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Marie-Claude Beauchamp

Marie-Claude Beauchamp
Carpe Diem Film & TV
Pitching: Butterfly Academy

What is the biggest issue facing the animation industry?
One of the biggest challenges the pandemic brought was suddenly having all buyers’ and producers’ attention on your IP. To successfully achieve coproductions and pre-sales, you need to spend time with your potential partners, going in depth into the material and making sure you can build trust going forward. That face-to-face contact increases chemistry over a project, so we’ve missed that.

What is your company doing in response to this?
Like all animation producers, we’ve been challenged by the changes due to Covid, but we feel privileged to come out the other side with three ongoing projects. 2020/21 has given us a chance to focus on our development slate, and now we have a hefty portfolio.

Are physical animation studios essential or is working from home the future of the industry?
Working remotely, we’ve made a TV series and are eight months into production on a feature film. I’m thrilled with the productivity of our teams while working from home, but there are some creative aspects that require more than a 30-minute Zoom call. We’ve been having face-to-face meetings spread across the remote work we’ve been doing for the past few months. One upside of working from home being more acceptable is that it helps reconcile the work-family balance. We could see women getting better industry positions thanks to this.

How do you feel about Disney’s decision to close many of its TV channels around the world?
It’s very sad and worrisome to see such a reference slowly moving away. We strongly believe children and parents benefit from a safe place to watch high-quality programming where they can be entertained and educated, and the world will miss Disney channels because of this.

Tell us about the project you are pitching at Cartoon Forum.
We are thrilled to bring the universe of Butterfly Academy (52×11′) to the world with our partner Ulysses Film Production. The series is based on IP that was developed to produce a movie, TV series, books, music and a museum exhibition. It’s about a group of Monarch butterflies, which fly thousands of kilometres south every winter. The Butterfly Academy is an open-air school on life and nature that addresses diversity in many ways. One character is a disabled butterfly learning to be part of the group on his own terms. Topics such as the environment and wider science are also discussed in the show. The film is coming first, which allows us to reuse the assets from that for the upcoming TV series.



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