time commitment.
At the program's request, Coverfly will automatically remove your title page for you if you include one when submitting to this program.
- Must be eligible to work in the United States. This position is not eligible for visa sponsorship.
- Minimum age of 21 by May 1, 2023.
- Applicants must be the sole writer of any material submitted. Material from writing teams will not be accepted.
- Entertainment industry experience is not required, but strongly recommended.
Any candidate who does not meet the aforementioned criteria will be disqualified.
FAQs should be carefully reviewed to ensure a strong application.
Those applying must include the following:
1. APPLICATION - Must be completed in its entirety. Incomplete applications will be disqualified.
2. MATERIAL – Provide the following existing material from your writing portfolio that demonstrates your skills as a writer. Applicants are encouraged to submit existing material from their writing portfolio. ALL READS ARE BLIND. ONLY PROVIDE THE TITLE ON THE FIRST PAGE.
AN ADAPTED SCRIPT based on a series listed in either the Preschool 3-5 or Kids 6-11 “Accepted Shows” list. This script should demonstrate the writer’s ability to adapt to an existing format while simultaneously infusing a unique perspective and sensibility. As a guideline, below are typical page ranges based on industry standards. (Please submit this as your primary submission on the first page of the application.)
ADAPTED SCRIPT PAGE RANGE:
11 Minute (e.g. Steven Universe, Loud House, Curious George,The Mighty Ones, etc…): 11-18 pages
22 Minute (e.g. Trollhunters, Rick and Morty, Dragons: Rescue Riders and Boss Baby: Back in Business, Sofia the First, etc…): 22-30 pages
30 Minute Single Camera (e.g. in tone of Black-ish, Modern Family, etc...): 22-45 pages
30 Minute Multi-Camera (e.g. in tone of The Big Bang Theory, That’s So Raven, Friends, etc...): 52-58 pages
ONE ORIGINAL PIECE OF MATERIAL* FROM THE FOLLOWING LIST. It may be either animated or live-action that is Co-Viewing/All Audience appropriate. Please submit one of the following:
ORIGINAL FEATURE TREATMENT that adheres to the following formatting guidelines: (1) Title (2) Logline (3) Brief key character descriptions (4) Three-act structure (5) Must not exceed five/5 pages (6) 1.5-inch line spacing (7) 1-inch margins all around (8) nothing smaller than an 11 font-size. Treatments that deviate from this format will be disqualified.
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY that best reflects the writer’s distinct voice and global perspective. Submitted screenplays must adhere to the following: (1) Follow a three-act structure; (2) be between 90-120 pages in length; and (3) have a clear beginning, middle and end. Any scripts less than 90 pages or exceeding 120 pages will be disqualified. The applicant must be the sole owner of all original material submitted. We are not able to accept projects with multiple writers attached.
ORIGINAL COMEDY WRITING PACKET that highlights a unique comedy voice. Packets can be between 10-15 pages and include sketches, jokes and comedic short stories.
LIVE ACTION OR ANIMATED ORIGINAL PILOT SCRIPT that captures the writer’s unique, tone, style and point of view. The original pilot script material can be in the following genres: Family, Kid/Teen, Action Adventure, or Character Driven Fantasy. Please include characters who are eccentric, but lovable and timeless. The applicant must be the sole owner of all original material submitted. We are not able to accept projects with multiple writers attached. Submitted pilots must adhere to the following: (1) Follow a three-act structure; (2) have a clear beginning, middle and end; (3) consider what would be developmentally appropriate for the audience; and (4) abide by the listed page counts. Any scripts not adhering to the page count formats will be disqualified.
11 Minute: 16-20 pages
22 Minute: 27-32 pages
30 Minute Single Camera Comedy: 22-45 pages
30 Minute Multi-Camera Comedy: 52-58 pages
(*Please submit this as your secondary submission on the second page of the application.)
3. RELEASE FORMS - Must be completed, signed, dated and uploaded for submissions to be accepted. Incomplete release forms will result in disqualification.
4. RÉSUMÉ - Outline chronological paid employment history (may include entertainment and non-entertainment positions) and any writing-related honors/awards. Positions must have been held within the past 15 years (two/2 pages or less). Only list compensated positions with the exception of entertainment industry internships and full-time volunteer work at non-profits. If listing writing projects, only include projects that were produced. The applicant’s résumé will provide us an understanding of his/her work history and insight to their individual life experience.
5. PERSONAL ESSAY - 750 words that articulate the applicant’s unique perspective and background as it relates to their storytelling. Essay Topic: Universal Filmed Entertainment Group creates narratives that appeal to global and diverse audiences. Describe how your lived experiences influence you to create characters or stories reflecting multi-cultural and/or underrepresented groups that are sometimes not reflected in media.
6. LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION - (Optional) from entertainment industry professionals who have read the applicant’s material and can comment on the applicant’s writing ability are strongly encouraged, but not required. Acceptable letters must be on business or personal letterhead, dated in the current calendar year and include the author’s title and/or industry affiliation. No more than two letters per application will be accepted. Letters must accompany the submission and may not be submitted separately via email or mail. Any recommendation letters emailed or mailed to the Program will disqualify the writer’s application.
Applications will be accepted now through October 5, 2022. Applications will not be accepted after 11:59PM Pacific Time.
Due to the volume of submissions received, those not accepted will not be notified. Please check our social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn) for updates.