Why a grown man would spend his life making television for preschoolers is beyond me. But this, clearly, is my lot in my life.
At age 44, my mind is a veritable slag heap of oddly shaped characters with names like Oobi, Ming-Ming Duckling, Linny the Guinea Pig, Muffin Lovebird and Elliot the Worm, all of whom emanated from somewhere deep within my troubled psyche and ended up becoming nothing less than entertainment for your children.
Stranger things have happened, but certainly not to me.
I am what’s called in our industry a “show creator” and my company, Little Airplane Productions, has become known for creating and producing a variety of preschool TV series, including Oobi!, Go, Baby!, The Wonder Pets! and, most recently, 3rd & Bird! So if you are looking for someone to blame for the annoyingly catchy “The phone! The phone is ringing!” or the ubiquitous “What’s gonna work? Teamwork!” then look no further. I am your man.
As an undergraduate at Sarah Lawrence, I studied poetry. I loved Whitman and Berryman and Theodore Roethke. I mention this only to highlight my rather steady decline from the writing of free verse to the writing of preschool shows to my current enterprise, the writing of a “blog.” But I do not ask for sympathy. Life is full of compromises and far be it from me to be above the blogosphere. If anyone asks, let it be known that I am a man of my times. I blog.
And so, because I love KidScreen and Jocelyn and Lana and Sindy, I have decided to give up my weekends for the foreseeable future to write 500 to 600 words on the subject of international Preschool Television. To some of you this might sound like a burden. And who am I to argue? But the fact is I like thinking about preschool television and I am fascinated by how various cultures approach this form.
So I will do it. I will write my blog. Every weekend. And I hope you will read it. And I hope you will write me e-mails (short ones!) with all kinds of clever insights and anecdotes about your own experiences making preschool shows. And I hope you will send me jpegs (small ones!) with images of your team, your process and your own oddly shaped characters. These will undoubtedly inform and entertain my readers whilst relieving the burden on myself, which will be, no doubt, every weekend, considerable.
And as time goes by, I sincerely hope that Planet Preschool will become a forum for many of your thoughts, beliefs and dreams about preschool television which, to me, is the most vital and imaginative form of television that exists.
Preschool television shapes the worldview of millions of families across the planet. The rich ones and the poor ones. And, despite appearances, preschool TV is not about toys and licensing deals and co-productions. It is about providing positive and beautiful stories to our kids. I truly believe that there is no greater honor and responsibility than making programs for these small and impressionable people that we know and love as preschoolers.
Until next week, take care,
**I invite you to send me short, interesting anecdotes about preschool television projects from around the world that are currently in production. Please do not send me press releases or call me on the phone or pitch me shows.
Also, please don’t get mad at me if I don’t reply to you or write about your stuff. I am only one person. Please send all e-mails to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 2008 Little Airplane Productions Inc.