Planet Preschool Blog
About the Author
Josh Selig is the President and Founder of Little Airplane Productions, producer of international preschool hits The Wonder Pets!, 3rd & Bird and the upcoming CBeebies/Disney Junior series, Small Potatoes.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this blog belong solely to the author. Any questions/comments should be directed to its author, Josh Selig, and not Kidscreen.com/Kidscreen Magazine.
Every MIP that I’ve attended has had a unique personality. But MIPTV 2014 had no personality. There were no big announcements. No global deals. And, apparently, no new trends unless delivering a show in 4K could be considered a trend (yawn). This was the Back-To-The-Grind MIP. Or, maybe, the Who-Is-Still-Here MIP.
Why schlep all the way to Cannes in April to pitch to (or be pitched by) the same middle-aged bunch of boozers you just saw in February in New York City? Here’s why: Because MIPTV is still one of only three markets on the planet that puts you within air-kissing distance of buyers and sellers from Singapore to Slovenia and from Ukraine to YouTube. Though it may not be what it once was (who among us is?) MIPTV remains, in my view, an essential children’s TV market.
When I was in Tokyo recently, I had the good fortune of visiting one of my favorite animation studios in the world, Dwarf, and meeting its founder, Tsuneo Goda, who is best known for creating the character Domo. Goda-san, as he is known, was busy working on a beautiful new project called “By Your Side” in collaboration with recording artist Sadé. I sat down with Goda-san and asked him some questions about this new Dwarf initiative.
My friend Emma was in New York last week for Kidscreen. Emma has many gifts, among them, photography. She sees things that most of us do not see: Patterns in the carpet, the play of hands and shoes. I wish I saw a world that was as beautifully composed, as lyrical, and as honest as Emma does. Emma is an artist and these are her photographs.
I’ve spent the past decade or so trying to improve my bad habits so, towards that end, I recently did something that, a few years back, I would certainly have resisted like a root canal: I shared a co-creator credit on a major preschool show. However, in this case, my co-creator truly deserved this credit. In fact, he probably deserved to get sole credit for creating the show but, sadly, I’m not yet a karmically big enough person to give it to him. The show I’m referring to is called The Adventures of Napkin Man! and my co-creator is an amazing guy named Tone Thyne.
I have great sympathy for anyone who, like myself, tries to earn their living by entertaining kids who are so young that they still suck their thumbs, believe in Santa Claus and poop their pants. So I try to be helpful to others whenever possible. This week, I’ll be using my 500 words of blog to help the rookies–and some of you veterans–avoid the most common mistakes that many “delegates” make when they first show up at Kidscreen Summit.
Since I’ve been living off my preschool shows for 25 years now without the help of co-production treaties, subsidies or prescription drugs, I do know a few things about survival so, this week, as my New Year’s gift to the kids’ indie community–or what’s left of it–I have listed my 10 Survival Tips for 2014 in the hopes that these will help you keep your lights on and your chin up until 2015.
I gave an all-day presentation in Beijing last month on the subject of creating and producing original preschool shows for the international market which, not coincidentally, is the only thing I know anything about. One very shy Chinese creative raised her hand and, in broken English, asked me, “How make broadcaster happy?” Then she stared at me with great seriousness as if I were sitting on the Dead Sea Scrolls and was about to reveal the 11th commandment.