Geronimo Stilton Travels on Harmony to Resolve Mysteries
Both companies are partnered again to produce Season II, twenty six new episodes to be completed by the Fall of 2011.
The company’s licensing division manages the international licensing initiatives for the Geronimo Stilton brand all of its franchise properties the company is the appointed Italian licensing agent for Moonscoop’s Code Lyoko, Growing Up Creepie and Dive Olly Dive and most recently was appointed the Italian licensing agent of Antoine De Saint-Exupery’s internationally famous Le Petit Prince. Atlantyca is a co-production partner and distributor (in Italy only) for Dive Olly Dive (Season I and II).
Atlantyca’s foreign rights sales department is the licensor of the Geronimo Stilton book series and is responsible for seeking new business opportunities for the books and all of its character spin-off franchises. The Content department aims to create original contents, together with developing and producing loosely-based book series based on new and popular animated series such as developing novels for MoonScoop’s Code Lyoko, Dive Olly Dive and Hero 108. Atlantyca Entertainment is responsible for the sales of foreign rights for Piemme children’s books and properties and through a dedicated foreign rights sales division, has secured 2200 translation deals with 50 leading publishers around the world.
Caterina Vacchi, Niccolò Sacchi, Benji Angoncillo and Johnatan Tinsay The corporate team at Atlantyca Entertainment is comprised of seasoned and highly experienced executives, including Pietro Marietti, Chairman; Claudia Mazzucco, CEO; Caterina Vacchi, Senior Manager, Executive Producer; Luana Perrero, Distribution Manager; Niccolò Sacchi, Production Manager; Maria Giovanna Gurrieri, Licensing Director and Carmen Castillo, Foreign Rights Manager.
Based on the award-winning Geronimo Stilton international kids’ book series by Edizioni Piemme, the first TV series centers on the life and adventures of mouse-author Geronimo Stilton who works as a journalist for the fictional newspaper, The Rodent’s Gazette. He has a younger sister named Thea Stilton, a cousin named Trap Stilton, and a favorite little nephew, nine-year-old Benjamin Stilton. Geronimo is a nervous, mild-mannered mouse who would like nothing better than to live a quiet life, but he keeps getting involved in far-away adventures with Thea, Trap, and Benjamin. The second season will introduce new characters, new vehicles, a variety of Geronimo’s favourite locations, and the children characters will take a stronger, more active role in the stories.
The Geronimo Stilton Season I series, produced with the participation of RAI and M6 France has received wide spread and critical a cclaim. International broadcasters for the first season include: Rai 2, Radio Canada, TV2 Norway, MTV 3 Finland, and Nickelodeon Northern Europe International for Belgium, The Netherlands and Scandinavia. In Iberian markets, broadcasters include Turner’s Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Boing for Spain, RTP 2 and Canal Panda in Portugal; LTV (Latvia), Al Jazeera Children Channel (Pan Arab), Media Corp (Singapore), Content Union (Kazakhstan), Minimax (Multi-territory Eastern Europe) and Noga’s Logi (Israel). In French speaking countries, the series is broadcast on TV5 Monde and CFI.
Additional broadcasters include Dogan’s D-Smart TV and TRT (Turkish Radio & Television Corporation) (Turkey) for fall 2011; Poland’s TVN and TVN Style with Media Service Zawada picking up DVD rights; EBS (Korea); Imavision (HV rights for French and English speaking Canada); OKTO TV (Singapore); Truevisions (Thailand) and SUNTV (India). Universal Pictures Video (Multi-territory Western Europe) bringing the total number of territories to more than 80.
Atlantyca and its partners have chosen the Toon Boom pipeline to deliver both seasons of Geronimo Stilton, which represents a total of 52 twenty-two minute episodes completely done with traditional animation. From Storyboard Pro to Harmony, each studio involved in this multi-site production relied on a unified and integrated workflow to meet deadlines and quality standards.
The production pipeline for Geronimo Stilton Season I was shared globally, linking Italy, France, USA, the Philippines and India together.
Distribution of scope of work
- Spearheading all of the production
- 13 scripts (carried by Atlantyca using American writers)
- Story editing (carried by Atlantyca using an American story editor)
- Director (carried by Atlantyca using an American director)
- Art direction (carried by Atlantyca using an American director)
- 10 Storyboards/Animatic
- Character design
- Italian Dubbing
- 13 scripts
- 16 Storyboards/animatic
- Background and prop design
- Audio and Video post production
- Produced French dubbing
Animation of 24 episodes
Animation of 2 episodes
In order to deliver the first 26 episodes, the following teams have been put together:
- Niccolò Sacchi: Supervising Producer
- Caterina Vacchi: Executive Producer
- Pietro Marietti: Executive Producer (and President)
- Claudia Mazzucco: Executive Producer (and CEO)
- Karen K. Miller: Producer (part of the Atlantyca team, based in LA)
- Lucia Geraldine Scott (Production Coordinator)
- 4 staff members (including legal department, accounting, etc)
Atlantyca’s Los Angeles Team from Moonscoop LLC (hired as work for hire by Atlantyca) included:
- Guy Vasilovich: Director
- Peter Anderson: Producer
- Liz Young: Executive Producer
- Finbarr O’Riordan: Production Coordinator
- Melissa Mable: Production Coordinator
- Christine Deitner: Assistant Director (for the second season) - a few revisionists for storyboards and a few editors for the final animatics for a total number of 7/8 people.
For character design, storyboards/animatics and the x-sheets, Atlantyca hired Enarmonia out of Turin to handle that portion of the production. Enarmonia had at least 10 people involved in the whole process.
- Caterina Gonnelli: Creative Producer
- Nicolas Atlan: Executive Producer
- Christophe di Sabatino: Executive Producer (and President)
- Dorothee Lanchier: Production Manager
- Caroline Spiteri: Production Coordinator (for the first season)
- Rebecca Fraiberger: Script Coordinator
- Marilyn Browne: Production Coordinator (for the second season)
Additional people involved in the coordination on the breakdown list, backgrounds and props design, storyboards, the editing of the animatic and the storyboard revisions numbered an estimated 15 people.
The staff was estimated at 400, including the studio coordinator, production manager, supervisors and animators.
For Season II, the production staff was slightly larger since the production timeline is shorter.
Toon Boom Storyboard Pro was used for storyboarding and animatic pre-editing. The rest of the production was done within Harmony.
The Italian and French team started the storyboards with thumbnails, using quick roughs to understand the whole storyboard and all were hand-drawn. Director’s and storyboard supervisor’s notes were managed using Storyboard Pro.
Storyboard Pro was used in two different ways:
- Based on the experience of the different storyboard artists, some of them would create the storyboards digitally, because they were experienced in using tablets.
- For the others, they drew the storyboards on paper and then the panels were scanned and imported into the software.
In both cases, in their final stages, Storyboard Pro was used to pre-edit the animatic before the entire project was sent to the director for the revisions, final check and final editing.
Once this step was completed, all drawings were scanned as well as inked and painted using Harmony. Effects and compositing were also accomplished within Harmony out of the Philippines and India.
“The character design was coloured directly into Harmony. For us, that was a big time saver because our designers could avoid indicating, on each design board. the RGB values, since they exported the color palettes and both studios, in the Philippines and India could use them directly in the ink and paint stage,” commented Niccolò Sacchi, Production Manager at Atlantyca Entertainment and Supervising Producer on Geronimo Stilton.
“Storyboard Pro provided us with enormous time-saving opportunities in one of the most efficient manners—always resulting in top-quality work. This asset we found to be extremely invaluable when working with different teams from one continent to the other. In terms of quality of the storyboards, the ability to import images directly from key backgrounds digitally was extremely advantageous, saving us a vast amount of time because our artists did not need to re-draw them every time! In addition, it offered more detail and clear information for the animation studios we were working with jointly.”
“In regard to the pre-production process, having the storyboard supervisors and the artists based in Europe (Italy and France) while the director, the revisionists and the editors were based in Los Angeles, provided us with the ability to send very quickly the “working” Storyboard Projects directly to these key creative individuals. This permitted them in return to “act” and modify directly the original project using all the benefits the software has to offer. This also proved to be a major benefit for the revisionists.”
“For our production team, dealing with individuals based in multiple countries with a variety of time zones, we used an online system (SPI by 3DCLICK) to check the scenes at different stages of the animation production. On a daily basis, around 200 scenes were checked and reviewed by the Supervising Producer, the Director and the Animator Supervisor. Harmony was an ideal support tool, providing each studio with the ability to export any video format that matched the technical requirements of the specific online software”, concluded Niccolò.
If Geronimo Stilton’s exciting adventures are any indication of Atlantyca’s vitality and creativity, rest assured their future projects will bring young audiences some new very entertaining and captivating television programming.
About Atlantyca and Moonscoop
Atlantyca Entertainment was established in September 2006, by leading Italian publishing entrepreneur and creator Pietro Marietti, who with Elisabetta Dami, produced one of today’s most successful junior publishing sensations, the celebrated kids book series Geronimo Stilton. A transmedia company, with Production (including Distribution division), Licensing, Content and a Foreign Rights Departments, Atlantyca Entertainment seeks co-production partners (and to acquire third party properties) to produce content for TV, movies, books and multi-media. The company along with co-production partner Moonscoop completed the production of the animated series Geronimo Stilton Season I (26 x 22’), which premiered internationally in the Fall of 2009.