Friday, November 2, 2007

And now, for November

So, things are wrapping on Johnny Test and Delilah & Julius this month. I want to thank everyone who did such an amazing job on both shows. They really came out top notch. I’ll be seeing you all at the wrap party on the 17th.

Which begs the question; what’s next? Well, a (hopefully short) hiatus is what’s immediately next. Things are still progressing positively on the Xmas special I’ve been talking about in the last few postings. But no, that’s not all we’ve been working on. Steve’s been talking with our friends at Cookie Jar about setting up more of a consistent pipeline with them, and those talks are going well. We are also quoting on a very large show for another company (with whom we’ve worked before) that would see the studio in a 2 year cycle on that job alone. As you may guess, the larger a job is, the more complex the deal becomes, so it’s still in the quoting and negotiation stage. We also got a call from a group in England who had us quote on some commercial work. Mmmm, English pounds sterling. Drool.... Steve’s also doing some traveling next week to Australia to drum up business there with both Aussies and with other Canadians who will be on the trip.

I also just this morning got a call from an ally of ours in Montreal who’s interested in having us quote on a 26 episode show. I also got a request from a large video game publisher who’s interested in 2D animation for games they’re developing for the Nintendo DS. On the new media side, we’re also doing 2 more jobs for MSN and Ford, still waiting on word back on the Bell Fund application (it’s for a show called Mystery Hunters), and I got an interesting call from another company with whom we’ve worked before, who are interested in looking at our developing a MMOG virtual world application. Oh, and some guys in New York emailed me out of the blue as well to talk establishing a relationship to develop casual games for them.

So as usual, I must be vague. I apologize for it, but my policy has always been not to announce any deals before the cheque is in the bank. I’ve been a victim of my own enthusiasm before, and as those of you who know me know, I’m a cautious guy. Rest assured that we’re working hard on the next chapter of Collideascope, and as soon as we know more, you’ll know more as well.

I know that not many of you read this. Please let your colleagues know that I think you all rock.


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

September down. October looms.

Well, the Bell fund proposal got done, with several sleepless nights on my part, along with some very nice creative from Anne-Renee and a welcome assist from Mirco. Between the budgeting, the scheduling, the creative, and the not knowing what the result of the proposal will be, I’ve gotta say that these proposals aren’t topping the list of my favourite things. If it goes, it’ll start in December, with the main bulk of work starting in February ‘08.

In TV land, there are a few proposals for series we’re now working on, and I’m still doing follow-up from the OIAF. The new NS provincial tax credit has certainly spurred interest in NS as a production destination. Steve’s going to be pitching that at MIPCOM and will do a Toronto trip as a follow up to pound the pavement.

On the new media front, the MSN job is taking longer than I had thought, but we’ve finished our work on the Total Drama Island website, and I’ve gotten requests for 4 more MSN jobs. Seems they like me. I knew that if I used enough Axe body spray, it would eventually pay off...

Friday, September 21, 2007

Back from Ottawa

Well, the Ottawa Animation Fest conference was a pile o’ fun. I met with about a dozen people from California to Brazil to right across our good Dominion. My big theme for this festival was “coproduction and codevelopment”, as I’m wanting to freshen our original IP slate. From that perspective, I came back with some good foundations of relationships that I’m thinking we can parlay into a strong set of new stuff to pitch. So now, to get it going!

Apart from that, I’m working on a Bell Fund proposal to get in by October 1, along with a Beauty & Fashion interactive for MSN. A busy week lies ahead.

Monday, September 10, 2007

What's up for the week of September 10th

I got berated by Anne-Renee for not having updated the blog for a bit. My apologies to everyone who reads this. After a week’s delay, I finally did get down to New York on Thursday, and had meetings to talk about potential for us ramping up for a series for November. It turns out that the producers in question have had a delay to their start date as the broadcasters have requested more detail to their proposal. As a result, that one’s on ice for the foreseeable future. However, the Christmas special we’ve been quietly working on bringing in seems to be making some headway.

The other NY meeting I had was with Microsoft. We’ve been working with them for over a year now, and this is the first time I’ve gotten to meet them face-to-face. A good meeting was held, with all involved discussing a variety of projects centering on Collideascope providing enhanced media for MSN on their Messenger platform. Currently, we’re shooting video for a Beauty & Fashion agent for them, which will go live on the American Messenger in October.

We’re also working on a Bell fund application for our friends at Apartment 11 Productions to do an enhanced new media presence for their show Mystery Hunters. 20 days and counting to have that in. Eek!

And I’ll be attending The Animation Conference (TAC) at the Ottawa Animation Festival on September the 19th to the 20th. I’m currently booking meetings and if anyone knows any industry types they like and think I should meet and greet, please email me and let me know.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Toronto - New York - Toronto

Steve did a trip last week and finally got a chance to meet with Cookie Jar up there. These things go slowly, but the meeting went well, with them expressing that our job on JT is looking really good. Thanks to everyone working on this.

I’m off to New York at the end of next week to talk things over with several players in the TV and new media industries. The it’s off to Toronto for me to hit up a few more producers in preparation for the TAC conference for the Ottawa Animation Festival at the end of October. At that point, Steve will also be doing Strategic Partners at the Atlantic Film Fest. September is festival season, which also includes the Toronto Film Festival. Much getting to know people over the next month and a bit.

There are also a few smaller potential things down the pipe, but of course, the mantra is don’t make any plans until the cheque is in the bank. ;)

Friday, August 10, 2007


Hmm, it’s been a little while... In the interim, the broadband animation thing has gone on hold while a few people in California do some vacationing. However the hour long special has made some progress and we’re in the process of working out budgets and schedules. The series is in a slight limbo whilst the producers work out some of the Canadian logistics of the deal. Pretty vague, eh? Unfortunately, if I named names, they’d all have to kill me....

One of the MSN jobs came through, though. Yours truly (and some experts) is going to be showing women all across America how to put their makeup on right. :) It’s a weird job, this...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Thursday - some good meetings!

Well, it started out with a meeting with MSN Canada, wherein I talked with them about doing some activity window work with a new, and rather large, international client. Everyone left that one enthused. Then it was on to CBC to go over the pitch for the live action show Hasmi and I are working on, Second Coming. CBC’ll probably pass, but the useful thing is that I’m learning how to do a really good pitch, which is transferable to all genres including – you guessed it – animation. Then it was off to a meeting with Wowtv, who are looking at doing animated shows that would cross over into a network of dedicated screens placed in different locations in the world, that users could interact with to make more content. A very cool long term relationship is developing there, but nothing immediate. Then I had a quick call with Warner Canada, who are developing a network of premium partners to develop cel phone content for. I’m trying to position us to do specialised animation for that network. Finally, I have a call with some potential partners on that 52 x 11 TV project for an update and to figure out our next steps in trying to get that through the door. After that, it’s off to another meeting with Hasmi to talk about the next series we’re developing – live action drama.

Busy day. Good day!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Off to Toronto

Off to meet people, pitch, and talk with Hasmi, my writing partner about the script for Second Coming, the comedy we’re writing, as well as another project that’ll be more of a biological sci-fi drama. Here’s the shortlist of who I’m meeting over the next 3 days:

Redfish Entertainment
Microsoft Canada

And I’m going to try and squeeze Portfolio entertainment in as well to talk animation. Gotta make the price of the ticket worth it...

Monday, July 23, 2007

Price was too high

Sigh. This is always the thing with doing estimates. I got back today to find that the game price I quoted was too high, so I have to “de-deluxe” it a bit to make it fit what they want. It’s always a cat-and-mouse game trying to figure out what’s available and how polished you can make it. Of course, no one wants to hear first off, “I gave you the cheapest price with the caveat that this will all look like crap”.

Friday, July 20, 2007


Still working on the budget for the MSN game. I hope everyone has a great time on the boat cruise. I won’t be there, unfortunately.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Stevo in Toronto for CFTPA

Steve’s off to Toronto to do some politicking for the CFTPA with ACTRA. It’s a long story, but the important thing is that Steve’s presence at, and value to, the CFTPA (Canadian Film & TV Producers’ Association) gives us great access into a very personal network of Canada’s cream of the crop as far as other TV producers and production companies go. Though all of this is pretty hidden and not often talked about, these relationships help us get work through the door that lets us “punch above our weight” for an animation studio way out on the East coast.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Tonight's agenda consists of...

2 proposals for MSN US. One’s for a trivia game, the other is for a sort of online lifestyle show. They’re supposed to be in for tomorrow, but I may be able to push them a few days. I’ll probably need to push them. The creative is getting complex...

The backlog right now

Here are some of the projects I’ve been working on recently. Sorry I can’t name some names, but I’m under non-disclosure:

  1. Working on getting in a 44 min Christmas special.
  2. Working on getting in a hybrid New Media / TV project.
  3. Working on getting in a 52 x 11 min TV project.

Other TV:
  1. Building a development / production alliance with WowTV, a producer in Toronto.
  2. Building a similar alliance with RedFish Entertainment, another producer in Toronto
  3. Writing and pitching a live action comedy called Second Coming, about the son of God being a slacker ski bum who’s hiding out in Banff.

New Media:
  1. Doing animation for the online version of Total Drama Island, with Xenophile in Toronto.
  2. Did a Ford Escape promotion for MSN in the US for their Messenger platform.
  3. Just finished doing the Live Earth promotion for MSN (and Al Gore!). If you have a PC, sign up Say “hi”, and hit the “Accept” link. It’s pretty cool. (doesn’t work on Mac Messenger :(  )
  4. Doing 3 or 4 more proposals for MSN US – Games, video pieces, and interactive ads.
  5. Doing a proposal for 2 interactive TV applications.
  6. Doing a bit of work for the Construction Association of Nova Scotia. (Yeah, I know – WTF? Long story.)
  7. Maintaining a small kids entertainment area for Aliant broadband, which I’m hoping will turn into something larger.

That doesn’t include all the stuff that Steve’s working on. There’s a fair amount of business development going on, but until now, I’ve kind of sucked at letting people know. Hopefully this here blog will change that.

Hi, all; I'm M-A.

Hi, all. It's come to my recent* attention that a lot of people at Collideascope have no idea what I do, let alone who I am. Furthermore, it's also come to my recent* attention that a lot of people have no idea what goes on up on the 4th floor. 

So, using the power of the information superhighway, I figured I could make one of these so-called "web logs" that I heard were all the rage on Live at 5.

Umm, that's it for now. Oh yeah. If anyone has any questions about Collideascope or whatnot that the normal lines of communication can't answer, feel free to send me an email. m-a [at] collideascope [dot] com.

*not recent