Kids programming vet Bob Thompson took over the new position of character and story development manager at London-based Lego Media International in December.
Thompson heads up the new production arm of the company and is on the lookout for toon acquisitions, co-pros and ideas for developing in-house series that jibe with the Lego ethos. ‘It’s important to put the child at the center of what we’re doing,’ Thompson says. ‘The focus is going to be on strong characters and series, and they won’t necessarily revolve around Lego toys. What’s important is that we demonstrate that we want to make quality, serious TV,’ he says. Lego is planning to have an animated slate ready in about 18 months.
Thompson says the company will be looking at toons targeting a broad range of ages. There is no set percentage breakdown of the amount of resources that will go to in-house projects versus acquisitions. ‘We will be project-led. If one year, all the good projects are in-house, that’s fine.’
Lego will also be developing character and story bibles for other mediums. Thompson says he is working with Lego’s game division, as well as with the publishing team on upcoming projects.
Thompson was most recently commercial manager of children’s education and animation at the BBC Rights Agency, ‘the opposite of Theresa Plummer-Andrews, if you like,’ he jokes. Thompson held the position for two years and was with the BBC for six. He also lectures at Pilots, an EEC-funded project geared to new producers and writers.