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Michael Goldsmith leaves Teletoon for Family Channel/Disney Playhouse Canada

Came across the report here.

Goldsmith has been a fixture at Teletoon for many years, and recently was instrumental in their Pilot Program.  I was waiting on an interview with him on that very topic.  Looks like that will have to wait.

I’ve heard rumours that might give some idea of who could be replacing him, but nothing concrete.  What I’ve heard comes with some very posotive endorsements for the candidate in question.

This kind of news is important to all members of our community.  I know to the average young animator it may not seem important, but these positions are crucial to the development of animation in this country.  These are the guys who say yes or no to your ideas.  What they like and don’t like has a major impact on what gets produced here in Canada.

Michael is the Director of Original Programming at Disney Playhouse Canada and Family Channel.  That has a trickle down effect that directly inpacts the shows YOU are going to be working on.  The person who fills his shoes at Teletoon will have a similar impact.  These are the people you pitch to.

I’m anxious to see just who ends up at Teletoon.  I like Caroline Tyre, the Director of Programming over there, she’s smart, has a sense of humour, and is very approachable.  I dream of a day where someone with a background in animation production in this country could end up in one of these jobs, but that doesn’t seem to be the job requirement.  They look for people with a broadcast background, which is, without argument, absolutley necessary.  But I think the Teletoons and YTVs are missing out on a key ingredient.  There are very capable, intelligent, and savvy folks working in production.  People who know cartoons and can look at a schedule, a budget, a production pipeline and spot the problems.  People who know talent and can pick a hit, and who know when to leave the talent to do what they do best.  I’m not saying that that doesn’t happen already.  I can think of a few very good examples of that situation playing out quite well in recent years. I’d just like it to be the rule, rather than the exception.

What we have in this country isn’t bad.  We have a lot of talent.  We have, despite some recent closures and an overall downturn, a lot of empoyment for said talent.  We have one dedicated animation broadcaster and a number of other broadcast outlets.  We have a solid indie scene with a growing number of independent animation producers getting films into festivals like our very own Ottawa International Animation Festival.  But we do seem to keep coming back to the fact that we’re largely a service provider and that we’re largely dependent on foreign money for a lot of our employment.  We’ve never had our on Mickey or Bugs or Spongebob.  No one studio has carved out a creative niche for itself like Aardman’s or Ghibli.  But that could still happen.  And the person who ends up in this job at Teletoon could very well play a role in that.

Good luck to you, and best to Michael in his new role.  We need you guys.


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