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David Michel

David Michel
President and co-founder
Cottonwood Media
Pitching: Welcome to Lolyland

What is the biggest issue facing the animation industry right now?
The consolidation of the streamers. This means a smaller number of buyers and, therefore, fewer opportunities and avenues to find partners for new shows.

What is your company doing in response to this?
More than ever, responding to this challenge is about quality – being seen among some of the best content providers – and finding the right niche where the level of competition is a bit less intense. In our case, premium live action has been a very good example of this, as there is a low number of production companies with the production experience for content of this type that is of a high quality. As far as animation is concerned, we are also developing more niche content in order to stand out from the cohort of other good producers that are all looking at that broad, classic 6-9 space.

How do you see the rise of the metaverse impacting animation?
I see it impacting production by reducing animation time and allowing directors to work faster and more creatively. As for the type of content we are producing, I’m not sure it will have an impact on our younger viewers (6-11s), as most of them will not be able to use the metaverse tools in the next few years.

Virtual reality helmets are either forbidden or not recommended for kids who are under 8-9. Social media accounts cannot be opened by those under 12-13 in most countries and the majority of kids do not have access to NFT wallets. Obviously, this doesn’t mean that some of our audience will not be using the metaverse, but I don’t see it impacting the content they’re watching in the coming years.

Older audiences – tweens and teenagers – will obviously become key users for the metaverse, and this is probably where the content offering is going to evolve and change substantially.

How do you work with YouTube Kids and is it a platform that supports high-quality animation producers?
We have not been actively involved with YouTube Kids.

Tell us about the project you are pitching at Cartoon Forum.
Welcome to Lolyland (52×12′) is a comedy-adventure series that targets 6-10s and has a hilarious medieval setting. It starts with the story of Penny, our girl lead, who wakes up one day in a strange world populated by unicorns, cyclopes, dragons and all sorts of weird and comedic animals – and none of them have ever seen a human before. The series deals with Penny’s quest to find her way home and the far-out adventures on which she will have to go with her strange new friends, while also completing missions for Lolyland’s bossy and wacky ruler, Granny Loly.


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