The New York Times has an interesting article up about NBCUniversal’s new kids network which will replace the Sprout Network.
From the article:
LOS ANGELES â€” In a new salvo in the childrenâ€™s television wars, NBCUniversal is creating its own Disney Channel.
Starting on Sept. 9, NBCUniversal will turn one of its smallest cable properties, Sprout, into a network called Universal Kids, said Deirdre Brennan, who will oversee the effort. She said NBCUniversal wanted to create an â€œumbrella brandâ€ for its family offerings â€” television cartoons made by the Universal-owned DreamWorks Animation, Universal-Illumination films and attractions at Universal theme parks.
Sprout is solely aimed at preschool viewers, but Universal Kids will concentrate on children 2 through 11. The revamped channelâ€™s first series will be â€œTop Chef Junior,â€ a spinoff of the cooking show on NBCUniversalâ€™s Bravo.
â€œReality programming is a real white space in the U.S. childrenâ€™s market â€” food, pets, dancing, even news,â€ said Ms. Brennan, who will be general manager of Universal Kids. â€œLook at how sophisticated 11-year-olds are these days. They want more than the same sitcoms.â€
What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Jeff Victor and I work as an illustrator/designer for Nickelodeon Games. I work as an art lead on a online game called PetPet Park, designing characters, backgrounds, props, and more.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I’ve worked many mundane jobs in my life, but one that is really pretty special to me is when I first moved to Los Angeles, I got work as a background performer, or “extra”. As I was unsuccessfully submitting my portfolio to studios, I made my living as a student/doctor/terrified pedestrian/casual onlooker, etc. I appeared in hundreds of TV shows and movies. As a huge film buff, it was incredible being on set watching some of my favorite directors work. You only earn a tiny paycheck, but being on set with Steven Spielberg or MartinÂ ScorseseÂ was a priceless experience. My other craziest job was working a few years at Universal Studios Hollywood. I was a show tech, which basically meant I had to set the stage explosives, hook the actors to their flying rigs, move set pieces around on stage, and in the case of Fear Factor Live, handle giant scorpions. All in a day’s work.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I am extremely proud of the work I’ve been doing for Nickelodeon. I enjoy that people all over the world have seen my work. I also really enjoyed some of the stints I had as a character designer at Warner Bros animation, and at East/West DVD, where I got to draw DVD covers for classic cartoons. It was my first real job in animation, and I am really proud of the work, even though it looks incredibly dated to my eyes today. (Of course, things I drew 3 weeks ago look dated to me, but that’s another story…)
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m from the Chicago suburbs, and after receiving the “Art of Star Wars” book as a youngster, I knew I wanted to be an artist. I was obsessed with comic books and cartoons as a kid, especially Batman the Animated Series. I filled my grade school notebooks with Continue reading