Little Airplane Productions is holding a unique workshop February 13-15 led by accomplished preschool TV veterans on creating a hit preschool series. Classes include Pitching, Writing, Research, Design, Music, Directing, Legal, Licensing, and a notable panel of children’s television network executives. Josh Selig tells us a bit about the workshop.
CP: What’s the story behind Little Airplane Academy? How did it begin?
JS: The Little Airplane Academy came about spontaneously. We were getting so many requests from preschool TV show creators for advice on pitching, producing, business affairs, writing and research that we decided it would make sense to create a course that brought together all of these different areas. Originally we offered the course one night per week for six weeks but we found that many of our prospective attendees were from out of town and simply couldn’t stay for six weeks. So we consolidated the course into a three-day intensive that we now offer twice a year.
CP: How long have you been running these workshops?
JS: It’s been just over five years now.
CP: Please tell me one of your greatest success stories from someone who attended the workshop.
JS: We had one student named Jim Chong who attended the Academy about three years ago. Afterwards he approached me and asked if Little Airplane would consider going into development with him to make a show that would take on serious issues like homelessness, the environment and extinction. He was a great salesperson and I’m happy to report that just last month we finished production on a new short-form animated series called, “Tobi!” that will launch on Unicef’s International Day of Children’s Broadcasting on Treehouse TV in Canada and Nickelodeon in Australia. This show would never have happened without Jim’s initial spark.
CP: What are you offering this year that’s different from the past?
JS: We always try to change up our speakers at the Academy and this winter we’ll be joined by J.J. Johnson who runs Sinking Ship Entertainment and is the creator of such amazing shows as “This Is Daniel Cook,” “Are We There Yet?” and, most recently, “Dino Dan.” J.J. is, quite simply, the most talented director of children in the TV industry.
CP: Is there anything you would like to add?
JS: This past year we took The Little Airplane Academy on the road and offered our course in London and in Doha, Qatar. We hope to do more such trips this year and we’re currently in discussions with a broadcaster in Norway to bring the Academy there to help train the local indies.