I’m presenting Cosmo to the Cartoon Forum in Poland this week, to broadcasters, distributors and peers. It’s a pretty big deal. Right now, it feels like everything has been leading to Cosmo. Not just the close to two years of solid development I have put into the show, but the years getting there.
I have been Creative Director of Monster Animation for over 10 years now. In that time, with some incredibly talented colleagues and friends, I built a studio, creating and refining production systems that would work for me and the types of projects I make.
Through commericals, short films all the way to children’s television, leading the creative vision has been a journey. Not always an easy one and it took quite some time for me to really find where that vision was going. Some of the early stuff that we did along the way? It’s not great. The truth is, I didn’t really know where it was all going until I got to direct the 39 episodes of the wonderful Roobarb & Custard Too.
Then I knew. And I created Fluffy Gardens.
Fluffy Gardens was a whole different experience. That was my show. The words, the look, the feel, production methods. From empty page all the way to television.
And it worked. Everything came together on that show. I found myself working with some amazing creative talents, each one adding a layer of their own to the show – reminding me that I was not alone. I didn’t do it alone. Every single person on our team brought something wonderful to that show.
I found myself striving to do better. Better quality, better storytelling, better content for children, better systems.
With Ballybraddan, 40 more Fluffy Gardens episodes and then Punky, the methods were put to the test, refined further, streamlined and polished. Meanwhile, I studied children’s television, broke down the shows, dug up the research (and there is a lot of research), looked at what worked and what didn’t and why, questioned, prodded, looked deeper, beyond the accepted wisdom to find real understanding.
All to create a better show. Not just better, a special show. A show that children would love. A show that would be good for those children.
Right now, that show is Cosmo.
Cosmo still has some way to go. It’s going to require people sharing the vision. And, yes, there will be other stories, other shows. There are some simmering away in the background. But, right now, Cosmo is that special show and, if we can make it happen, I think it’s going to be excellent. Of course, I’m biased.
If you’re at the Forum, please do come along to our presentation. I’m hoping it will be fun.
And to everyone who has worked so hard on Cosmo with me over the last few months, you who delivered above and beyond, who brought brilliance and were striving for excellence every step of the way, who made the whole process a pleasure – thank you. You all rock.