Max Howard’s Master Classes 

• Creating an Effective Story a master class for animation writers, directors and producers who want to master the art of storytelling for animated feature films, television and games with the success in the international marketplace as its core focus.

• The Art of the Pitch a master class for anyone who ever needs to learn to effectively and succinctly communicate their idea successfully to investors, studios and film market buyers.

• The Role of the Film Producer a master class for producers and individuals who aspire to produce feature films for the international marketplace. From financing to distribution, while managing the creative process.

Presenting a master class at Tsinghua University, Beijing

"Max Howard is an essential link in the modern evolutionary development of feature animation. His creative fingerprints are on some of the most significant productions from the major studios. He provides a remarkable perspective and, to put a ribbon on the package, is an astute visionary. When he talks, it is an excellent idea to listen carefully." - Ed Hooks

About Max Howard

Max Howard created and ran studios for Disney in London, Paris, Orlando and Los Angeles, working on some of Disney’s most memorable films including ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’, ‘The Little Mermaid’, ‘Beauty and the Beast’, ‘Aladdin’ and ‘The Lion King’. As President of Warner Bros Feature Animation he oversaw such hit movies as ‘The Iron Giant’ and ‘Space Jam’. At DreamWorks, he was co-executive producer for ‘Spirit, Stallion of the Cimarron’.

Throughout his illustrious animation career, Max Howard has worked with UNICEF to bring health and social messages to developing countries in Africa, the Caribbean
and South America through the use of animation, underscoring the important role this medium can bring to overcome ethnic and social prejudices.

Max Howard is currently producing a series of animated feature films for Exodus Film Group. ‘Igor’, the company’s first production, was released in 2008. ‘The Hero of Color City’ opened in October 2014, with a third film, ‘Bunyan and Babe, A Giant Adventure’ now in production.

Max also served as an executive producer on last years’ Christmas movie, ‘Saving Santa’. In the works is a slate of independent animated feature films including ‘Gecko’, ‘The Pied Piper’ and the TV series, ‘Planet Wrong’. 

In addition, Max is a sought after consultant and lecturer for the animation industry, working with companies and organizations from all around the world.

He is a voting member of both the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (Oscars), and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

Max was recently honored with a Doctor of Arts degree from Teesside University in the United Kingdom in recognition for his services to the animation industry.

He also serves as the Chancellor of the Children’s University for the Middlesbrough region in the northeast of England.

Max divides his time between his homes in London and Los Angeles.

Course One

Creating an Effective Story a master class
for animation writers, directors and producers who want to master the art of storytelling for animated feature films, television and games that can gain international success.
The key to any successful film, television series or game, will be developing the idea into a great story. The course shows exactly how to accomplish that goal.

• The essential ingredients every story requires – the origins of creativity.

• Writing for the international marketplace.

• An eight step Journey into film storytelling.

• Story Structures – explore:
The Hero’s Journey
The Buddy Movie
The Love Story
How they work and why.

• The writing steps - creating:
The Synopsis
The Treatment
The Screenplay
Answering why these steps are required for success.

• The secrets to reading and analyzing screenplays.

• Key ways to communicate notes to the creative team.

• Why the movie title is so important.
Explore good and bad movie titles.

Extended Course Information

Session 1: Writing for Animation

1. Introduction - An overview of the dynamics required for a great screenplay.

2. Eight steps found in the ‘Hero’s Journey’ story structure.

Discussing and analyzing each step of the journey.

Exercise: Analyze a screenplay for suitability as an animated feature film.

Session 2: Analysis of a Screenplay

1. Deconstruct and discuss a screenplay currently in production.

Exercise: Requires advance reading of the screenplay.

Session 3: Developing an Original Story

1. Reveal the writing steps - creating a synopsis, treatment and screenplay.

The purpose for each step and its importance in development process.

Exercise: Write a five hundred-word synopsis of a favorite animated film.


Course Two

• The Art of the Pitch a master class to learn the art of effectively and succinctly communicating a proposal to investors, studios and film market buyers making that pitch a success.

Course Two Content

• What is a pitch.

• The key ingredients for making a pitch successful.

• What to say and what not to say.

• How much can the listener absorb.

• Knowing your audience.

• Learn to be succinct.

• The Elevator Pitch.

• The target audience and the ripple effect.

• Recognizing the opportunity.

• Avoiding the hook.

• Non Disclosure / Submission Agreements.

Extended Course Two Information

Session 1: The Art of the Pitch

1. Introduction – Be Committed, Be Concise, No Excuses.

2. What is a pitch and why is it the most important introduction
to a project.
What are the necessary ingredients - what to say and
what not to say.
How to think on your feet, adjusting your pitch to fit the situation.

Exercise: Prepare a five-minute pitch of a new or existing idea.

Session 2: Creating the business proposal

1. Rehearsing the pitch working in teams – pitch your idea based on the knowledge gained from Session 1.

Exercise: Create a report on the pitches presented – if you were a buyer, would you recommend the idea to your boss. How would you get everyone excited by what you have heard, could you repeat the pitch.

Session 3: The Business Side of Things

1. Review ways in which an original idea can be protected.

2. How to close the deal.

Exercise: Prepare a list of goals and how those goals are justified.


Course Three

• The Role of the Film Producer a master class for producers and individuals who aspire to produce feature films for the international marketplace. From financing to distribution, while managing the creative process.

Course Three Content

• What does the producer do.

• Creating the business proposal.

• The international box office – what is it worth.

• Cheap, Fast and Good – choose only two – how to realistically assess a project.

• Explore the Economics:
Funding options

• Casting:
Who to hire, why and when.

• Managing the film:
within the budget and on schedule.

Extended Course Information

Session 1: What does the producer do

1. Introduction - an overview of the producer’s responsibilities, obligations and opportunities.

2. Selecting a film to produce:
Exploring the opportunities for a particular idea, developing the screenplay, raising the money and planning for production.

Exercise: Analyze a screenplay for suitability as an animated feature film.

Session 2: Creating the business proposal

1. Learn the key ingredients necessary for a compelling business plan from the creative to budgeting, scheduling and revenue forecasts.

Exercise: Create a presentation.

Session 1: Understanding the Marketplace

1. Review the worldwide theatrical box office revenues, DVD / VOD, pay TV and ancillary revenues.

Exercise: Analyze the success of a current animated feature film, comparing costs to revenues.

Studios, institutions and conferences at which Dr. Howard has given these classes include:

Academy for Creative Media Honolulu, Hawaii
ACE Fair Gwangju, Korea
ACME New Wave Learning On Line
Annecy - International Animation Film Festival Annecy, France
Animation Film Festival Tallinn, Estonia
Animation Magazine’s “Feature Summit” Marina del Rey, California
Animation Workshop Viborg, Denmark
Animayo Film Festival Canary Islands
Animation Production Seminar Gwanju, South Korea
Animation Workshop Viborg, Denmark
Animex – International Festival of Animation
& Computer Games Middlesbrough, UK
Arena Animation Hyderabad, India
ARPA International Film Festival Los Angeles, California
ASIFA India Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Pune
Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design Jerusalem, Israel
Cannes Film Festival Cannes, France
Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Collin College McKinney, Texas
Cartoon Masters Potsdam, Germany
Contemporary Animation Warsaw, Poland
CTNX Animation Expo Burbank, California
DAVE School Orlando, Florida
DreamWorks Animation Bangalore, India
DigiPen Institute Seattle, Washington
Disney Dimensions Orlando, Florida
Disney Way Orlando, Florida
Disney Way II Orlando, Florida
DSK Supinfocom Pune, India
FICCI Frames Film Festival Mumbai, India
Film Producer’s Lunch Club London, United Kingdom
FIRE - Future in Review Palos Verdes, California
Forum International des Technologies de l’Animation Angouleme, France
Full Sail University Winter Park, Florida
Green Light Summit On Line
INFOCOM Calcutta, India
International Conference on Animation Education Beijing, China
ICAT Institute Bangalore, India
Ghent Film Festival Ghent, Belgium
Hawaii Department of Education Honolulu, Hawaii
Independent Animation Production Stuttgart, Germany
Institute of Media Arts Vancouver, Washington
International Animation Forum Zhengzhou, China
International Creative Content Fair Seoul, South Korea
International Film Festival Goa, India
Iolani School Honolulu, Hawaii
Irish School of Animation Dublin, Ireland
Kapiolani Community College Honolulu, Hawaii
KIPPA Seminar on CGI Animation Seoul, South Korea
KIPPA South Korean Animation Initiative Seoul, South Korea
KROK Film Festival Kiev, Ukraine
KROK Film Festival Moscow, Russia
Manipal University Bangalore, India
Next Step Career Conference Sarasota, Florida
Orlando Film Festival Orlando, Florida
ReAnimania International Animation Festival Yerevan, Armenia
Red Stick International Animation Festival Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Ringling Bros. School of Art & Design Sarasota, Florida
SAE Institute London, United Kingdom
Screen Training Ireland Dublin, Ireland
Student International Film Festival Tel Aviv, Israel
Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film Stuttgart, Germany
Tsinghua University Beijing, China
The Games Academy Berlin, Germany
UNICEF Cartoon Symposium Prague, Czech Republic
VAFA Warsaw, Poland
Whistling Woods Film Institute Mumbai, India
Woodbury University Burbank, California
World Animation Celebration Pasadena, California
2D or not 2D Festival Seattle, Washington

Max teaches these classes in a variety of formats, ranging from 3-hour lectures
to weeklong courses with intensive, hands-on learning.