Kindle Entertainment Sparks Into Life! (18 May 2007)
Kindle Entertainment is the new independent production company to have emerged from the closure of ITV Productions, Kids. It has been set up by Anne Brogan (former Controller ITV Kids) and Melanie Stokes (former Head of Development). Kindle is based at Hackney City Farm in Shoreditch. Anne says, ‘It is an amazingly creative environment in which to work. You are right in the heart of the city but have hens pecking around the farmyard and little children squealing with delight!’
Anne and Melanie both have award winning track records in the kids' production business and have been responsible for many outstanding shows that have been creative and commercial successes both in the UK and internationally. Their awards include pre-school: Pocoyo (BAFTA); children's comedy: My Parents are Aliens (3 RTSs and a BANFF Rockie), Bill’s New Frock (RTS); tween comedy drama: Girls in Love (RTS); and family drama, The Illustrated Mum (International Emmy and 2 BAFTAs).
Kindle aims to build on these successes. It has a broad development slate spanning pre-school, comedy drama, factual entertainment, family and adult drama. 'We both believe that great storytelling is at the heart of creating great content, whether it is for preschoolers or for adults,' Anne says, 'and although the climate is extremely tough, especially in the kids' business at present, we are very excited to be setting up a new company and hope to be able to continue working with many of our extremely talented colleagues at ITV as well as forging new relationships with other broadcasters.’
Melanie says ‘I'm enormously pleased to be working with Anne in this exciting new venture. We share a real passion for developing original ideas with new and established writers and we're delighted to be working with some of the most talented writers here in the UK and in the US’
Kindle already has several commissions and development projects in the pipeline.
Kindle's first production is My Spy Family, a 26 part live-action comedy series for Turner Kids. Created by Paul Alexander, one of the writers on the hugely, successful sit-com My Parents are Aliens as well as family sit-coms My Family and My Hero. The spy series centres around the Bannon family who, after a lifetime roaming international trouble-spots by jet, helicopter and missile-equipped sports cars, now find themselves squashed together in a house somewhere in the Midlands. None of their training or gadgetry has prepared them for ordinary everyday life. If James Bond married Catwoman, had three kids and bought a semi...this is what life would be like!
Melanie says 'We really believe that the show will resonate with kids because they love spying. From the simplest games of hide & seek to forming secret clubs with passwords and wearing disguises, spying really fires their imaginations. It's also gloriously silly and a great chance to send up all those wonderful spy movies."
Cecilia Persson, VP of Programming for Turner Kids says: ‘This is pure slapstick comedy. We are delighted to be working with Kindle to produce a show which we are sure that kids will love.’
Kindle are also shooting two family documentaries for ITV 1, presented by Ben Shephard, to coincide with the release of Harry Potter and the Order Of The Phoenix this summer. The documentaries continue the Behind The Magic series, created by ITV Kids with Warner Bros, to accompany the Harry Potter films. One of this year’s documentaries includes a behind-the scenes peep at the new film, and the other uncovers the secrets of the Harry Potter costumes. The production team had unprecedented access on the Harry Potter set and the programmes will include interviews with the cast including Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Gary Oldman, Helena Bonham-Carter and Imelda Staunton.
Kindle is very excited to confirm the commission of Big & Small, a new preschool puppet show (52 x 11) for CBeebies (the BBC’s brand for under 6’s). Head writer Kathy Waugh (Peep & the Big Wideworld) leads a talented team of top UK & US preschool writers. The show stars two absolute ‘4-ever’ best friends who are as different from each other as it is possible for two friends to be. Where Big is careful and considerate and thoughtful and fair, Small is fast and loud and exuberant and dramatic. They get along beautifully. Usually. Michael Carrington, Creative Director CBeebies said, “We’re thrilled to be working with start-up company Kindle; with the experience and talent of Anne and Melanie, we’re confident that together we can shape our next animation commission.”
Kindle is delighted to announce that they have agreed a development deal with BBC Drama Scotland for TWILIGHT, a new 6 part drama series, written by Ben Court & Caroline Ip (Marian Again, Primeaval, The Hole).
Kindle are due to begin shooting a family movie Journey Through Midnight in partnership with the Children’s Film and Television Foundation and Impact Films, in India in the autumn. The original story was written by Jamila Gavin (The Wheel of Surya) and has been adapted by John Hay and David Logan. It is set in the Punjab, in 1947, where Harold Chadwick runs a missionary school. His daughter Edith, and Marvinder, the daughter of Harold’s ex pupil Govind Singh, have grown up together and become firm friends but the world they know is about to end for ever. Both families are torn apart by the events of Partition. ‘It is a story with great emotional depth and huge resonance for the world we live in today, divided more than ever by religious conflict.’ says Anne. John Hay will direct, Timothy Spall is attached to play Harold and Jimi Mistry, Govind.
It is going to be an exciting year. Kindle are looking forward to the challenges ahead!
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