Sometimes being cheeky can work, but you have to be VERY lucky to get anywhere like that. Having said that, it didn’t stop the guy I sometimes do work for.
My friend Rob Martin has done a number of projects over the years with varying amounts of success, including a project in 2003 called Saving Ginger’s Privates (Not to be confused with a rather naughty film with a similar name), which originally started life as him messing around with an old Gingerbread man his sister made, a number of digestive biscuits, my old toy remote controlled tank and a video camera.
Beyond that, don’t ask…
Anyhow, a few years after (And a couple of pilot TV spots for the local cable TV company), the idea was resurrected and put forward to the Yorkshire Arts Council and got some initial funding to develop the idea. From this he approached Cosgrove Hall Productions (UK Production company responsible for The Wind In The Willows, Count Duckular, Chorlton And The Wheelies and Danger Mouse. Google may be handy if your not a UK resident) as he had done some work experience there a few years before.
One of the things that got the funding secured was the presentation, hand drawn frames all shot a couple of frames at a time to a roughly recorded track which was done with a 4th draft script. While this would be nothing like the final film, it allowed people to get an idea what it would be like. Believe it or not, there are a lot of people in film with no imagination and have to be shown everything.
Next was the proper voiceover, and with the backing of the arts council and Cosgrove Hall, he asked Thomas Clarke-Hill, who at the time was famous for voiceovers for film trailers as well as Tony The Tiger, main character of the Frosties cerial adverts and to all our collective surprize, he agreed.
While a lot of this was down to luck, smooth talking as well as being a bit cheeky, well produced story boards and the original badly done video presented to the right people at the right time, a quick knockabout video eventually lead to a showing at the Cannes Film festival and a nomination for Best Short Animation at the BAFTA Awards in 2004.
Getting contacts is essential, seeing if there are organisations who may well fund a venture is also a must if you are starting out. If therew are any associations which you can be a member of, join them. While this may well cost it will help, as many studio’s will not look at work from someone who is not a member of some organisation, especially in this climate.