Report – Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Posted on: Thursday 08 July 2021 11:33pm by Cate Zerega

Takeaways

  • The platform landscape is impacting show development and creating exciting opportunities for experimentation and out-of-the-box thinking. 
  • This is a great time for projects championing diversity on screens and behind the scenes. 
  • It’s a great moment for projects about mindfulness.

The dragons heard diverse and vibrant five minute pitches from Jemma Gross of Fly High Stories, Author Chitra Soundar, Kath Shackleton of Fettle, and game designer Irwin Fustec

Jemma Gross pitched ‘Poppy & Mo’, a show for ages 4-7 that mixes animation and live action to explore mental health and feelings in eleven minute episodes. Fly High Stories used emergency funding during the pandemic to transition their live events into an animated show and discovered their love for animation. The live-action story centres on the extroverted Poppy and her introverted friend Mo, who together whizz down a slide into an animated brain world where they can explore the science of their feelings. Poppy and Mo emerge empowered with the verbs to name their feelings. Fly High Stories is committed to diverse talent in front of and behind the scenes. 

Panelist Deirdre Brennan started the bidding for the opportunity to develop Fly High Studio’s success in live events into this series. Bob Higgins loved the animation but abstained from bidding because he’s found more success with pure animation traveling in the preschool space. Eryk Casemiro won this bid, he was excited with the timeliness of this pitch because mindfulness is top of the conversation. 

Chittra Soundar pitched ‘Megha & Mittens’, her animated series for 6+ about contemporary Brit Megha and her cat Mittens solving her problems by connecting with her Indian heritage. Chittra’s project is unique because there are so few shows that centre on the adventure of an Indian girl. Chittra also sees potential to develop interactive apps and games with her characters. 

Bob Higgins agreed on the need for a strong female Indian character and could see the Indian comedy elements continue to develop and appeal to a broad market; he won the bid and is excited to connect this project with his team. Eryk also loved the show’s premise and agreed with Bob’s note to lean further into the comedy and chaos of the story. Deirdre’s slate is full with 6+ animation but was excited to watch the development of this project.

Kath Shackleton pitched ‘Floss and Em’, an animated non-dialogue series about an emu and an alpaca. Fettle has partnered with the University of Sheffield to design the show around child-centred research and they are in talks with Dame Evelyn Glennie to incorporate percussion into the series to create opportunities for sensory learning. 

Eryk Kasemiro liked the concept with reservations about the absence of dialogue; he abstained from bidding because the pitch skewed too young for the network’s needs. Deirdre won the bid because she was excited for the opportunities for AVOD development. Bob has seen the platform landscape change the way content has been made; he typically passes on non-dialogue shows but has been excited by the success of non dialogue on AVOD platforms.

Irwin Fustec pitched ‘E-Fabulous Peggy 7 Champions’ Game’, a CGI adventure show for 8-12s, where Peggy and her friends fight her nemesis Pam Pac. Deirdre suggested developing a Roblox game to explore the show’s potential fanbase. Eryk complimented the design styling and wanted more story development. Bob submitted the winning bid because he was excited with the potential with Peggy as a non-binary character and wanted to further develop the story elements. 

All of the pitchers received at least one offer which they can now pursue with the “dragons”.

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Cate Zerega

About the author

Cate Zerega

Freelance Production Coordinator

Cate has worked as a nanny, a talent agent, in casting & production. Cate’s resume means she no longer fears anything and has sunblock & headshots always about. She completed an MA in the screen industries in 2018 & works passionately to promoting female filmmakers. Read more