Saban Entertainment Group brings a Virtual Studio product to Mipcom

MUMBAI: Saban Entertainment Group (SEG) has launched a new venture dedicated to incubating, developing and marketing family entertainment properties.

The new virtual studio will unveil its first project, Hollywood Star Dogs, at the upcoming television trade event Mipcom in Cannes, France. The event takes place from 9-13 October 2006
Led by Haim Saban and Saban Capital Group chief creative officer, Joel Andryc, the new venture will leverage the executives’ access to world-class financial and creative resources, including industry-leading producers, writers, artists, production houses and grass roots marketers, to create a virtual studio that employs targeted freelance teams for every project.

The new venture will focus on identifying and creating intellectual properties and brands capable of being distributed across numerous multi-media platforms and connecting with audiences across a variety of entertainment genres, with a particular focus on new media.

Haim Saban said, “I am thrilled to return to my roots and focus on developing media properties for children and families. The SEG team’s extensive background in children’s entertainment gives us unique expertise in recognizing breakthrough creative content. We will bring together specialized freelance talent to help develop, brand and promote each project. This strategy will enable us to create a best-in-class studio that is custom tailored for the needs of each individual project.”

Andryc said, “In today’s new media environment, we plan to capitalize on cutting-edge interactive technologies to engage the youth market. Our audience will discover and experience unique characters and story content through the media outlet they prefer; be it broadcast, cable, VOD, broadband/internet, direct-to-home-video, videogames or mobile devices.”

For their first virtual studio project, SEG has partnered with Holly Goldberg Sloan. Hollywood Star Dogs features a troupe of live-action talking dogs portraying classic fairy tales.

Andryc ads, "We were instantly drawn to Hollywood Star Dogs because of the property’s innovative take on classic literature. With its unique use of live animals and advanced CGI animation to tell timeless tales and other stories, it is a high quality, distinctive property that lends itself to number of distribution outlets. It has been a pleasure to work with Holly. She is a great creative talent and together we are confident that we can build Hollywood Star Dogs into a successful entertainment franchise and an enduring evergreen brand."

As part of its new virtual studio, SEG has also entered into a development deal with Tiny Island Animation, a Singapore-based animation studio led by David Kwok, a veteran leader in the Singapore animation industry. SEG will provide development resources to Tiny Island Animation, which focuses on producing computer-generated entertainment for international television audiences. A comedic CGI animated series is already currently in development and is expected to make its debut in 2007.

SEG’s virtual studio, which will focus on developing a limited number of projects at any given time, is currently in the advanced stages of negotiation and/or development of several other properties, which will be announced shortly.

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