With shows such as The Wonder Pets! (Nick Jr.) and Oobi (Noggin) under his belt, Josh Selig is looking to spread the wealth a bit by opening up his New York studio to teach greenhorns about the ins and outs of creating and selling preschool programming. Little Airplane Academy will lift off this fall with an inaugural five-week course called ‘How To Make A Great Preschool Series.’ For a total of US$500, the weekly workshop series will cover pitching and writing, developing a curriculum, producing, understanding legalese and directing a live-action or animated show.
To round out his faculty, Selig has recruited Lisa Simon (producer and director on Sesame Street and Oobi), Jennifer Oxley (director on Little Bill), Dr. Laura Gussoff Brown (educational consultant on Blue’s Clues) and Victoria Cook, an entertainment lawyer at Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz.
Selig isn’t looking to make money from the Academy, and tuition fees will go towards compensating the guest professors for their time. The real goal is to improve the standard of preschool programming and develop a community of artists, educators and business folks working in the same field. Selig claims to be unconcerned that his graduates may very well end up being his competitors one day; instead, he says he welcomes the challenge that a raised bar will pose to creators of all different levels of experience.
Into 2006, Selig sees the Academy’s program expanding to include classes on topics such as character design, business affairs, animation, educational content and bible creation. Selig is currently rounding up New York-based teachers for these specialized seminars, but says he’s also very open to considering professionals from off the island.