15 APR 2022

Dominic Gardiner: "We change the way we treat and work with our producers”

Jetpack's CEO explains why a young company takes the number one spot in the raking Kidscreen HOT50 and anticipates that they are looking for new quality kids shows.


This year, Jetpack Distribution has taken the number one spot in the raking Kidscreen HOT50, in which participate top 50 kids entertainment companies. "We are thrilled to be number one", said Dominic Gardiner, Jetpack's CEO in an exclusive interview with Señal News. "The reason we got there is that we tried to change distribution, not in a technical way, but just the way we treat and work with our producers, to ensure the terms of our business are fair, giving a bit more of an advantage to the producers, and that has resonated a bit in the industry," explained the executive.

The eight-year company has a very carefully curated catalog that represent all genres within the kids sector. "We want quality," affirmed Gardiner. "When we see something that is unique, that stands out and is fresh, we're always going to be wanting to work with that particular property,". The executive also pointed out that educational content is a bit underrepresented at the moment in Jetpack catalog. "During the pandemic, educational content increased in the requirements of a lot of buyers. As children were home a lot more, I think parents wanted to find shows which would entertain and educate their children. So, we have been trying to find more educational content and that's something where we're always on the lookout," said Jetpack's CEO.

For Spring, Jetpack is presenting the new animated series “Alice's diary” (52x4'), a co-production between Portugal-based Sardinha Em Lata, Spain’s Alice AIE and Brazil’s Geppetto Films about a little girl who tells stories to her mum and the stories come to life when she draws them. "It's a beautifully animated series, we immediately fell in love with the style of the show. We're really thrilled to be working with the producers on this 2D Animation and stop motion series," commented Gardiner.

Jetpack has also entered into the live-action world with a new sci-fi live action show called "DreaMars" (20x22'), a co-production between Storyz Productions, Sklan&Ka, Samka and German broadcasters NDR, HR, SWR and RBB. "It's very exciting to be doing live action. There's a lot of very cool space gadgets, they're working with the Israeli space agency to really make the desert in Israel look like Mars, It's very exciting," he anticipated.

Gardiner is very glad to be doing live action for teenagers but also recognized that teenagers have always been a tough market. "It's very hard to get the tone of voice right, they have to see themselves on screen, the situations have to be relevant, but I think teenagers love stories and fantasy, and they love relationships", he explained. "If you can create real high quality, big budget, look and feel with great casts, you can hold them on screen, but you also have to develop marketing and additional content across multiple platforms, whether it's TikTok or YouTube, because they discover the shows, through these platforms" he added.

Another great point that Gardiner stood out is diversity and inclusion as essential in the storytelling. "Four or five years ago, it was seen as a good thing to have diversity within your content in animation, both on screen and off-screen. What's changed in the last few years is that it's gone from being a good thing to have to be absolutely essential. If you don't have diversity on screen and off-screen, your show will not move forward very quickly", he expressed.

Jetpack Distributions wants to grow its catalog, even further. "We have over 50 titles, but some of our titles are now, five plus years old. So we have to maintain a real steady stream of new exciting content,", said Gardiner. "Our job is to try to curate content, work with new producers and our doors always open and we love meeting people that bringing us projects at any stage," he affirmed.

                                                                                                                                                              By Romina Rodríguez and Karla Flores