Edmund and Lucy, an innovative series that invites children to enjoy nature

Unifrance: Your company, YUM! Animator, has been working on the “Edmund and Lucy” project since its inception. How did the project come about?
Hanna MoshesHanna Moshes : At first there was “Edmund and Friends”, a collection of video albums by Marc Botavant. It was our joint venture with François Narbaux, Director and Technical Director of MIAM!. We wanted to adapt Mark’s wonderful 3D world and convey to the children the feelings we felt when reading the albums: feeling the power of forests and living things through the pictures. To make children want to play outside, go and explore life, the jungle, and the mountains that surround us, they had to feel, behind their screens, the joy of being outside. So we had to innovate and switch to 3D technology in real time. Real time allows us to achieve a wealth of ambiance, textures and plants, which is in keeping with our art project. By pulling the thread of this innovation, we realized that we had the opportunity to unfold a fully coherent project. How do you envision a project that is editorially nourished by the anxiety of ‘land’, if it has been polluted during its three-year run with the creation of pumps Who produces fossils? So we created a file pumps cleaner.

Edmund and Lucy formed the first stone of a virtuous building where the background and contents harmonize with the form, that is, the method of manufacture.

What sets “Edmund and Lucy” apart from other Kindergarten chains? Can you tell us about the story and the characters?
c. Edmund and Lucy aims to reconnect children with nature, to awaken them to the richness and diversity of animals and plants in all seasons.
The series tells the daily life of a group of children who live in constant contact with the forest: Edmund the chipmunk and the bear Lucy grew up as brother and sister, in a large chestnut tree, planted in the middle of the forest. They are accompanied on their adventures by two pre-teen mice, a four-year-old bat, and a funny pink thing. La forêt est un immense terrain de jeux et d’apprentissages pour cette bande d’enfants qui vit au grand air et au fil des quatre saisons : jouer et grandir en pleine nature, répondre aux énigmes que celle-ci soulève, c’est la A beautiful life !

Edmund and Lucy is both a fun and educational series, that promotes the values ​​of living together, inclusion, empathy and solidarity. A program that celebrates knowledge, family time and respect for nature.

The episodes were written in collaboration with three expert naturalists: Louise Pruese, agronomist, CSR expert and author, Gael Potier-Gerevee, author and responsible for the educational pole at Under the Pole, an NGO, and Didier Moreau, a naturalist with a degree in science Experimental ecology and ethnobotany. Together with the teams, they choose the important key topics to be discussed, and then at each stage of writing and production, they validate the nature information being delivered. Thus each episode brings its own little stone to build a better world!

The technology used, in real time 3D, is also very innovative. What are the main advantages of this technology in serial development?
Your Majesty: “Edmond and Lucy” is a world premiere: it is the first 52×12 minute episodes animated series, broadcast on a linear channel, and produced predominantly in real time in 3D. A technical selection that complies with a technical and environmentally responsible approach, consistent with the purpose of the series.
Real time has enabled two major advantages: on the one hand realizing the artistic ambition we set for ourselves, and on the other, significantly reducing our carbon footprint. Thanks to real time, we’re very consistent with our point.
To realize the specific artistic ambition of adapting Marc Bottavant’s world for the first time in 3D and reviving the forest as a stand-alone character, the technological development of using Unity, the reality of the 3D time display engine, has already begun. Thanks to real time, it is possible to create a rich and complex world, available in four seasons. This tool is widely used in the world of video games, and this is the first time that it has been used to make an animated series in a synthetic format.
Since real-time makes it possible to reduce one of the key stages in the production of a series, i.e., the image computation time, it results in a very significant reduction in carbon expenditures with respect to the image computation stage. Basically, it takes a few hours to view a 12-minute episode, while it would take about 200 days, on a single device, to render a 12-minute episode in 3D beforehand. the difference is big!

It has been able to enter into many partnerships, including several international ones. Can you tell us more?
Melanie EriaMelanie EriaMelanie Eria
France Télévisions and CNC are the historical partners of this project in France. Internationally, the series has already been pre-purchased by HR for KiKA (Germany), RTS (French-speaking Switzerland), VRT (Flemish Belgium), TV5 Monde (French-speaking world outside Canada), SVT (Sweden), SYN (Iceland), TV Puls (Poland), MTVA Media (Hungary), LTV (Latvia), LMT (Latvia), RTVS (Slovenia). This series is also supported by the European program MEDIA.

In France, the launch is scheduled for July 2, 2022, with a few episodes available for preview on the FVOD platform at France Télévisions Okoo, and at the start of the school year in France 5 in line.
In Germany, HR/KiKA, whose teams were heavily influenced by the chain concept and technological innovation, joined the project very early on.

26 first episodes in English are now available. The last will be the 26th by November 2022.

What is your strategy for getting Edmund and Lucy to travel the world?
I: We are not just offering 52×12 series to broadcasters, we are entering the international market with a whole universe about series to play and learn. The choice of real-time technology allows children and their families to take part in the adventure and follow their discoveries thanks to a whole range of additional interactive content that will vary according to the country of broadcasting (quizzes, activities, interactive video games, etc.).
We can also count on the international success of Edmond et ses amis albums by Astrid Desbords and Marc Botavant, published by Nathan. In fact, the collection has already been translated into 15 languages ​​and published in 20 countries with new editions coming.

Finally, we are developing a tailor-made licensing and marketing strategy for “Edmund and Lucy” in parallel with the pre-sale phase. We want to enhance the richness of the universe created from the richness of Marc Botavant. The motifs, life representations, and stories of the series adapt perfectly to the variations on toys, games, and accessories for children. Parents identified Edmund and Lucy as natural television partners – in France but also internationally. So we expect Edmond and Lucy branded products to go wherever the show will be broadcast.

Writer : audiovisual

Last updated : 07 June 2022 14:49 CET

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