One of the things with this business is that you can rarely talk about the cool stuff you’re making while you’re making it. It’s often top secret stuff. As we approach Christmas, I desperately want to shout about what we’re making at Mooshku… but I can’t. Next year.
What I can mention, however, is how we make what we make. How we’re trusted to deliver the best for young kids and how we pass that trust on to our fantastic team, allowing them to bring what is special to them to our work. How we explore character, life, acting and how crucial the setting for all this is. How we like to encourage people to do more than that one thing they were hired for, how we have to do that as a small team. And how we look to see where everyone can bring something more, something extra to each part of the process. Always looking to make it better and doing so with a smile, enjoying the making.
All of this has made the latter part of this year a joy and makes me excited for next year as we take this production to the next level. We’re making something special.
A break gives me that space to step back and look at what we’re doing and how fortunate we are to do what we do. How fortunate we are to work with the people we work with. And how important it is that we make something incredible for kids, to make them smile and laugh and brighten a day. Giving them something positive. So thank you to all our team and everyone we work with. We’re doing something wonderful.
And to everyone else stopping by my little blog, have a wonderful Christmas or whatever holiday you celebrate. No doubt 2017 brought its challenges but I hope that, when you step back and look at what you did this year, you see progression, something fun or that you know you have laid the groundwork for something fun in the future. Find the victories and allow yourself to acknowledge them and enjoy them for what they are, no matter how big or small.
Have a fantastic break and I wish everyone the best for 2018!
Oh, one last thing. The Fluffy Gardens Christmas Special is airing on RTE 2 on Christmas Morning. The 11th year running! Quite a Christmas tradition now.
Wait, it’s Christmas time already?! How did that happen?! This year was an extra short year, it seems. That’s probably for the best. This time last year we had David Bowie and now we don’t. And that was really just the start.
It has actually been a great year for us at Mooshku and there are lots of fun things happening that will be revealed in 2017. Lots of writing too, of course. I’m now three feature films in, which has been a wonderful experience and it’s fantastic to see them brought to life by amazing teams. I should have two new premieres in early 2017 so that’s really exciting. Adding feature scripts to all that television work I’ve done has had me thinking about the craft of story in very different ways. Story is fun. It’s tricky, elusive, never exact, never quite the same but always fun.
It has been a year of story.
And now it is a time to remind ourselves to be good to one another. To appreciate each other, not to fear each other. To be generous and warm-hearted to all. We can remind others of that through our own actions but also through story. So as this year draws to a close, let’s make a plan to tell some really great stories next year. And if you make stories for kids, how about making them smile and laugh? Brighten up a day.
This year, the Fluffy Gardens Christmas Special will be airing again on RTE 2 – that’s 10 years running! If you’re in Ireland, set it to record (it’s on EARLY!). If you’re not in Ireland, this year I bring good news! Depending on your region, it may well be available digitally for the first time! Check the links below.
Almost break time! Well that turned out to be a busy year. On Friday, I should deliver the final draft of the last episode of a 20-episode live-action children’s series I have been writing. A gorgeous television show for Norway that has been a joy to write. Also this year, I have written for companies in Holland and Australia. So my 2015 writing output looks a little like this:
29 TV episodes
2 features from blank page to final draft.
1 feature to first draft.
That is on top of our other Mooshku work: consulting on a couple of projects, creating and animating segments for a live science show, producing a rad pixel art music video for Gunship, developing some of our in-house IP and creating, writing and producing a pretty special little animation we’re not yet allowed talk about (more on that next year!). Oh, and Méabh has been busy producing Little Roy with the wonderful Jam Media.
Together, we have lived in many worlds and made friends with many characters, some established and some completely new. We have had stress and struggles but also fun and play. And it is the fun and play that we want on screen. That is what kids will respond to.
That is why we test our work with children. We note what is working, not working. Where they laughed, where they looked away. What they talked through or what they talked about. For us, it is about giving children the best and, when it comes down to it, no matter what our opinions are, no matter who is throwing notes at us, it is important that we ultimately defer to the true experts: the children.
So as Christmas approaches and the year draws to a close, I would like to thank all the kids who watched our work this year and listened to our stories and gave us comments such as “make this into a whole movie”, “can you finish it today?”, “my favourite bit is the bit with the pants”, “why does it say he is green when it isn’t coloured in?”, “will the drawings be better?”, “did you forget your glasses?”, “it was my sister’s birthday yesterday” and many more insightful gems. Especially to the children of Rathfarnham Educate Together.
You kids all rock and you make our work better.
I hope everyone has a calm and peaceful Christmas or whichever holiday you choose to celebrate!
It’s that time again – it comes quicker every year. I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas/holiday season! Thanks as always for stopping by my little blog.
If you’re in Ireland, keep an eye out for the Fluffy Gardens Christmas Special. It will air as always on Christmas morning at 7.50am and also on RTEjr at 10.30am and 2.30pm. Plenty of chances to see it! Isn’t it about time I made a new Christmas special? Isn’t it?!
Oh, one last thing. I just found out that Dino Dog made the Guardian’s Best iPad Apps for Kids 2014 list: YAY!
Just a little Christmas post to wish everyone who stops by a happy, warm Christmas/holiday season. I wish you friends, family, comfort and peace.
Given the subject matter of my site, I should also plant one thought: there is still room in this world for new original Christmas stories and, if they’re good, they can become a defining part of the season for kids of any age. If you have a Christmas story in you and it’s not yet another version of A Christmas Carol, consider developing it and taking it further. Let that thought simmer as we come in to the new year.
And on a related note, I’d like to remind Irish readers that my very own Fluffy Gardens Christmas will be on RTE2 at 7.40am on Christmas morning. 8 years in a row, a Christmas tradition! It will also be on RTEjr at 11.40am and 1.05pm as far as I can tell (it’s just listed as Fluffy Gardens but I’m guessing on the time slot…). It is the most Christmassy of fun Christmas stories and I hope your little ones will love it if they haven’t already seen it.
Have a wonderful Christmas everyone! See you back here in 2014.
I wish those things above for you this Christmas/holiday season. This morning, I began to write a much longer list of things I wished for all of us, for you, me and for the world. Some were as broad as peace and others were more detailed – more active role models for our girls, for example. And then I got to one wish I realised would lead to all the others. The one wish that, if it came true, would bring us to where we need to be and far beyond.
So this, on Christmas Eve 2012, for all the survivors of the Mighty Mayan Apocalypse, is my wish for the world -
That’s it. A world that improves, strives to get better with each new generation. A world unafraid to change, to leave behind old outdated notions and one that builds a better world for all of us. Men, women, every single child on the planet. And, hopefully at some point, on other planets too. Not one of us excluded.
In the words of Bill and Ted, “Be excellent to each other”. Merry Christmas all!