This has not been an easy year. But with 2021 just around the corner, we polled folks in the industry about what they plan to prioritize next year. Will Zoom-free Fridays be on the menu? Are they breaking into new genres? Read on for a little inspiration to fuel your own 2021 goals.
Sharon Gomes, development and production executive
I’m looking forward to new adventures in 2021! That’s my New Year’s resolution. I left my job in November, so I’m invigorated to see what the new year will bring for the next step in my career. It’s a difficult time to be job-searching, but I’m optimistic. This past year has been heartwarming, having time to reconnect with folks, even if it was through online chats. Some are work friends that I only see in passing at the markets. Others are old buddies who are still kindred spirits. I hope to increase my efforts to stay engaged and sustain genuine friendships.
Daniel Barnes, development executive, Cloudco Entertainment
My business New Year’s resolution is to meet with three new writers a week. Who doesn’t want more friends?
Sidney Clifton, (soon-to-be) SVP of animation and mixed media, The Jim Henson Company
This year has shown us that we are all connected in relatable and important ways. I resolve to continue to fully “show up” in all meetings and encounters, in-person or virtual. Our work and community are better for it!
Dominic Gardiner, CEO, Jetpack Distribution
We are a very sociable industry, especially in distribution and acquisitions. Meeting and trading face-to-face is an essential and rewarding component of our day-to-day, and we are missing it dearly. My number-one resolution is to get back out into the world, to meet all partners wherever they are!
As it’s been particularly tough on the team, [my second] resolution is to focus on team development and training.
[Finally,] distribution is only part of the IP value chain. We plan to expand our brand management capabilities to create more value for our partners, via licensing, direct-to-consumer and creative development.
Suzy Raia, VP of licensing and business development, BBC Studios
My New Year’s resolution is to reconnect with my broader network by identifying colleagues I would have seen at various trade shows and industry events, and simply making a phone call to say hello!
Matthew Berkowitz, chief creative officer, Atomic Cartoons
For 2021, I’m excited to support our quickly growing teams in Los Angeles, Vancouver and Ottawa on the new productions that have launched since COVID began. [I'm] looking forward to meeting new up-and-coming creative voices, along with the established talent we are fortunate to team up with. I am eager to gain a greater understanding of the international animation marketplace as we continue to expand our content library. And I’m going to carve out more desk time away from the webcam and meetings. Finally, we are set to expand our studio IP development slate into adult animation and feature films.
Brenda Bisner, chief content officer, Kidoodle.TV
As we enter 2021, we are renewing our commitment to provide a safe streaming experience for families around the world as we work to expand our service and enable access to children who might not normally have access to content meant just for them. With strong family values in mind, our goals are aggressive as we currently serve over 10 million monthly active users, indicating that families need our support now more than ever.
Shabnam Rezaei, co-founder and president, Big Bad Boo
[I will] find new ways to enjoy Zoom, including: 1) losing just enough weight so I can rest my coffee on my belly; 2) talk with a “Siri” voice during our weekly company whip-around; and 3) pitch a new show to a network while unmuted, but speak like I am muted until they give up and leave.
Jonathan Abraham, VP of sales and business development, Guru Studio
Coming off the successful premiere of Pikwik Pack on Disney Junior US, we’re preparing for our Canadian launch on Treehouse on Boxing Day. Next year, we’ll continue to add new best-in-class broadcast and licensing partners to help build the brand globally.
As viewing habits continue to evolve and new child-safe platforms emerge, we’re finding exciting new ways for kids to discover our shows. For our content to reach the widest audience possible, crafting creative partnerships with innovative financing models is going to be the focus for the year ahead.
On a personal note, as someone who thrives on people’s physical energy, I’m always looking for ways to add a more human touch to our virtual meetings. Heading into 2021, I’m hopeful we’ll be back in the same room with friends and colleagues soon.