If you are in Chicago, stop by the Pilcrow Lit Fest. My panel is at 2pm.
Article in KidsScreen about the Kaimira / BBC Worldwide deal.
With the aim of cementing its North American operations and becoming more of a global property powerhouse, BBC Worldwide is taking a new approach to the high stakes business of property acquisition. “We are looking for properties that can be developed at the onset with cross-media elements, explains Susanna Pollock, the group’s SVP of TV sales, co-productions and children’s, who stepped into her new post on April 1.
Right about now, you might be thinking, “Sure, sure, you and everyone else.” But it’s not just empty rhetoric, in this case. BBCW has already put its money where its mouth is, signing a deal with Pollock’s old company Star Farm Productions to co-develop an animated series, website, MMOG and possibly a feature film based on a story arc called Kaimira.
The boy-skewing property’s website is already live on http://kaimiracode.com, and the next phase of rollout will take place this summer when Walker Books and Candlewick Press launch Book One: The Sky Village in the UK, the US, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.
Kaimira is set on Earth in the distant future, and the central narrative thrust is that humans, animals and machines are locked in a battle for supremacy; only teenager Kaimira can restore harmony. Pollock was drawn to the property’s rich and deep mythology and environments because they have natural potential for exploitation on a number of platforms. “It’s a robust world,” she says.
Pollock will be keeping a close eye on the market for additional animation and live-action concepts for the pre-tween set, and her goal is to strike up new North American production partnerships to bring them to life. She will also be building up the Beeb’s New York-based office with a team that can handle a bigger property portfolio. “Once we get to the point [with the new properties] of L&M, marketing and home entertainment releases, we want to be able to run all of that activity out of the US office,” she says.
First, I’m hoping the property won’t be too “boy-skewing.” I can see how people would think that, but I’m trying pretty hard to keep it as gender neutral as I can, knowing that it might skew one way or the other depending on the medium.
Second, the line “only teenager Kaimira can restore harmony” makes it sound like there is a teenager named Kaimira. In fact, there are a few teenagers, none of them named Kaimira, but each has the potential of becoming a kaimira (a sort of biotech chimera).
Imagine an attack by a swarm of armed micromachines … or a bioweapon small enough to fit in a suitcase and deadly enough to destroy the human race.
It’s the stuff of Hollywood storylines, but to the U.S. government such plots are potentially very real and very dangerous. So the government has turned to an unlikely source for help in identifying these threats: science-fiction writers. Read the rest here.
It’s a group of science fiction writers called SIGMA. They offer their services to government agencies, free of charge, to dream up potential threats to the United States. I wonder which one has dibs on writing the novel about a SIGMA-like group and the day one of their chimerical prophecies comes true.
Neal Stephenson’s Hugo-award winning masterpiece The Diamond Age is being made into a SciFi Channel miniseries. The Diamond Age tells the story of a group of neo-Victorians who’ve embraced strait-laced ethics and craftsmanship as a response to the infinite possibilities of nanotechnology. It features a stupendously imaginative interactive storybook, moments of convulsive hilarity, and a lovely explanation of Turing-complete computing. It’s my second-favorite Stephenson novel (after Cryptonomicon), so don’t screw it up, SciFi!
SCI FI Channel unveiled a new slate of programs in development, which includes shows from executive producers George Clooney, Darren Star and Mark Burnett. SCI FI made the announcement Jan. 12 at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour in Pasadena, Calif.
Diamond Age, based on Neal Stephenson’s best-selling novel The Diamond Age: Or a Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer, is a six-hour miniseries from Clooney and fellow executive producer Grant Heslov of Smokehouse Productions.
All I can say is please please please please please don’t mess this one up. It’s one of my all-time favorite books.
Update: I just read that Neal Stephenson is writing the screenplay, which gives me hope.