Saban Entertainment Group (SEG), a division of Saban Capital Group Inc., is building a virtual studio dedicated to incubating, developing, and marketing family entertainment. Led by Haim Saban and Saban Capital Group chief creative officer Joel Andryc, the venture will assemble freelance teams to identify and create both animated and live-action properties with multi-platform appeal. The first product of the new venture is a live-action/CG show titled Hollywood Star Dogs, which will be presented at MIPCOM next week in Cannes, France.
As part of its virtual studio initiative, SEG has also entered into a development deal with Singapore-based Tiny Island Animation, led by Singapore animation industry veteran David Kwok. SEG will provide development resources as the two entities develop an unnamed comedic CG-animated series that is scheduled to make its debut in 2007.
“I am thrilled to return to my roots and focus on developing media properties for children and families,’ says Saban. ‘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.”
For Hollywood Star Dogs, SEG has partnered with writer-producer-director Holly Goldberg Sloan, who has written screenplays for such family-friendly flicks as Angels in the Outfield, Made in America and The Big Green. Consisting of 26 half-hour episodes, the show features a troupe of live-action talking dogs portraying classic fairy tales. ‘With its unique use of live animals and advanced CG animation to tell timeless tales and other stories, it is a high-quality, distinctive property that lends itself to number of distribution outlets,’ comments Andryc.
Other properties being acquired and developed by SEG’s virtual studio and will be announced soon, according to the company.