Fledgling UK prodco Eagle Vs Bat is counting on experimentation to be the wind beneath the wings of its first project, The Sound Collector.
Serious Kids is distributing the 60 x five-minute series, which received funding from the UK’s Young Audience Content Fund.
The Sound Collector revolves around a young boy who is hard of hearing but loves sound so much that he records the different things he hears in everyday life for playback later.
The series will play with audio, but it will also feature moments of silence and emphasize everyday noises in order to get kids thinking about what they hear. Delivery is planned for February 2023.
Italian studio Enanimation has signed on as a co-producer, and UK-based Mackinnon & Saunders is working on the animation. RAI (Italy) and ITV (UK) have already picked up the series for their territories.
While it highlights hearing impairments, the show’s real focus is on sound, says Eagle Vs Bat co-founder Tom Angell.
The goal is for kids to experience episodes with their ears as much as their eyes, so that they realize there is beauty in the noises they often take for granted, he says.
Deaf kids will hopefully see themselves reflected authentically on screen in this series—which serves a need for more content highlighting disabilities—and putting sound at the forefront of the project will help it stand out in the market, says Angell.
Audiences and buyers are always keen to consider new concepts, and The Sound Collector’s unique perspective is what led to the deals with RAI and ITV. Serious Kids CEO Genevieve Dexter says these early buy- ins will help make it easier to sell the show internationally.
Eagle Vs Bat’s penchant for experimentation will be applied to live-action shows and adult content next.
While co-founders Angell and his wife Erica (née Darby) don’t have much experience in either of those genres (Tom has roots in music production, while Erica has worked on kids toons), their willingness to try new things is a strength they hope will lead to innovative projects.
“We want to stretch new muscles and introduce new ideas into the market by developing more projects where sound and what the characters are experiencing is the focus,” says Erica Angell.