TML Studios Wins Kidscreen Summit The BIG Pitch! Competition

Figure 01 - Ian Johnston in Big Pitch competition 01TML Studios and its founder Ian Johnston won the 2015 BIG Pitch! competition at Kidscreen Summit in Miami.

The highlight of the yearly Kidscreen Summit children’s TV conference is the BIG Pitch! event. Two finalist series are chosen to pitch and redevelop their concepts live on stage in front of a standing-room-only audience based on notes from a panel of industry experts.

TML Studios, led by founder Ian Johnston and joined by salesman Kehoe Floyd, brought their animated series, Bimey to the stage. They competed against The Flying Circus and their concept Inside Job.

Bimey was created by Tim and Ben Rowberry, who worked with TML Studios to develop their show. Bimey feels like most of us felt growing up, left out. He wants to belong so bad that he’ll do anything, despite the fact he has bombs for eyes.  No obstacle too tall or danger too great, Bimey will get through if it means he has a shot at belonging to the group of creatures in Woodland.

Pitching a show starring a character who has bombs for eyes may be nerve-wracking for some people, but not Johnston. “I was a little nervous about an hour before — at first. But I was personally living it up.  The energy was electric.  The audience was receptive.”

The panel of judges was receptive as well. On stage providing development notes and voting on the winner included Peter Gal, Head of Television Development at DreamWorks Animation, Sebastian Debertin, Head of Fiction, Acquisitions and Co-Productions for KIKA, Rich Maryyanek, CMO of Big Tent Entertainment, Orion Ross, Vice President Content, Animation and Digital at Disney Channels EMEA and Dave Skwarczek, Creative Director of Eat Your Lunch.

Figure 02 - Ian Johnston in Big Pitch competition 02“If you are thinking about entering next years’ The BIG Pitch!,” says Johnston, “Do it, but plan way ahead.  If you haven’t gone before, look into Mark and Jeanne Simon’s approach to perfect your pitch.  We couldn’t have done it without them.”

“We had been to Kidscreen Summit the year before with Mark and Jeanne, so we knew how to make the most of the conference. But Mark worked with us before The BIG Pitch! to make sure we were doing it right,” says Johnston.

For their win, TML Studios gets an ad in Kidscreen Magazine (may be valued up to $4500), and two tickets to Kidscreen 2016 (valued about $3400). But the biggest value was the opportunity to present both their idea and their creativity in front of the entire conference. Says Johnston, “We were approached by several interested companies right after we won.  They were interested in hearing, seeing, and understanding who TML Studios is and what else we’ve been up to. “