Pukeko Pictures successful at MipCom Jr with Trooper Tom

21 10 2008

Trooper Tom

Trooper Tom

Children‟s television production and licensing company, Chapman Entertainment, successfully cemented a partnership in Cannes last week with Pukeko Pictures, with interest received in their new joint venture from 15 broadcasters over two days at MIPCOM JR.

Pukeko Pictures is the new children‟s television venture of Martin Baynton and Richard Taylor – five times Academy Award winning Creative Director and Co-Owner of NZ‟s Weta Workshop.

Trooper Tom (working title) is a state of the art CGI animated adventure series aimed at 6-12 year old boys. It is set on an epic stage with Shakespearean villainy, a wry sense of humour and breathtaking action. Half human, half robot, all hero – Trooper Tom is a futuristic Pinocchio, an experimental android infused with human DNA. The series is jointly led by Richard Taylor, Martin Baynton, and Chapman Entertainment‟s Creative Director, Keith Chapman. The production will be made by Weta Workshop at their New Zealand studios.

Chapman comments: “We are always looking for gaps in the market to fill, and this partnership with Pukeko Pictures provides an opportunity to do just that. We are really excited about this great new sci-fi series and even more excited about working with Weta Workshop, who are the best in the business in their field.” Richard Taylor, comments: “We are incredibly excited by our relationship with Chapman Entertainment and the first property that we have developed with them. The experience of presenting our show together in Cannes was nothing short of fantastic and the reactions to Trooper Tom was very rewarding.” This new 26 x 22 minute animation involves action, speed, heroism and some seriously cool adventures with the greatest battle machines ever invented.

Pukeko Pictures also unveiled their delightful new pre-school series The WotWots at MIPCOM JR last week, with great success. The WotWots follows the adventures of two small puppet-like aliens – a brother and sister – who come to explore planet Earth in their steam powered spaceship.Trooper Tom


Weta look to launch new kids TV show – WotWots

18 09 2008

Wotwots childrens TV Show

Wotwots childrens TV Show

A small steam powered spaceship lands in a local zoo. Inside are two young and very energetic aliens. They wonder who they are and what they will look like when they are fully grown adults. Will they look like one of the zoo animals outside?

DottyWot and SpottyWot are soft puppet-like characters who scoot around a local zoo on their steam powered hover-chairs. They are an inquisitive and energetic pair who embrace their adventures with gusto and enthusiasm. They have big hearts, take great care of each other and are not afraid to show the affection they have as brother and sister.

The adventures of these loveable aliens and their playful exploration of the zoo had a test audience of preschool children squealing with delight when previewed at Weta in Wellington , New Zealand .

The WotWots are launching onto the TV screens of Australia on ABC Children’s television in April 2009 and on New Zealand ‘s TVNZ in March 2009.

Developed and produced by the creative team behind the award winning TV series Jane And The Dragon , these adventures of the WotWots are set to delight, fascinate and educate a new generation of TV viewers across the world.

The multi Academy Award winning artists of Richard Taylor ‘s Weta Workshop have yet again joined with the story-telling talents of Martin Baynton and Theo Baynton to bring this endearing world of comedy and adventure to life.

Tim Brooke-Hunt, Head of Children’s for ABC Television said: “We are thrilled to broadcast this exceptional new series from WETA. We are confident that pre-schoolers will delight in the adventures of Spotty and Dotty, and that the WotWot’s will find an enthusiastic audience in Australia .”

Brief Bios (full details available on contact):

Weta Workshop is the multi Award winning special effects studio, best known for their work on The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, The Chronicles of Narnia and King Kong .

Richard Taylor , executive producer, is the five times Oscar award winning owner, co-founding director and the creative lead at Weta Workshop.

Martin Baynton , executive producer, has written and illustrated more than 30 books for children, published by Penguin, Walker Books, Scholastic, Greenwillow and Methuen .

Theo Baynton , director, was the art director and design supervisor for Jane And The Dragon and has also written and illustrated children’s books.

Andrew Smith, producer , was the supervising producer for Jane and the Dragon and is the commercial manager for Weta Workshop

Jan Haynes, producer, has worked in the film and television industry for over 25 years and has produced several award-winning series. She was the New Zealand Line Producer on Jane and the Dragon.

David Long, composer, composes, performs and produces music and has worked on Peter Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings and King Kong .

Weta and Chapman Entertainment team up on Childrens TV project

29 11 2007

Jane and the Dragon
Jane and the Dragon

Two of the established creative forces in family entertainment, New Zealand based Weta Productions and Chapman Entertainment, from the UK, are forming a unique partnership to develop a range of childrens’ television properties. The first venture will be an animated comedy targeted at boys between six and nine.

The two companies host impressive track records in their respective fields. Chapman Entertainment is renowned for its hit international pre-school shows Fifi and the Flowertots and Roary the Racing Car, these follow Keith Chapman’s creation of the global phenomenon Bob the Builder. Fifi, Roary and Bob currently feature in the UK’s top six selling pre-school toy licenses and have enjoyed impressive television sales to over 200 territories.

Weta, is the multi Academy and BAFTA Award winning company acknowledged as a world leader in special effects following the global success of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, King Kong and The Chronicles of Narnia. Weta has also recently ventured into children’s television, through Weta Productions, with the production of the animated series, Jane and the Dragon, which has received critical acclaim.

The development project will be jointly led by Martin Baynton and Richard Taylor of Weta and Chapman Entertainment’s Creative Director, Keith Chapman. They are working on a selection of 2D and CGI animated properties which will be presented to broadcasters and the licensing community in the near future, with pre-production expected to commence in 2008.

“Weta are the world leaders in their field and we are thrilled and extremely proud to be combining our respective skills to work on this exciting development,” says Keith Chapman. “This special new partnership takes Chapman Entertainment to an important new phase in the company’s history and will add a new age group to our portfolio of shows.”

“We have been fortunate to have worked with just brilliant film makers such as Peter Jackson, Andrew Adamson, James Cameron and Steven Spielberg”, says Richard Taylor “And we are once again fortunate to work with someone as renowned as Keith Chapman and the team at Chapman Entertainment. Weta Productions is looking forward to building on the success of Jane and the Dragon with these new properties”.

Plunket and TVNZ to work together on new TV series

1 10 2007

Iconic New Zealand early childhood organisation Plunket will be a feature on TVNZ’s new digital channel TVNZ 6, which launched on Sunday.

The Royal New Zealand Plunket Society and TVNZ have agreed to make programmes that will screen later in the year to try and make New Zealand a safer place for children.

Plunket and TVNZ Kidzone, the preschool-targeted programme block on TVNZ 6, will produce short-format and feature programmes with every day Kiwi kids talking about their lives and what really matters to them. Production is expected to begin later this year, with the programmes being broadcast early in 2008.

Eric Kearley, TVNZ’s General Manager of Digital Services, said: “We hope the programmes we create together will help New Zealand parents and children by providing positive role models and tips for getting the most out their relationships.”

“Plunket are well respected experts in childcare so TVNZ 6 is excited about this partnership. Underpinning the partnership is a shared desire by TVNZ and Plunket to support the development of children under five and create a safe learning environment for New Zealand families.”

Paul Baigent, CEO of Plunket, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to create innovative programmes that speak directly to parents and their young children in a way they understand and provide examples of what families can and do achieve in a loving, caring environment”.

The Plunket-generated programmes will be aired on TVNZ Kidzone on TVNZ 6 some time after it launches on September 30 and will also be widely available through the Plunket network.

Mr Kearley said the partnership was one of several being developed that will provide opportunities for public-spirited organisations to have an input into programming.

TVNZ 6 will also broadcast 150 mini programmes made in partnership with the Department of Conservation when it launches next month.

“As a public service broadcaster, it’s critical that we focus on creating public value. Partnering with experts such as Plunket is an ideal way to do this,” said Mr Kearley.