Started work on what is to be the template script for the series last week. It's a challenge. When conceived, pitched and sold, PUNKY was for 4-7 year-olds and there were going to be 13 x 11 minute episodes. Now it's for age 3-6 and there will be twenty episodes of 7 minutes.
This means I actually only have 6 minutes and 20 seconds, after credits and opening sequence, in which to tell my stories. Locations have been reduced from school and home to home and surrounds. Stories have to be far simpler and told at a more gentle pace. Everything is in the air, most of the stories I developed no longer work - too complicated - and I have to find a way to achieve what I set out to do on an entirely different canvas.
The wisdom now is that kids over six don't watch cartoons, hence the age change although we will not dumb it down and are aiming at the top end ie the 6 year-olds. Despite the fact that my child, nearly 11, adores them, as do a large portion of her friends. As do I. I suspect this opinion has come from America, from the policy and money-making machines that are the big corporations. In the UK there are 21 children's channels available now, mostly American.
But the first script is done now and I'm awaiting feedback. I suspect that while fun, it is still too busy for the new age group. Once it works, we should know what we want the show to look and sound like now. Trouble is that every book I can find on writing for animation talk about the longer versions of scripts and older age ranges. So, apart from watching too many cartoons in the early morning as research, it's guesswork and instinct. Wish me luck!!
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