ANIMATION WORLD MAGAZINE - ISSUE 4.12 - MARCH 2000
Mondo Media At Play On The Internet Frontier
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One of the beauties of Internet production is being able to produce and test pilot shows in a way unfeasible on television or cable due to budgetary and other business constraints. Mondo is primed to take advantage of these lower cost development opportunities and plans to go "live" with carefully chosen trial concepts on their own Web site (www.mondominishows.com). Evershed sees this as "an opportunity to reach out to our fans and to help us evaluate content." O'Malley concurs, citing the value of feedback they now receive on Mondo's airing series which they feel helps those shows already in production. She explains that they monitor daily, in "focus group style," data from their own fan base as well as assessing information from the numerous affiliate areas designed specifically to extol audience reaction. They predict this same system can work well for pilots before giving the most well-received concepts full green lights to series production. The additional benefit of Webcasting these pilots will be in providing a revolving platform whereby potential partners from around the world can readily preview Mondo's work and assess possibilities for future business.
At the end of last year, Mondo Media extended its strategic business arrangement with Macromedia's shockwave.com and, indeed, Macromedia led the latest round of the $20 million of new funding together with Foundation Capital, Sofinnova Ventures and others. According to Evershed, "Macromedia has taken an equity stake in our company as part of their investment because they believe in the quality of our content and the scalability of our production capability." The studio is in pilot production now on three original shows which will have a 90 day exclusive on shockwave.com before moving into the Mondo Network syndication pipeline. Both companies will share in ad revenues from the shows' sections on Shockwave's site and in the properties subsequent world wide syndication deals.
Simultaneously, Evershed is very pleased with Mondo's creative and business relationship with Jim Banister at Warner Bros. On-line in the continuing production of The God and Devil Show. They were very gratified by the visibility Mondo gained during entertaindom.com's momentous launch, as well as the added press received during the announcements regarding the combining of Time Warner and AOL. Evershed says he feels "confident that the merger will make Entertaindom (and The God and Devil Show) more readily accessible to AOL's subscriber base." It's clear this type of planning is at the core of Mondo's focus as they target those new partnerships which can increase their content's exposure and further leverage show and character possibilities across multiple entertainment, marketing and licensing outlets.
Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones has his fate determined by God and the Devil. © 1999 Mondo Media.
As executive producer of Mondo's bold and dynamic style of programming, Evershed feels more than up to the challenge of leading the unique and colorful "bullpen" of talent necessary to sustain audience excitement and strong syndication loyalty. He flashes back to his beginnings and delights in saying, "I've been dredging up my English lit. experience because our shows are so writer-driven. This has been a very rewarding turn for me professionally because we're having so much fun creating "Mondo Mini Shows." O'Malley, who took on a variety of responsibilities along the way in the company's business development, understands that it's fiercely competitive out there for the industry's top writers, creators and animators. She feels positive, though, about attracting new people and projects, stating, "Mondo has a long history in creating an atmosphere where talent is comfortable and where they can stretch their wings." Evershed believes that since they've already proven themselves successful in both creative production and getting the shows to a wide Internet audience, top-notch submissions and independent interest will be there for them. "Besides," he adds, "I like to think our stuff is some of the funniest stuff on the Web (or TV for that matter) but I'll let you be the judge. Talent likes to work at places that produce quality content."
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