Tomorrow marks the end of a long road!
It’s been over seven years to bring a book I love to the screen, but on September 6th (at 4 pm), Trucktown debuts on preschool channel Treehouse in Canada, and will soon be rolling out all over the world.
At the Bologna Book Fair in 2007, I was shown the rough galleys to a high energy picture book called Smash-Crash by an author I didn’t know, but would later learn was a prolific and successful kids authors, called Jon Scieszka.
I took instantly to the book, it’s dynamic, unapologetically rambunctious tone, and clicked with Jon’s mission to inspire little boys to enjoy reading. We became fast friends, but after giving it my all, failed to get the TV show off ground.
Flash forward to 2010, when I decided to leave the comfy confines of being a corporate life and set out on my own as a writer and creative producer. I’d never forgotten about my love of Trucktown and desire to see it come to the screen. I’m a big believer in bringing books to the screen because they can inspire children to go back and read the books…a virtuous circle of media & literacy.
Meanwhile, I’d developed a great relationship with the executives at Canadian-based Nelvana Studios, and trusted them to make high quality kids TV. I pitched them a vision of the show and match-maked Jon with Nelvana. They clicked instantly and we all got down to the long and important process of what’s called “development,” finding the essence of the show and charting a course to execute it brilliantly.
We brought on two amazing head writers, Hugh Duffy & Carolyn Hay, and a fantastic team of writers to bring Jon’s 50 books to life across 80 episodes of smash-crash TV. Our director, Robin Budd, brought an arrestingly hilarious visual style and a pitch-perfect sense of comic timing. Our in-house development executive Christina Sang-St.Catherine kept us all on track with the core vision and storytelling and Jane Crawford, our producer, made sure we delivered exceptional TV that actually arrived on time and on budget. All of this was under the watchful leadership of studio head (aka big boss, and someone I’ve learned so much from) Irene Weibel. It takes a village to make a show and what I love about Trucktown is that everyone on the show sees it as their show – everyone feels like the own it.
I hope you tune in to Treehouse and enjoy the adventures of Jack, Dan, Max and their Trucktown pals….
If you’re in the UK, Jon and I will be at the Bath Festival of Children’s Literature together on the 5th of August, 2014.
We’ll be talking a lot about his exciting new Frank Einstein book series, but I’m sure we’ll sneak in a little Trucktown as well!
And if you’re in Canada, don’t miss the Treehouse Big Day Out in Toronto.
Jon will be on hand to introduce a very special episode of Trucktown!
Happy watching! Happy reading!
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