Strange times for Daley Pearson
Ludo Studio’s Daley Pearson seems to have an ongoing fascination with peculiar events and the supernatural.
Pearson created The Strange Calls, the ABC TV comedy starring Toby Truslove as a Gold Coast cop who investigates weird things that happen after dark; a US remake is being developed by 20th TV for the ABC network.
Now Daley and his Ludo Studio partner Charlie Aspinwall are developing The Strange Chores, a 2D animated series for ABC3 about two 12-year-old boys, both troublemakers, who earn pocket money by doing bizarre chores for their mysterious neighbour. The boys’ adventures often involve supernatural elements.
Neither guy had any experience in animation so they reached out to Media World’s Colin South, who produced the toon series Dogstar and The New Adventures of Ocean Girl as well as live action drama The Circuit and the movie Stone Bros.
South is serving as an executive producer and Media World is the animation producer. They created a trailer in which Rupert Degas voiced the neighbour. A Pom who lives in Sydney, the versatile Degas voiced the demon in the movie Evil Dead and several characters in TV’s Bob the Builder.
Pearson and Aspinwall created a Bible for the show and collaborated on two scripts with Luke Tierney (who was one of the writers on The Strange Calls) and John McGeachin. Tierney and McGeachin were among the writing team on #7DaysLater, the innovative, crowd-sourced six-part multi-platform comedy for ABC2 created by Pearson and Nick Boshier.
On The Strange Calls Chris Rose is an executive producer and the commissioner at ABC3. Screen Queensland and Screen Australia supported Pearson and Aspinwall so they could pitch the project at this month’s Asian Animation Summit in Phuket Thailand.
Aspinwall says they got great responses from international broadcasters, particularly from Korea and Malaysia. Sebastian Debertin, head of fiction and co-productions at German children’s channel KiKa, told Kidscreen at the summit, “I loved the environments and background designs Ludo Studio created for its supernatural series.”
Disney Channels US director of international series and co-productions Daniel Wineman said, “There were a lot of wonderful projects and we are kind of specific with our tastes, but The Strange Chores was very interesting.”
The producers need to raise the remaining further 40% of the budget, possibly via an Asian pre-sale, and hope to go into production next year.
Meanwhile the Ludo creative team is mulling ideas for a second series of #7DaysLater, encouraged by executives at ABC2. “The first series was a massive experiment," says Pearson. “We are figuring out ways of doing it better in season two.“
Ludo is also producing with the Van Vuuren brothers Soul Mates, a six-part ABC comedy about two friends who find themselves bound together throughout the course of human history.