Former Aardman and BBC Execs Launch Wildseed Studios
Aardman Animations’ former Head of Broadcast Miles Bullough has teamed up with former BBC creative executive Jesse Cleverly to launch Wildseed Studios, a next-generation entertainment content incubator designed to attract creators looking for funding and expertise.
The newly-formed company is calling on emerging and established creators to get in touch and have their ideas commissioned, developed, financed and distributed.
The company is adopting a portfolio approach to development – investing up to £10,000 into each of 50 new projects over the next 3 years, with follow-on investment available for projects that make a connection with an audience.
Wildseed has recently completed its first round of funding and has already invested in two projects. The first is a wickedly funny animated show for young adults based on the work of underground UK comic artist Ralph Kidson and features "God and Jesus," where God explains his plans to Jesus for his latest miracle, "Animal Job Centre," where an unemployed squirrel tries to navigate the vagaries of the job market, and "Serengeti," where punchy and loutish animals launch into foul-mouthed tirades against each other at the slightest provocation. The second project is a live-action sci-fi/horror web series from 19-year-old creator Drew Casson – a 90 minute, special effects-heavy horror sci-fi coming-of-age story, shot vlog style, about a small English town being taken over by aliens. More projects are expected to be announced soon.
Wildseed describes itself as being platform neutral – putting great characters at the heart of everything it does and then looking to distribute projects to the platforms that best suit the idea. “A YouTube Channel will be a big part of what we do,” says co-founder and MD Miles Bullough, “but we are also working with creators who, for example, want to produce a mobile game first and that is really exciting for us where there is a great character at the heart of the game.”
Wildseed is planning its public launch for Autumn 2013 once its content pipeline is in full flow.
Targeting young adult audiences (13 to 35), Wildseed Studios is looking for ideas in four genres: Genre Fiction (Sci-Fi/horror/fantasy), Animated Sitcom, Character Comedy and then also comedy for Kids 6-11 in both live action and animation. “We have also set aside 10 of our 50 potential investments for ‘Wildseed’s Wildseeds’ – ideas that don’t necessarily fit any of the above genres but that we love and want to get involved with anyway,” says co-founder and Creative Director, Jesse Cleverly.
Before setting up Wildseed Studios, Bullough spent nine years at Aardman as Head of Broadcast working on international and multi-platform brands such as Shaun The Sheep, Wallace and Gromit and Creature Comforts as well as setting up Aardman’s Rights and Digital divisions. Prior to that he was MD at comedy indie Absolutely which produced shows such as Trigger Happy TV, C4’s Armstrong & Miller, Stressed Eric and The Jack Docherty Show.
Cleverly has been running his own IP development company Connective Media for the past five years working with a range of blue chip clients. Prior to this he spent 10 years at the BBC in a range of editorial positions. He was trained as a script editor at BBC Films where he put the film Eastern Promises into development. He was then asked to join the team setting up BBC Fictionlab as Head of Development exploring the new formats, new platforms and new technologies which would enable storytelling in the digital age. He finished his time at the BBC working as Head of Co-productions and Acquisitions at CBBC. Prior to the BBC he was Head of Marketing at the Royal Court Theatre for Stephen Daldry where he commissioned the world’s first theatre website and launched 90 new plays.