I’m coming at you with Part II of the 2011 WiCM Event Wrap-up. These are my reports of a couple of very fine events. Enjoy! And get excited for next entry’s announcement of the new WiCM blogger!
But first, the news:
WiCM Hears a Who! Audio Books and The Bippolo Seed
Location: Random House
There’s a new Seuss book! Dr. Seuss’s The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories is available in print and as an audio book. The good folks at Random House gave us an insider’s look at the process of putting this audio book together. They also detailed the challenges of producing an audio version of a visual medium.
Did someone say TRANSMEDIA????
DUDE. GO. AWAY. You’re worse than the Cat in the Hat.
Man, you were just a bad idea. On your way. Shoo.
I LOVE Seuss. One of my proudest moments in law school was when I was told I had the same Myers Briggs profile as the good Doctor:
Law School Career Counselor: Isn’t law your fascination?
Me: Not as much as animation.
Law School Career Counselor: But don’t you like your legal classes?
Me: I’d ruther write stories for the masses.
WiCM members also got free copies of the Bippolo Seed audio book—perhaps my favorite swag of the entire year. What an awesome event.
Writers’ Group: An Evening with The Backyardigans Creator Janice Burgess
Location: What-a-lodeon? Nick-e-lodeon
With various credits on hits such as Ghostwriter; Gulla, Gulla Island; Blue’s Clues; Little Bill; Littleburg; Bubble Guppies (woot!); and Winx Club, Janice Burgess has done a lot in and a lot for this industry. She’s a star, pure and simple. And this event was one of those rare opportunities to listen to a star discuss how hit shows are developed and made. Over the course of the informal evening, Janice dropped a lot of wisdom on us. Beyond sharing her general insight into the industry, she gave us a detailed look at the development and production of The Backyardigans, her first show creation.
A few highlights:
As a creator, your job is to make the best show you can. Hire the best people you can to do the things you’re not good at. Inspirationally speaking, you really have to care about what you’re saying. Practically speaking, you really have to know your outlet. She spoke a bit about the various big networks, but she offered an insider’s perspective on what makes a Nickelodeon show (a kid-first approach and an off-beat sensibility).
Janice also talked us through the pitch process. She reminded any would-be creator to do her homework and really know the air. But above all, believe in yourself, be patient, be resilient, and be flexible. If your idea is rejected, figure out why. The Backyardigans was resurrected after an initial death in development. Rejection is all part of the game, and Janice succeeded because she believed in what she had created.
It was a real treat to sit down with someone so talented and so accomplished. I really enjoyed this event. It’s hard to measure the inspirational impact a conversation with someone like Janice can have, but I saw a lot of motivated smiles in that room.
And that’s the conclusion of the 2011 wrap-up. Tune in next time for the big reveal:
~MYSTERY WICM BLOGGER OF 2012!!!!~
T-minus one entry (must we really part ways?)…