Introducing the Kids of the Rocket Fund: Shawn and Shawnee

Ahimsa Media is comprised of a cast of interesting characters, so it isn’t a stretch for us to develop a new plethora of personalities – online characters that is.  Our inaugural lady was Emme Rogers, and since then character development has become a creative niche for us.  Amazing how it helps us to deal with all our own multiple personalities by creating characters online from novels, movies and television series; in addition to those for non-profits and businesses.  Incredible how liberating it can be for an organization to have a voice that can have fun, and doesn’t have to wear a tie or an uncomfortable set of heels.

Our latest delve into character creation has been with the Shaw Rocket Fund.  They are already known throughout Canada as a champion and funder of children’s, youth and family television programs. However, much of their exceptional research into youth, media and technology was unknown.  This year also saw changes in their annual Rocket Prize judging to include any entry’s digital content, in addition to the TV show.  This set the stage for the Fund themselves to enter the digital space and begin participating in both interactivity and convergence.  Enter Shawn and Shawnee Rockett.

Shawnee enjoying herself at the beach.

Shawn playing it cool

We built this delectable duo and have raised them to the stage of passing the reigns back to the Shaw Rocket Fund, who will now guide the cousins on their future path.  To accompany our new friends, we also introduced interactive feeds for the company itself.  In a time when convergence is becoming a crucial key to industry success, the CMF creates an experimental funding stream and broadcasters are learning to navigate the digital space, character driven online narrative has helped place the Shaw Rocket Fund amongst some of today’s broadcast industry innovators.  Despite still being only a few months old, the digital world is beginning to embrace Shawn and Shawnee.  So here they are:

The Characters:
Shawn and Shawnee Rockett are cousins. They were both born a few years apart, but on the same day of the year, their great grandfather’s birthday – hence their names.  They are both named after their Great Grandfather, Shawn Rockett.  And yes, their pops, whom are brothers had a bit of a spat over this, but both are terribly stubborn and he was both of their favourite grandfather.  The cousins, on the other hand, are the best of friends, and although they tease each other incessantly, they have gone into business together and love working together.  Their company is a Canadian Production House focused on creating children’s and youth television.

Shawn Rockett

Shawn Rockett

In his late twenties, Shawn is still young at heart, a personality trait often reflected his work where he focuses on youth programming.  He loves his music, bickering with Shawnee and pushing life to the extreme.  He considers himself a bit of a Casanova, much to Shawnee’s amusement.  Shawn also loves being at the cutting edge of convergence and keeps an eye out for new and exciting technology.

Shawnee Rockett

Shawnee Rockett

Shawnee is a couple of years younger and places more focus on children’s and tween TV.  She’s a lover of everything Disney, her cats and and is a bit of a giant kid at heart.  She still loves to climb trees and splash in puddles in her bright red wellies.  Quirky would definitely be the word for her. She loves her folk music.  Yes, she still watches Saturday morning cartoons.  She already is hooked online, chatting with other characters and youth programmers like Seth on Survival and Ruby Skye PI

We loved developing these two, and are sure the Shaw Rocket Fund will equally enjoy creating their voices…

…as for us onto the next character!

The NSI speaks to Ahimsa Media (part 2)

As promised, please enjoy installment two of Liz Hover’s NSI interview with Erica Hargreave and Susan Brinton. Here, the conversation turns to the unknown elements of applying to a brand new funding stream and our project’s future should the application be successful. Erica also takes the time to briefly discuss the funding changes within the convergent branch of the CMF. Since the podcast went live the CMF have announced an overwhelming number of applications, pushing back decision dates to October 2010.

Emme Rogers sets her sights on the CMF Experimental Stream

That means that Emme will have to wait a little longer to begin development on her travel adventures. We will keep you updated on the project’s progress as we learn more and if we forget, I’m sure Emme will shout about it all on her site.

The NSI speaks to Ahimsa Media (part 1)

The Ahimsa Media office began this summer abuzz with application preparations for The Canada Media Fund’s (CMF) first ever Experimental Funding Stream. As the printer fell silent, the regular working day returned and the waiting game began, our phone rang. Liz Hover, Digital Media Manager for the National Screen Institute (NSI), was calling to set up an interview with Erica Hargreave and Susan Brinton to discuss the application process as it related to our pitch. Already familiar with our character Emme Rogers, Liz was interested to hear how the development pitch for Emme’s Travel Adventures had gone.

Unsurprisingly, when the questions began to flow, the topics of industry changes and application insights became so engrossing that the conversation generated too much content for one interview. Therefore, two podcasts were created with the first focusing on Emme, the growing collaboration between the broadcast and digital world. As well as logistical tips alongside an insight into the lessons that we learned throughout the application process. Please enjoy the first instalment…the second half will not be far behind.