vktoons for kids: our Greek YouTube channel for children

vktoons for kids

The kids’ channel of vktoons, vktoons for kids is reactivated and has a new schedule!

The program addresses exclusively to kids and parents living in Greece or learning Greek. So, it is exclusively in Greek. The need for this emerged from the ascertainment that pupils and students in elementary and junior high schools are “thirsty” to learn animation. Not just how to create a short “on the fly”, but also to learn what is the procedure behind the creation of an animated short!

So, the channel will focus on education at a first phase. It will teach the kids the science behind animation taking advantage the historic optical toys, as is thaumatrope which is presented in the first video.  It will also teach them to use animation software such as AnimaShooter with the company behind it vktoons is in collaboration. There is also a thought about sketching lessons.

At some point we also aim to move on to  the production of an animated series . of course, that is something that needs a good programming.

We must stress that the decision for the reactivation of vktoons for kids Πρέπει να σημειώσουμε πως η σκέψη για την εκ νέου ενεργοποίηση του vktoons for kids had been taken before the blast of the COPPA issue (about the protection of kids on the YouTube platform), since we had already discovered the need for its existence.  So, the fact that economically is not worthy to have a kids channel (in Greece – by the way – YouTube for kids hasn’t arrived yet) does not affect our decision.

Furthermore, we aim to make the channel interactive, with the participation of the kids through their constructions and animated creations.  We will call them to send their creations to their creations  at kids@vktoons.com . We will make sure to import them to some of our next videos, hoping to motivate them! By the way,  we are in discussions for collaboration on the subject  of education of children on animation!

We aim to upload one video each week or – at least – one every two weeks.

If you are a Greek learner, you are welcomed to subscribe to the channel (otherwise, it will look… Greek to you…)!

“Primrose”, our next animated short film

Nyhtolouloudo, Primrosevktoons’ short film titled “Primrose” (“Nyhtolouloudo” in Greek) is already in production (as you might also notice in our project’s page). It is a black and white animation. It is about the love between a rain drop hanging from a branch of a big tree and of a seed laying near the root of that tree.

The technique we use is tradigital or paperless animation or – if you wish – the traditional animation in it’s modern form. That way we contribute to the increase of trees being cut. We also save money, space and time as a studio since several procedures are simplifying (flip/pencil/line tests e.a.).

Work is done in the environment of Harmony (Premium edition) software of ToonBoomThe software offers all the tools a studio needs. Until now, such valuable tools are nodes but also the bitmap brushes! Of course the software fully supports traditional animation as well as digital puppetry. vktoons plans to take advantage of those characteristics too in the near future.

“Primrose” has no dialogues spoken, so it becomes “global”. That way it has more chances to be presented and/or compete in international festivals.

We estimate the short will be complete in May.

 

Teaching animation to pupils in Athens!

vktoons has started a collaboration with PTA’s in a district of Athens. We have already started teaching children animation in two schools.
The first lessons are challenging: kids are coming to find out if they are really interested. We also allow parents to be present in these first session.
The truth is that there are representatives of PTA’s in different parts of Athens who have asked us to teach in their areas. Right now that is impossible, but we have already some options in mind for the next educational year.
These first lessons showed us that kids are interested in animation! Taking in mind that this is the first time we take such an action, it gives us confidence about what we should expect for the years to come!

With this action we aim at two things: 1) to help create more educated animation viewers in Greece and 2) hopefully to help children to consider a career in animation when the time for decisions for their lives will come. Such a thing could have a massive impact in Greek animation production in many aspect (economic, organizing, producing etc).

vktoons in Annecy (mifa). Results and conclusions

asifa hellas members with Bill Plympton, mifa 2019

vktoons participated in 2019 mifa in Annecy via Vangelis Karadimas, member of the asifa hellas delegation.

The experience gained was precious, since we noticed the practical mistakes to be solved in the future. Strategically though, vktoons made the right moves, taking advantage of the info and the experience other members of asifa hellas transmitted. It is notable that it was the only “asifa” booth from around the globe.

So, vktoons’ projects that attracted most interest were those of Chrononaut basically, followed by Stories of Planet Sentia. The interested audience was mainly the anglophone one and then the Hispanic speaking. 

vktoons’ projects.

Chrononaut

Chrononaut left Greece as the concept with the more chances to gain interest. That is logical since it already has a letter of interest from a big tv station in Greece. It has secured that, in case of production will have the support of Toon Boom and there are also companies that would like to watch the pilot episode when it will be produced.

Stories of Planet Sentia drew the eye of a Latin American award-winning director. and we wait for a possible collaboration.

The Treasure at the roots of the Tree of Earththough it is a “burned” project for the non-Greek audience (due to concept issues – devils and angels and a drunk goblin – format not easily applying to the needs of tv stations and also economic issues caused by ERT stance), yet it is a project the Greek young audience asks for to be produced. We found a “channel” to distribute it (as long as we make the right preparations).  Also, in the video library of Annecy, despite the problems we already mention, it has gained international interest. So, perhaps some spin-offs or something?…

Other projects and conclusions.

Apart from these, vktoons already prepare projects facing towards the future. That is done with the perspective of international collaboration, entering the field of anidoc.

As a conclusion, vktoons’ presence at mifa in Annecy was better than expected and what now it must be done is to take quick advantage of the “momentum”, to find financing for the creation of a creative studio and to produce pilot episodes – at a first phase – for Chrononaut (and perhaps of Stories of Plane Sentia, depending on the news), to make use of the Greek cash rebate by EKOME – though without a drastic decrease of the local taxes this measure will only have some results in the short term – and also to prepare the next projects, in order to have a continuity in production. The main desiderata to definitely initiate these is the financing (yet, we already move things).

A few days before Annecy animation festival.

official logo of MIFA Annecy 2019

vktoons will be present in Annecy festival, since Vangelis Karadimas will be a member or the Greek delegation to be send by asifa hellas. He will have with him six projects, two of which will be officially promoted by asifa hellas. These are (you can also take a look here):

  • Stories of Planet Sentia
  • The Treasure at the roots of the Tree of Earth
  • Chrononaut
  • In the dungeons
  • Primrose (short)
  • Ernesto and Taroon (short)

Vangelis Karadimas preparing an animation lesson

Until now and facing the event, vktoons has approached enough people – creators and scientists – to strengthen its proposals. This procedure is ongoing!

In particular, there is already an aired interest from a well known TV station about Chrononaut.

Empowering Greek creators.

There is a very good connection with the Greek Blender communitySoon there will be a contact with graphic design department of the University of West Attica.

So, we try to contribute to the opening of new animation jobs for Greek creators.We hope we will get support and be able to create Greek projects addressing an international audience!

The creative teams of the projects are almost fulfilled. Soon, we will complete the scientific teams for the Chrononaut. All these will help us to claim financing and co-producing with better conditions, both from Greece and – mainly – abroad. Unfortunately it is proven that support to Greek animation from Greeks is a quite difficult thing to become a reality.

Additionally, we try to book some meetings before the “kickoff” of the festival, to make better use of our time there. For sure, there will be a meeting with Toon Boom and perhaps some more yet.

The certain is that in Annecy, vktoons wail gain great experience and – cross fingers! – will put the basis for international collaborations and co-productions!  We will take care that this  experience will be transmitted in Greece, after returning from Annecy!

 

A discussion on children’s emotional world, prompted by “Stories of Planet Sentia”

vktoons, apart from The Treasure at the roots of the Tree of Earth is also preparing already its’ continuous presence and there someone would find high ranked the pre-school animated series titled Stories of Planet Sentia. It is a series about children’s emotions, of accepting them and cope with them.

vktoons will collaborate with scientists – pedagogues with experience and knowledge on the subject. So, we asked from our collaborators, Aleka Koumeli and  Victoria Tsoukala to answer some questions regarding the scientific and educational part of the series.

QUESTION; Taking in mind your educational experience, what are your conclusions about the emotional world of the children and if they express it?

Aleka Koumeli; Pre-school kids feel, experience all of the emotions., probably more intense than we adults do. Some times they find it difficult to understand what they feel, the cause of the feeling and even more – of course – to handle these feelings, especially those who have a negative sign.

In that age, the way they express themselves is more related to the environment they come from – the family – since parents are the first emotional models (emotional patterns) and mainly via imitation kids reproduce behaviors which they “learn” within the family.

Victoria Tsoukala; Children, as any person, have a rich emotional world. Usually, they don’t express their feelings verbally, but through behavior and action.

I.e., when they feel happy, they laugh loudly, they clap their hands. When they feel gratitude, they give tender hugs or a little hand-made present. When they feel disappointment, they are gloomy or they are turning upon their selves.

QUESTION; Which paragons do you think/realize that prevent a kid to accept and express feelings?

Aleka Koumeli; As I’ve already mentioned, the difficulty of the situation is related to the young age of the kids, which as toddlers try to self-determine, to feel as individual members of a smaller or greater community, to become independent from the family environment, to find similarities and differences to their classmates and to chose a company as well as behaviors that fit them. Of course, the most important part is the culture we have as a society towards the emotional “education” of the children. There is a kind of compulsion in Greek family, a “decorum” that provides good and bad behavior, that values i.e. anger as a negative emotion that the kid should not feel. That occurs even when we try to protect children from unpleasant feelings in order to protect it from feeling sad. Automatically we eventually make an evaluative distinction of emotions and we teach children that they should not feel some of them. In pre-school education since a few years via the curricula there is a try to solve this and emotional education runs through all the sectors of the curricula, something I value as something positive. Of course, considering beyond the curricula, probably it is difficult for us, the teachers to work on that, since we also must educate ourselves in accepting and operate our emotions, in order to secure the pedagogic environment in the classroom for the appliance of the emotional education. Of course, this becomes difficult also because of insufficient training and because of the crowded school classes in which you cannot achieve a quality relation with each student individually.

Victoria Tsoukala; Family is the first emotional school. If within a family occur tensions and conflicts, these effect negatively the emotional balance and, therefor, the expression of emotions. It is not unusual that parents but also teachers don’t express their emotions. I.e. we ask a kid to stop doing something that annoys us without looking in his/her eyes or we say “I love you” without hugging the kid.

QUESTION; What are the dangers children face if they “learn” to suppress their emotions?

Aleka Koumeli; According to W.H.O., the main causes of death but also of morbidity around  the globe are not contagious diseases but diseases related to the modern way of life. Since for most of them there is no cure, the only way is prevention through the change of behavior and way of living. In Greece these last years there is a tremendous increase of consumption of sedatives and antidepressants. Depression appears in smaller ages now. According to a research on 713 teens age 15-18, 26,2% of them shows signs of depression. Bullying in schools has also become a major issue. Of course, all the above are also social phenomena. It is proven that with a proper early intervention and “teaching” the children to appreciate their feelings, to differentiate them, to understand them, to express them in a productive way, we could avoid future negative behaviors like addiction to substances, school failure, depression, difficulties at having healthy relations as an adult.

Victoria Tsoukala; If a kid “learns” to suppress his/her feelings, he/she will find difficulties in having healthy relations with kids of the same age, his/her family or even as an adult. Moreover, suppressing emotions could lead to psychological problems or to depression.

QUESTION; Do you think animation can help children – and perhaps their parents? – to view their emotional world more freely? And if so, why?

Aleka Koumeli; I believe animation can become a tool in the hands of the teachers for the hard work of emotional education. Besides, it is something extremely familiar to the kids, they love it and can through it can be taught behaviors and stances. It could become an opportunity for questioning, for discussion in the classroom as well as within families on the way we should face ourselves and the others, on the way we can solve conflicts and finally to have a harmonic relation with us and the others.

Victoria Tsoukala; Animation is something children love.  Surely children can identify themselves with a hero of an animated movie that promotes the expression of emotions, to see through a funny way how heroes express feelings, how they respond to “spurs” and imitate them. On the other hand, parents can understand concrete examples on how kids express themselves and then urge them and guide them to express their emotions.

Visiting and meeting creators in Athens Games Festival ’18

vktoons will attend Athens Games Festival, an event to take place in Helexpo Maroussi on Saturday the 20th and Sunday the 21st of October.

During the visit, vktoons will meet Greek video games companies as well as others creating board games – with some appointments already fixed – aiming to prepare the creation of games based on “The Treasure at the roots of the Tree of Earth”.

The meetings intent to empower our proposal toy ERT Hybrid for the production of the animated series as well as to empower the merchandise part of the proposal, while keeping it inside the Greek borders.

The conversations about the video game (or the app for the smart phones) will take place on the basis of working on “unity” game machine, with which Toon Boom (Harmony will be the software we will use if our proposal makes it to a production level) co-operates perfectly!

The indegogo Pre-Launch page is “on air”!

Our crowdfunding campaign on indiegogo platform begins on April the 2nd.But the Pre-Launch page is already in the “internet air”!

You can visit it by clicking on the image below or by clicking on this link; https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-treasure-at-the-roots-of-the-tree-of-earth-cartoon-animation/coming_soon#/

Visit our Pre-Launch page!
Link to the Pre-Launch page

The aim of this page is on one hand to inform about the start of the campaign on April the 2nd an, on the other hand, to help complete a number of emails of people already interested in contributing financially to this campaign.

In there you will find the video we prepared especially for the Pre-Launch page and you will also get information for some of the project details.

We remind you that “The Treasure at the roots of the Tree of Earth” will be in collaboration with mabrida studios of the Sofianos family (recently, the studio participated in the Oscar award nominee for best animated feature film “Loving Vincent“) and Argyris Pavlidis, who has given his voice to in-numbered animation characters in Greece since decades (these days you can see him  in the play “The military life in Greece at “Lyhnos Theater”.

So, visit this page and preregister in our mailing list! Those who will do so, will get a little perk, before the campaign starts!

Also, it would be very helpful if you shared the Pre-Launched page in your social media accounts!

Making progress with the preparation of our crowdfunding campaign!

Crowdfunding campaign for “The Treasure at the roots of the Tree of Earth” is still in preparation stage. Yet, we are preparing with a stable and quick pace. The basic text are getting written – only a small part is left to be written yet – and the graphic elements are almost complete (within the very next days this part will be ready too).

Also, little by little we fill in the catalog of the team to be shown in the campaign, giving that way the picture of an organized work. We believe that it is a very strong team and an asset in our effort to hit the funding target. Indeed, the targets or the campaign are not restricted to the economic part and that said, the success of the entire project is essential (details will be given in time)!

As for the creative part of pilot episode; within the next days all those who are involved – the director, the studio and the voice actors – will come discuss via the facebook platform about when we can all come together at the studios at Koropi for the record session. Right after that, we’ll move on to the animation of the pilot episode (the backgrounds and props are ready for some time now).

Crowdfunding campaign for “The Treasure at the roots of the Tree of Earth” (…starting on April)

The heroes of the series

vktoons starts preparing a crowdfunding campaign for the web-series “The Treasure at the roots of the Tree of Earth”.

After we addressed several companies – and received negative but polite and detailed answers – we take the next step which is to try and collect funds by the audience itself, in order to make the series!

The campaign will start in April, but in the blog you will get informed for everything that happens during its preparation. We’ve chosen Indiegogo platform and enough time before we launch the campaign we will “shoot” the “Pre-launch page”.

At this point we calculate the cost of the perks (in order to be able to correspond to the shipping needs) and we gradually prepare our page in the campaign platform, in order to make it work better.

The series is in collaboration with mabrida studio and it will get the voices of Argyris Pavlidis and his troupe!

You’ll hear from us again soon!