Sesame Street Video Commission

Applications close Wednesday, December 18th,  9am EST

C is for Commission! Sesame Street is offering Tisch the chance to pitch for one of their short film commissions! 

Here’s how it works:

  • Write up a pitch proposal for a one-minute video based on the concept “F is for Food.” Your written pitch proposal should also include an itemized budget and a production timeline. Please note your concept should not include Sesame Street characters or puppetry of any kind. (For more details, please see below!)
  • Submissions open: December 4, 9:30am NY time - Submissions for the written pitch will open and will be accepted on a rolling basis until Wednesday, December 18 at 9am EST. Due to adjudication limitations, only the first 30 complete applications will be considered - if the 30-application limit is reached before December 18, the application period will close at that time.  
  • Panel adjudication: January - A Tisch faculty panel will select 6 finalists through a blind evaluation process.
  • Finalist notification: February - Finalists will be notified via email during the week of February 10.
  • In-person Pitching: March 3 evening - Finalists pitch in-person to the Sesame Workshop team as part of a public masterclass. The Sesame Workshop team will then select and fund one pitch to go into production in April/May 2020 to be part of Sesame Street Season 51! 

ELIGIBILITY

In order to be considered for the Sesame Street commission, you must: 

  • Be a current Tisch undergraduate senior, graduate student, or alum from Class of 2018 or 2019.
  • Be based in NYC area.
  • Be able to fulfil the video commission if selected. Fulfilment of the commission must occur between April 1 and May 31, 2020. Although the winning pitch will be funded entirely by the Sesame Workshop, the winning creator is responsible for executing all aspects of pre-production, production, and post-production including budgeting, scheduling, and assembling the production team. 
  • Be a US citizen or have full US work authorization (O-1 visa, H-1 visa, or green card). F-1/J-1 visa holders are ineligible and CPT/OPT cannot be utilized.

All eligible full-time Tisch majors and alumni with full degrees from Tisch are welcome to apply. Visiting students at Tisch and NYU students with Tisch minors are not eligible.

SUBMISSION MATERIALS

Before creating your pitch materials, please read the Sesame RFP first! It contains additional information about the "F is for Food" concept that you should incorporate into your pitch. The RFP is available here

The Sesame Street commission application consists of the following:

  • A document detailing the idea/pitch, including any thoughts on implementation. This should also include an itemized budget covering all expenses, a project development timeline, as well as storyboards, illustrations, and any other relevant images and/or creative samples (e.g. original music tracks) as points of reference. You may also attach a script, if you have one. This document will be reviewed by the faculty adjudicators so it should not contain the applicant’s name, major, or grad year. 
  • A list of key creatives expected to participate in the project. It's okay if this roster changes but please list who is anticipated to work on this. If there are websites, IMDb listings, online reels, or LinkedIn profiles available for these individuals, please include them.
  • A resume indicating your creative experience, including any available links to samples (e.g. personal website, reel, Vimeo/YouTube). Please note that if you're submitting the application, our assumption is that you are the lead on the project.

The application must be submitted as three separate pdf files (pitch doc, creatives list, and resume) via Google Drive or Dropbox. They should be shared with both nyu277@nyu.edu and LH77@nyu.edu. The submission form will include a place for you to list the share links for these documents. Please do not send the shared links directly to nyu277@nyu.edu and/or LH77@nyu.edu without filling out the submission form - if you do, it will not be considered an official submission.

Please do not include your name in your pitch proposal document. Please only include your name in the list of creatives and resume documents.

The link to the submission form will appear at the very bottom of this webpage on December 4th, 9:30am EST.

Incomplete/alternative submissions
Submission materials that don’t conform to guidelines (including missing elements, pitches based on concepts other than the one listed in the RFP, or pitches based on Sesame Street characters) will be disqualified and will not count towards the 30-application cap.

Additional info

  • The Sesame Street video commission is a work for hire so creators will not retain creative rights to the material. 
  • The employment relationship between Sesame Workshop and the winning creator(s) exists solely between those two parties. NYU and Tisch cannot be held liable if any contractual and/or legal issues arise.
  • The decisions of the selection committee are final. Neither the selection committee, nor the TOCD staff, will release justification for finalist selections or provide feedback on applications. 

FAQ

This sounds amazing but I don't have any money to do this.
If Sesame Street picks your pitch, they'll provide the funding to cover all the production/post-production expenses! You also don't need to spend money during the application process - a proof of concept video isn't required for the pitch.

I really want to make sure my pitch is one of the 30 applications that are considered. Can I email it to you before submissions open on December 4?
No - any submissions sent to the Tisch Office of Career Development prior to 9:30am on December 4 will not be considered. 

I'm an international student and I really want to submit a pitch. Why am I ineligible? 
Sesame Street’s commission of the winning pitch is considered freelance employment so this opportunity is only open to US citizens and those with full US work authorization (e.g. green card). CPT/OPT cannot be utilized.

You said that the faculty panel is picking the six finalists via blind submission. Won't they know our identities if we have to submit a resume and creative team list?
The list of creatives and creative resume will not be shared with the faculty adjudicators; it will only be shared with the Sesame Workshop team during the finalist round.

My best friend and I want to pitch as a team. Is that okay?
Production teams are welcome to apply as long as one of the primary team members is an eligible Tisch major. If the team is selected as a finalist, they must furnish evidence of a collaboration agreement or other formal documentation of their business partnership.

I really want to pitch but I've never produced anything before/don't know how to direct/don't know anyone to be on my production team. What do I do?
Need a collaborator or production team? Join our Sesame Street Commission Production Roster! Add your info and we'll send you names of other folks looking to team up. To get on the roster, click here.

I really want to do this but I'm not a current senior/grad student/alum from the Class of 2018 or 2019. How can I participate?
The person submitting a pitch must be a current senior, grad student, or 2018/2019 alum. However, there may be opportunities for you to collaborate with them on this project as part of their creative team or as a crew/cast member. Get on their radar by joining our Sesame Street Commission Production Roster by clicking here.

The Sesame RFP indicates that the itemized budget MUST include an insurance quote. I have no idea how to figure this out - does this mean I'm ineligible to pitch? 
The insurance quote is optional. If you're selected as a finalist, TOCD will work with you to obtain the quote, prior to your pitch session with the Sesame Workshop.

I'm a current Tisch student so my production insurance is covered by NYU. Do I get my insurance quote from them?
No - the Sesame Street commission is not an official NYU project, so it can't be covered by NYU's insurance. If you don't know of alternate production insurance carriers, you can leave the insurance quote out of your itemized budget and then TOCD will work with you to get a quote if you're selected as a finalist.

The Sesame RFP indicates that the pitch must include a "resource allocation sheet listing key creative and executives expected to be assigned to the project." I don't know any executives! What do I do?
Don't worry - the Sesame Workshop knows you probably don't have those in your personal network! The resource allocation sheet is just your list of key creatives who you anticipate will work with you on this project, aka your collaborators/production team.

The Sesame RFP indicates that applicants should include "descriptions of relevant projects you have been involved with, client references, and a summary of your process for developing projects like this one." I've never done anything like this before and I definitely don't have clients! What do I do?
Again, don't worry! This is what your creative resume is for. Just use that document to list your past creative experience, including links to your reel or other work. (And remember, student projects count!) Btw, if you've never made a creative resume, come to TOCD's drop-in hours (Tu 11:30am-1pm, Wed 2:30-4pm) and we'll show you how to make one! 

Do I need to include a script with my pitch? If I do submit a script and am selected for the commission, can I revise it later?
As long as you're writing a detailed description of your concept, a script is an optional part of your pitch document. However, if you do submit a script and you're selected for the commission, it's okay to revise it as long as the overall concept remains the same - please also note that process will be in consultation with the Sesame Workshop.

Who are the Tisch faculty adjudicators?
The faculty adjudicators are James Felder (Dramatic Writing), Christopher Goutman (Undergraduate Film & TV), Ian James (Dramatic Writing), Lynn McVeigh (Undergraduate Film & TV), and Dan Pasternack (Grad Film). 
 

Please contact tisch.career@nyu.edu with any questions regarding the application process.

Submissions are now closed. If you have submitted a pitch proposal, you will be notified of your status by February 24.