Oxygen Media, Geraldine Laybourne's media company founded to providecontent for women, will undertake cable television's first originalanimated prime-time series specifically targeting women. Machi Tantillowill be Executive Producer. "Our goal is to create the first animatedtelevision series for women, exploring issues from a female point of view.We also wanted to build an outlet specifically for female animators, whosedistinctive voices will help us develop a unique Oxygen animation style andoutlook," said Geraldine Laybourne, Oxygen's Chair and CEO. Ms. Tantilliowill report to Kit Laybourne, Oxygen's Head of Animation and SpecialProjects.
Prior to joining Oxygen, Ms. Tantillo spent six years at MTV Networks, mostrecently as Director of MTV Animation, co-supervising the production ofMTV's animated series, features, specials and shorts. Before that, Ms.Tantillo worked on the development, scheduling and launching of pilots andnew series. While at MTV, Ms. Tantillo also directed and produced severalepisodes of BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD, MTV's animated series, and producedseveral other animated projects, including CARTOON GIRL. She began hertenure at MTV as a Production Manager for BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD.
Oxygen has already approved five pilots for inclusion in this animatedprime-time series which is comprised of 13 half-hour episodes, eachcontaining a mix of 3 to 7 minute segments. Details about three of theupcoming segments are currently available. CLOSET CASE, by Theresa Duncan,a producer of CD-ROMS such as ZERO ZERO and CHOP SUEY, is done in a watercolor technique, enhanced by After Effects, and features actual women whoreveal themselves in the course of telling stories about their favoriteclothes. FEMALE TROUBLE, by Amy Sohn and John Raspo of Curious Pictures, isabout a young, intelligent woman searching for love in a big city, andcombines 2D animation with live action and After Effects-enhanced visualeffects. KNITWITS, by Candy Kuegel, a comedy based on an 11-minute film byKuegel, is about a group of five ethnically diverse women who are broughttogether by their passion for knitting. It combines cel animation withdigital backgrounds. Plans call for the development of one or more of thesesegments into a spin-off show. A date for the launch of the cable networkhas been set for February 2, 2000, which is a play on the company's name,Oxygen, since, in science, the symbol for the oxygen element is O2. Hence,the launch date of 02/02/2000.
In addition, Oxygen's Creative Director and Co-Creator Kit Laybourne isdeveloping two current animation projects exclusively for the Internet thatwill soon be available on Oxygen's website at www.oxygen.com/lab. One isOUR STORIES which turns the real life experiences of Oxygen's onlinemembers into a weekly series. It is scheduled to be on-line in about threeweeks. The other is an ongoing narrative about a woman detective. It isscheduled to appear on-line around mid-September. Mr. Laybourne wasCreative Director and Co-Creator of GULLAH GULLAH ISLAND, the Nickelodeonpre-school program which won the Parent's Choice Award, and Co-ExecutiveProducer of LIQUID TELEVISION, the MTV animation series. Mr. Laybourne isalso the author of THE ANIMATION BOOK, a respected textbook for animationstudents; a special digital edition of the volume was released early thisyear by Three Rivers Press.
Since its inception last year, Oxygen has acquired and developed severalonline sites, entered into a multi-year anchor tenancy, programming andpromotional partnership with America Online, and partnered with MarcyCarsey, Tom Werner, Caryn Mandabach and Oprah Winfrey to develop and launcha new cable network. Programmed by the principals ofCarsey-Werner-Mandabach, the Oxygen cable network will be integrated withOxygen's existing successful and growing online sites.