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Press Release: ANIMATION SERIES HUSHABYE LULLABYE FOR PRE-SCHOOL CHILDREN UNDER ITS MARAKIDS BRAND

Maramedia, the Glasgow-based Indie specialising in top-end natural history documentaries announces an exciting new addition to their MARAKIDS brand - HUSHABYE LULLABYE is a super soft quirky animation series for pre-school children for CBeebies.

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HUSHABYE LULLABYE has been created to incorporate the powerful benefits of lullabies in a way that is both loving and playful for young children.  This delightful series of short animations is a Scottish collaboration that has been created, written and directed by Glasgow-based Sacha Kyle, an established television and theatre director; together with animators Once Were Farmers of Stirling and Maramedia delivering the series with executive producer Simon Parsons.  Composer is Giles Lamb and 3D animation is by Will Adams.   Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Julia Bond and the series is for delivery by year end.

This new pre-school animation series is super soft quirky, full of music, lullabies and cuddles providing a sense of calm before quiet time and sleep.  Join the loveable little alien Dillie Dally in each of 10 x 3minute episodes as he climbs aboard the Hushabye Rocket on an interactive and relaxing musical journey of exploration and discovery to Planet Dream, a wonderfully soft and cosy place.  The soothing power of lullabies is charming and totally captivating. 

 “Hushabye Lullabye has been created to incorporate the powerful benefits of lullabies in a way which is both loving and playful, and I am passionate about bringing the tradition of lullabies to contemporary early years’ audiences,” said Sacha Kyle, Creator/Writer of Hushabye Lullabye.

Maramedia, co-founded by Nigel Pope and Jackie Savery, has had a string of natural history documentary successes and was joined by former head of BBC Scotland children’s production – Simon Parsons to expand their children’s output with exciting new innovative children’s programming for its Marakids brand.

“We are delighted to be embarking on our first pre-school children’s animation series, an exciting addition to Marakids following the launch of previous series “Gudrun the Viking Princess” for CBeebies”, added Nigel Pope, Co-Founder and Creative Director, Maramedia.

Commissioning Editor for CBeebies, Julia Bond said, “We’re thrilled to be in production on this exciting new animation series. The magical and enchanting world of Hushabye Lullabye brings lullabies, and the connections created by them, to our young audience and the grown-ups in their lives”.

“Once Were Farmers are thrilled to be part of this charming CBeebies commission. We've really enjoyed helping Sacha realise her vision for Hushabye Lullabye and think young audiences will love the unique and tactile style of animation," said Will Adams, Director, Once Were Farmers.

Maramedia and Once Were Farmers are also two of the first recipients of the Screen Scotland broadcast content fund specifically created to develop new television content produced by home-grown Scottish talent. 

Hushabye Lullabye

10 x 3mins episodes for broadcast on CBeebies 

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Production of the New Blue-Chip Natural History Trilogy Series Stormborn with Maramedia

Produced in association with Smithsonian Channel, ARTE, BBC Scotland, and Screen Scotland

Blue Ant International oversees licensing of Stormborn and will feature the 4K three-part series at Sunny Side of the Doc 2019

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(La Rochelle, FR – June 24, 2019) – Love Nature 4K announces the greenlight and start of production of the new blue-chip natural history series Stormborn (working title) (3 x 50’; 4K and HD), produced by Scotland-based Maramedia, and in association with Smithsonian Channel, ARTE France, BBC Scotland, and Screen Scotland. Stormborn tells the story of one dramatic breeding year in the wildlands of countries on the edge of the North Atlantic. Stormborn will have its world broadcast premiere on Love Nature 4K’s linear and streaming video platforms internationally in 2020, followed by premieres on Smithsonian Channel, BBC Scotland, and ARTE in France and Germany. Blue Ant International will oversee the licensing of Stormborn, which is now available for pre-sale.

“Love Nature is committed to bringing viewers closer to nature, through heartfelt storytelling and stunning 4K cinematography. Stormborn helps us deliver on all fronts,” says Carlyn Staudt, EVP, Love Nature 4K. “Also, we are thrilled to co-produce this high-end, blue-chip series with such an amazing roster of partners. The final product will no doubt have global appeal.”

“Creating animal drama is our speciality here at Maramedia. Showcasing these unusual and charismatic species as they battle the wild climate of the North will help us a build a narrative that’s alive with beauty, danger, and savage drama,” says Nigel Pope and Jackie Savery, Directors, Maramedia. “The team at Maramedia is thrilled to be working with Love Nature and all of our partners on this exciting new series.”

Stormborn is a three-part series with a unique approach to storytelling. This natural history trilogy follows animals that survive on the northern edges of the Atlantic Ocean. Against a backdrop of ice-carved rock, towering seas and fierce storms, otters, arctic foxes, and reindeer, struggle to make homes, find mates, and raise their young, the Stormborn.

Production of the series will continue from now until November 2019 in various locations including Norway, Iceland, and the Shetland Islands, Scotland.

Stormborn is created by Maramedia. The series is produced and directed by Jackie Savery and Nigel Pope. Executive producers for the Smithsonian Channel include Tria Thalman and David Royle. Alison Barrat, VP, Development & Production will executive produce the series on behalf of Love Nature. Blue Ant International handles the series licensing.

Love Nature is a modern 4K natural history content brand that is platform agnostic. Love Nature reaches viewers and lovers of wildlife on whatever platform they use, from linear, OTT, VOD, YouTube, and more. We go where the consumer is watching. As such, Love Nature continues to grow and expand while offering viewers a chance to get closer to nature through both powerful stories about the natural world and stunning 4K and HDR footage. Our goal is to foster a deeper understanding of and connection to the planet we call home through our content, which is one of the largest libraries of 4K natural history programming in the world. Love Nature is a joint venture between Blue Ant Media and Smithsonian Networks. Engage with us at lovenature.com / Twitter / Facebook / YouTube / Instagram

Based in Scotland UK, Maramedia create award-winning world-class Natural History content for broadcast across a variety of platforms for international clients, including the BBC, Blue Ant Media, ITVG, PBS, National Geographic, France Televisions, Arte and ORF, working with key talent like David Attenborough, Ewan McGregor and David Tennant. Multi award-winning, Maramedia’s productions have a hallmark of quality – showcasing the natural world in a spectacular way, as well highlighting the issues it faces. We like to be social! Follow us: www.maramedia.co.uk / Twitter / Facebook / Instagram

Smithsonian Channel™, owned by Smithsonian Networks™, a joint venture between Showtime Networks Inc. and the Smithsonian Institution, is where curiosity lives, inspiration strikes and wonders never cease. This is the place for awe-inspiring stories, powerful documentaries and amazing factual entertainment, available in HD and 4K Ultra HD across multiple platforms. Smithsonian Channel, winner of Emmy® and Peabody awards for its programming, combines the storytelling prowess of SHOWTIME® with the unmatched resources and rich traditions of the Smithsonian, to create programming that shines new light on popular genres such as air and space, travel, history, science, nature and pop culture. Among the network’s offerings are series including Aerial America, America in Color, The Lost Tapes, Mighty Ships, Million Dollar American Princesses, The Pacific War in Color and Air Disasters, as well as critically-acclaimed specials that include The Coronation, The Mountain Lion and Me, Earth from Outer Space and Titanoboa: Monster Snake. Smithsonian Networks also operates Smithsonian Channel Plus™, a subscription video streaming service delivering over a thousand hours of the Channel’s stunning and diverse library of documentaries and series in HD and 4K Ultra HD. Smithsonian Channel is also available internationally in Canada, Singapore, Latin America and the UK. To learn more, go towww.smithsonianchannel.com, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

ARTE
A French-German channel that showcases Europe’s rich cultural diversity. Founded by an interstate treaty signed by France and Germany in 1990, ARTE is a public service television channel and its mission is to strengthen understanding and ties amongst people in Europe with culture and inspiring innovative programs. The ARTE Group is made up of three separate companies: the Strasbourg based European Economic Interest Grouping ARTE GEIE plus two member companies acting as editorial and program production centres, ARTE France in Paris and ARTE Deutschland in Baden-Baden. These two companies provide three-quarters of ARTE’s programming in equal proportion, the remainder being provided by ARTE GEIE and the channel’s European partners. 65 % of the programs are documentaries, which represents 91 hours a week. ARTE is available in six languages, so 360 million Europeans can watch in their mother tongue. All the programs go out in French and German, and hundreds of hours of factual programming are subtitled in English, Spanish, Polish and Italian. More information on arte.tv

Screen Scotland is the dedicated partnership for screen in Scotland. With funding from Scottish Government and the National Lottery, Screen Scotland is driving the cultural, social and economic development of all aspects of the sector in Scotland, through enhanced funding, services and support. Screen Scotland sits within Creative Scotland and is a partnership with Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Funding Council, working in close collaboration with the sector to ensure its success. www.screen.scot @screenscots

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Case Study: STORMBORN. A $1.5 Mn Wildlife Coproduction by Love Nature, Smithsonian Channel, ARTE, BBC Scotland & Screen Scotland. Maramedia is the Producer

Article quoted from documentarytelevision.com

The sharing of costs and rights on editorial partnerships is becoming increasingly important in the ‘Netflix Era.’

Our STORMBORN Case Study is an inspiring example of a successful coproduction.

It’s the story of how a medium-sized Scottish production company developed a compelling Natural History concept that attracted the multiple partners who could realize a limited series budgeted at $1.5 million.

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Concept

  • On the wild northern edge of the Atlantic Ocean is a land of fire and ice. This is a place of active volcanoes, towering seas, fierce storms, and frozen rivers. To raise your family here seems With the odds stacked so heavily against you, even surviving seems a feat of endurance. But special clans of animals do survive here and survive in style. They’re otters, arctic foxes, reindeer, puffins, seals, and orca. Against this background of ice-carved rock, they must work to make homes, find mates, and raise their special youngsters – THE STORMBORN.

Trailer

https://vimeo.com/340651435/a42718827c

First Pitch

  • The idea was originally pitched by Glasgow-based Maramedia to Love Nature at MIPTV in 2018,

  • Discussions continued during Sunnyside of the Doc where Love Nature, in partnership with Smithsonian Channel, confirmed their greenlight pending financing.

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About Maramedia

  • Maramedia has developed an expertise in filming in Scotland and the Nordic countries.

  • Nigel Pope is a pioneer of dramatic character-led Natural History, but his approach had never been used with these unusual animals in fabulous and iconic Northern Landscapes.

In recent years we have been fortunate to work in many remote northern landscapes with animals rarely seen in blue-chip programming. However, we had never seen a series that focused on this part of the world and on the dramatic stories of the animals that live here. So this seemed like an ideal marrying of spectacular species and locations with drama-based storylines of animal clans facing the same elemental forces of extreme weather. And of course, we’re a tough Northern lot and love a challenge like this. Nigel Pope

Intended format

  • 3-part limited series.

Blue Ant Media’s Love Nature brand

Carlyn Staudt, Blue Ant’s EVP of Programming & Development described how STORMBORN fits into Love Nature’s mission:

  • Love Nature is a modern 4k natural history content brand that is platform agnostic.

  • It is a joint venture between Blue Ant Media and Smithsonian Networks hat was formed in 2015.

  • Love Nature reaches viewers and lovers of wildlife on whatever platform they use, from linear, OTT, VOD, YouTube, and more. We go where the consumer is watching.

  • We continue to offer viewers a chance to get closer to nature through both powerful stories about the natural world and stunning 4k and HDR footage.

  • Our goal is to foster a deeper understanding of and connection to the planet we call home through our content, which is one of the largest libraries of 4K natural history programming in the world.”

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How STORMBORN realizes Blue Ant’s strategy

Editorial:

  • “Love Nature’s new editorial strategy has been to focus on story-driven content celebrating the complexity of life on earth and engaging viewers at a heartfelt level while at the same time fostering deeper knowledge about the natural world.

  • The STORMBORN wildlife trilogy tells the intimate, family stories of the key species found in the northern Atlantic that form the narrative of this series.

  • The storytelling carefully intertwines each location and species to reveal in surprising ways the animal’s lives in this particular location.

  • This series also helps us realize our goal of getting viewers closer to nature through stunning 4K and HDR content that really pops on-screen.”

Business Strategy:

  • “From a business perspective, the series fits perfectly with Love Nature’s strategy to co-produce high end, Blue Chip natural history content that is story driven and has global appeal.”

 

Development

  • Nigel Pope and Jackie Savery pitched Carlyn at MIPTV 2018.

  • Then Alison Barrat, who is head of development & production for Love Nature worked with Tria Thalman, EP for Natural History at Smithsonian Channel, to develop the concept further with Maramedia.

  • Further editorial and financing discussions happened at Sunny Side of the Doc and the project was greenlit by Love Nature, in partnership with Smithsonian Channel, pending full financing.

  • Maramedia pitched ARTE at Sunnyside and ARTE confirmed their contribution a few months later.

  • Maramedia also worked to pitch BBC Scotland and Screen Scotland who confirmed their involvement late in the fall of 2018.

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Partners

  • Love Nature, Smithsonian Channel, ARTE, BBC Scotland, Screen Scotland

Production Timeline

I asked Maramedia’s Nigel Pope about the timeline:

  • “We started filming in February 2019 with stormy seas of Shetland and a young otter family learning to fishing in the waves.

  • We have also completed filming trips to the remote and dramatic Hornstrandir peninsula of Iceland where we secured access in a difficult time of year to film Arctic foxes pairing up in the worst of the winter storms.

  • In Norway, our team captured some truly breathtaking and mesmerising behavior of the vast herds of reindeer in the high mountains.

  • Our filming team has also just returned from some exciting new shoots with reindeer babies and the first returns of the comical seabirds – puffins.

  • We have many more exciting filming trips scheduled for the coming months and look forward to taking the first show into the edit in the late summer.”

Field Production

  • Filming spans February to November 2019 (although it is not every day between these dates).

  • Most cinematography by Fergus Gill, Peter Barden and Asgeir Helgestad.

  • Maramedia’s team approach means that both Jackie Savery and Nigel Pope are working to write and craft the series in

  • Their key challenge? Weather! Weather! Weather!

Format

  • 4K & HDR

Post-production

  • Episode 1 starts cutting in August 2019.

Production Budget

  • Estimate: US$1.5m

  • Estimated contributions:

    • Love Nature 60%

    • ARTE 15%

    • BBC Scotland 17%

    • Screen Scotland 8%

Delivery

  • The series delivers to Love Nature in April 2020.

  • Separate versions: Love Nature, Smithsonian Channel, ARTE, BBC Scotland

Distribution

  • Blue Ant International will handle global distribution for the series outside the committed markets.

Scheduled Release

  • Premiere on Love Nature in the fall of 2020.

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Key Takeaways from Love Nature

I asked Carlyn Staudt what does the project’s successful development tell us about the Wildlife genre today?

  • “Wildlife is a genre that easily has global appeal.

  • There is still an appetite with regional terrestrial partners and brands that have global reach like Love Nature.

  • Strengthening storytelling is a way that we evolve the genre past just survey films about locations.

  • By reaching viewers at a heartfelt level and showing similarities between animals and ourselves we can create emotional connections to nature in a deeper and more meaningful way.”

And about the relevance of coproductions?

  • “The success of projects like STORMBORN is all about finding ways to creatively window and share rights.

  • Therefore, co-production can work well with Blue Chip Natural History projects.

  • Coproduction is often needed in this genre in order to realize ambitious budgets. Partners can still be found in this space.”

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MARAMEDIA AMONG FIRST RECIPIENTS OF SCREEN SCOTLAND'S BROADCAST CONTENT FUND

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Wildlife TV specialists, Maramedia (Born to Be Wild, Hebrides–Islands on the Edge, Highlands-Scotland's Wild Heart) have received £118,500 to produce Stormborn (working title), a new three-part series exploring wildlife in the North Atlantic, to be broadcast on BBC Scotland. Stormborn will also be broadcast and distributed by Canadian-based Blue Ant Media. This award will enable Maramedia to continue their work to establish Scotland as a hub for natural history TV production and develop internationally renowned natural history talent.

Nigel Pope, Creative Director at Maramedia said,

Stormborn brings together Blue Ant Media (a major player in the SVOD world through its Love Nature platforms) with BBC Scotland, Screen Scotland and Arte France in a really unique way. Its creative both in an editorial sense and as a new sort of financing model. The Broadcast Content Fund closed the final gap in the finance plan, so it was really important to us and I’m sure we’ll be working with the Screen Scotland team a lot in the future.”

Six independent Scottish production companies have received a total of £900,500 to create new TV content.

Happy Tramp NorthMaramedia, MatchlightOnce Were FarmersPirate Productions and Very Nice are the first recipients of Screen Scotland’s £3million Broadcast Content Fund. The awards represent a range of new projects, enabling companies to elevate their creative and commercial ambition, through support of single project and slate development and production.

Isabel Davis, Executive Director at Screen Scotland said,

“Creating the right conditions for Scotland’s independent film and television producers and companies to grow is essential, if we are to help them achieve the recognition they deserve and drive their economic and creative success.

“We’ve been inspired by the quality and range of work coming to us for support, and encouraged that the fund is making a real difference: be it creating the opportunity for producers to acquire exciting intellectual property, increase the resources to develop content, or enable important Scottish stories of scale to get into production.”

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