Children’s Media

High time I came straight out and said this:

I’ve made a substantial amount of children’s television, and I’m appalled that the current generation of children aren’t getting the sorts of inspiration enjoyed by their predecessors. Yes, the BBC is still making good stuff, but they’re now the only significant supplier, and their track-record for factual programmes in particular has been patchy for the last decade. Hence: scary times.

However, while I broadly agree with the goals of Save Kids’ TV, I think their focus on high-quality drama is part of what got us into this mess in the first place, and isn’t necessarily a full solution. Heck, I don’t even agree that television is necessarily part of that solution.

So while I’m interested that Jana Bennett’s been suggesting tax breaks (rather than top-slicing the BBC license fee, natch), and I’m delighted for the animation and pre-schools industries that they can integrate the back-end – ie. merchandise the hell out of their properties, and sell internationally by re-dubbing (see comments at that link) – neither of these help me directly.

Much more interesting to me is Tom Loosemore‘s move from the BBC to OFCOM, and the concept of a Public Service Publisher.

See – it might not be obvious from the current website, but SciCast is my first stab at ‘Children’s TV 2.0.’

I’ve spent this week in the Thomas Hardye School in Dorchester, helping groups of kids make short films. We’ll be publishing them soon, via SciCast and Films for Learning. Some of them are terrific.

Some of them are the future, right now.

Sorry, but if it takes us five years to solve all this stuff, we’ll have missed an entire generation of kids. While I should have been at Showcomotion this week, I’d only have been ranting about how it felt like dinosaurs discussing meteorites. Look over the other side of the watering hole, and there’s a bunch of ugly furry things that don’t understand this ‘cold-blooded’ concept you have going on.

But what really drives me up the wall is that I only have another few weeks before the cash runs out, and I have to do something else entirely. For the first time in my career, being a freelancer sucks.

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