Sarah-and-duck-cooking_bannerSarah & Duck © Karrot Entertainment 2012

Sarah and Duck

Industries:
Animation

Produced by Karrot Entertainment for BBC Worldwide

Whilst pitching children’s series ideas to buyers, broadcasters and production companies it became clear that Sarah & Duck had potential. This became the first property that managing director Chris White decided to invest in and take to market, when he felt that the team was ready and he had a good understanding of the market.

In September 2010 Chris launched the company Karrot Entertainment and Sarah & Duck at Cartoon ForumAt MIPCOM a month later CBeebies picked up the production.

Chris then had to find the finance to be able to produce the show. It is standard practice that at the start of a broadcast production you are paid a small license fee and you have to bring in pre-sales from distributors and broadcasters to fund the production. It is a risk, as you may not always recoup the money you spend through broadcast sales. 

After a year of talking to distribution companies, Chris decided to partner with BBC Worldwide, as he liked the direction they were moving in and that they were able to help cash flow the production. This was at a time before the tax relief and when banks stopped providing loans for risk taking projects. The animation tax relief has since allowed Sarah & Duck to move straight from series two to series three without having to wait for the revenues to come in, as it has essentially halved Karrot’s capital risk.

Once the series was green lit, Chris became the executive producer ensuring that Karrot fulfills all contractual needs and oversees the financing, Jamie Badminton became the creative director and producer of the brand, and Tim O’Sullivan became the series director. Tim focuses on the day-to-day elements of the production, including managing the creative team, an animation director, art director, plus two line producers. As it is an intensively creative process, it leaves little time for Tim to deal with other projects until the end of the third series in September 2017.

The production started in January 2012 and the first series went on air in February 2013. By the time Karrot received their BAFTA Children’s’ Pre-school Animation Award in November 2014, for an episode from the first series, the second series was well in production. The third series was commissioned in spring 2015.

In June 2015 Karrot was named as one of Animation Magazine’s Animation Companies to Watch in 2015, and Sarah & Duck was also named by the magazine as a TV show destined to become a classic by the magazine.

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