Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Following Walt's Path

Now with Add On.

I was wondering when this would happen. And so now we know:

Dreamworks Animation has tapped Katie O’Connell Marsh to run its live-action TV unit. As the company’s head of Global Live-Action Television, she will be charged with expanding the company’s TV business into live-action fare. Marsh will be based at the DWA’s Glendale headquarters and begin with the company in the New Year. The move into TV is an interesting one for Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Dreamworks Animation, which, as its one name indicates, has been until recently all about animated content. ...

Walt Disney Productions was all about animation until it began producing combination live-action/animated product in 1941, and then full-on live-action in the late forties, when it wanted to use profits held in Great Britain for production work.

From there it was a hop, skip and a jump into live-action films in California: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Davy Crockett. Old Yeller. The Shaggy Dog. And so on and so forth.

Jeffrey has been steering DWA down the WDP path for some time, branching into New Media (as Walt branched into television), going into the amusement park business. It's a natural progression, especially since DreamWorks Animation is now a stand-alone company. The studio began as the animated branch of DreamWorks the live-action studio, but now is an entity unto itself, even as DreamWorks, producer of live-action fare, has withered.

It's been an interesting progression over twenty years, but Mr. Katzenberg had Mr. Disney's road map from the forties and fifties to help guide him.

Add On: DWA Prez Ann Daly adds to our information:

The DreamWorks Animation president further detailed the TV strategy and also touched on the company’s upcoming release of feature Kung Fu Panda 3, and what the first true U.S.-China co-production might mean to the bottom line. ...

Live-action will be the “basis for us to be able to exploit in a new content arena.” Some of that IP is being developed from DWA’s own stable like a Croods series based on the hit feature (which coincidentally had a huge China run). Some comes from the Classic Media library acqusition like Voltron which is being developed as a series. ...

with all of this original IP, Daly said the idea of launching its own SVOD platform is “not a path we are choosing right now… The partnerships we have with Netlfix or linear broadcasters in international territories are bringing the most immediate value compared to starting our own service.” ...


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