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Saturday, December 8, 2012

1st taste of Publishing...back in 2000 and something...

...I moved from teaching adults to children and noticed instantly that there was a need for more visual tools for learning English. What was on the market was crap, and the best was about 30 years old, an old series from the BBC.
A few months later, an aquaintance (the MD) of a publishing company said they had an idea to teach children English, and needed someone to write some scripts and a book. They wanted to create a short 'TV series' type product, a DVD with matching book, so I got to work, and in a month produced said scripts (with pictures of camera shots), and a rough version of a picture book. They bought the patent off me, and said I should get people together to do it. I found the children, the illustrator for the book, a company who would film the series and the puppets needed for the film and book. We were all ready to go. A few weeks went by and the MD gave the whole thing over to their own Project Manager to control. Months went by without a word. After pushing and calling and e-mailing the hell out of the publishing company, I found that they wanted me to 'proofread' a revised script, which I didn't like. At this point they hadn't paid me yet, and said if I didn't proofread it, I wouldn't get the money. I did as they asked, got the money, but knew something was wrong...
One year later, the Project was scrapped. The children thought I'd let them down, the illustrator was taken on and created the book, but not to my specifications, and looked like shit. The worst to come...a new film company was taken on, with new actors and puppets, and the standard of English pronunciation (this was meant as a learning tool) was WAY BAD, the ESL children would've done it right. They tried to re-dub it with another Englishman, but it just sounded stupid. Plus it was completely the opposite of what it should've been....BRIGHT! The puppeteers played in the dark, not the way I had planned. I finally found out that the Project Manager had given the filming and puppeteering to his FRIENDS, approximately 15,000 dollars (a LOT of money in this country, think in terms of 60,000 dollars in the USA). And HE was the only one who saw it (about 50+ people) who thought the film was good.
Just before the project was scrapped, I made 2 song videos to show what I meant, and the people who worked at the publishing company loved them and wanted to know when I would finish the whole project... the Project Manager hated them, and accused me of doing to him exactly what he'd done to me.
A couple more years, I get the copyright back...:-)

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