(NEW YORK – Feb. 11, 2020) –Academy Award, Emmy Award and Annie Award-winning New York entertainment company, Believe Entertainment Group, and award-winning, former Nickelodeon senior executive, Keith Dawkins, and his company, Rock Hill Media Ventures,come out of the gates with its first half-hour kids series collaboration with Dinosaur, Mermaid, Racecar, Pufferfish, produced and created by respected animator, Larry Schwarz. The live-action adventure comedy series is geared toward kids ages 6 - 11 but also has the fun to attract a co-viewing/family audience.
Dinosaur, Mermaid, Racecar, Pufferfishis the first initiative in the 2020 kids programming slate for the new partners, who came together last year to accelerate expansion into the kids and family contentspace by creating a diverse and robust pipeline of new content and building global kids IP. The series is created for a multiplatform media environment and provides multifaceted digital companion content and viral elements for social, leveraging the characters in short form.
“Creating multiplatform kids programming that reaches kids in the way they consume content now drives every facet of this fantastically original show, one of the first to combine multiple components of linear, digital and social,” said Dan Goodman and William H. Masterson III, co-founders, Believe Entertainment Group. “Larry is known for creating characters, telling stories and producing content across multiple platforms in kids, youth and family entertainment. We are excited to partner with him and bring this vision to life.”
Dinosaur, Mermaid, Racecar, Pufferfishcenters around four characters (as the title suggests), the galaxy’s most unlikely superheroes, and their fun and misadventures. After an acclaimed scientist bioengineers the four characters to combat other mutant monster creatures, he banishes them to the planet Uranus to battle their way out and back to Earth. Half kung fu monster battle and half character-based sitcom, the production provides plenty of live-action battle characters and comedy antics while conveying positive messages about teamwork, loyalty and friendship.
The series is created by Schwarz under his Larry Schwarz and His Band banner. Believe Entertainment Group will executive produce alongside Keith Dawkins for Rock Hill Media Ventures who jointly developed the project to bring it to market. The trio will produce the project at Pinewood Atlanta Studios, the second-largest purpose-built studio facility in North America, and whose president serves as a Believe board member.
“In an increasingly fragmented viewing marketplace, where kids have more choices than ever before, we know that great storytelling still finds a way to break through the clutter,” said Dawkins, founder and CEO of Rock Hill Media Ventures. “‘Dinosaur, Mermaid, Racecar, Pufferfish’ is just the type of breakthrough content, from the mind of a true storyteller, that we think that kids (and families) will rally around on a variety of platforms.”
Schwarz and his studio, Larry Schwarz and His Band, bring to the project more than two decades of producing and creating television series including global distribution for a variety of kid/family platforms. Schwarz’s award-winning, critically-acclaimed work has amassed a devoted fan base and has been distributed on every major platform around the globe from Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network to key international platforms such as Netflix and Canal+. With one of the largest libraries of independently produced kids content in the industry, Schwarz has attracted partnerships with FremantleMedia’s Kids & Family Entertainment division and investments from Britishfilm production and distribution company, Handmade Films.
“In today’s digital economy, audiences, and especially kids and families, bond with content, characters and brands in totally new and fluid ways,” said Schwarz. “We want to encourage co-viewing (parents watching with kids) and hopefully inspire them to enjoy this fun experience together.”
Additional projects are expected in the coming months.
Believe Entertainment Group, a New York City-based entertainment company, is an Academy Award, Emmy Award and Annie Award-winning studio for Dear Basketball, an animated short film with Kobe Bryant, scored by the iconic John Williams, and animated by Disney legend, Glen Keane.Additionally, in 2019 Believe held its second premiere at Tribeca Film Festival with a new feature-length documentary entitled Between Me and My Mind, centered around Trey Anastasio, the lead singer and co-founder of the band Phish, in partnership with Stickfigure.
Other stand-out BELIEVE projects include: The LeBrons, a multi-season animated kids series with NBA champion, LeBron James; In the Booth, a four-season follow-doc series with DJ/producer Tiësto; Tiger Beat Entertainment, a young-adult pop-culture digital video series with Jennifer Lopez; Money Where Your Mouth Is, a two-season “guys knowledge” game show with comedian Jay Mohr; Uncorked, a celebrity-driven food series featuring MTV’s Steelo Brim and guests like Mel B and Darren Criss; and Poker Nights, a scripted short-form comedy series featuring SNL’s Chris Parnell.
BELIEVE’s studio division has produced premium content for Time Inc., MGM Television, Yahoo, Comedy Central, STX Entertainment, Hulu, CBS, TruTV, Fuse, and Verizon, among others. Further, BELIEVE stands at the forefront of building premium content partnerships with the world’s leading brands, including: Intel, Chick-fil-A, Sprite, Nike, P&G, HP, McCormick, J&J, Microsoft, Marriott, Progressive, Moët & Chandon, Campbell’s, McDonald’s, U.S. Army, Dell, Clorox, and more.
In 2014, the company signed an investment deal with ITV, who also joined the company's board of directors. Last year, Believe closed capital investments from Green Honey, a venture firm led by the executive team of Pinewood Atlanta Studios. Believe Entertainment Group is represented by CAA.
Founded by Keith Dawkins, Rock Hill Media Ventures is a New York based media company that incubates, curates and cultivates ideas for mass consumption. The company focuses on the areas of media/entertainment, sports and social impact.
Rock Hill works on high profile projects with proven content creators, consults for large public companies, and provides strategic advisory services to start-up organizations.
In late 2018 Rock Hill Media Ventures became a strategic advisor to start up news organization, NewsBling, a daily news aggregator, geared towards millennials, that exposes the bias’ and spin in news.
In May of 2019, Rock Hill inked a strategic partnership with award-winning entertainment company, Believe Entertainment Group, to create a new slate of IP for the kids (and family) industry.
Rock Hill Media Ventures also makes a concentrated effort to work with diverse and up-and-coming creative talent, as well as organizations, that share our values and how we look at the world.
Schwarz is creator and producer of “Alien Dawn,” a live action sci-fi adventure series for Nicktoons Network, Teen Nick, Canal + and Nick Australia, and “Team Toon,” an action comedy Netflix Original combining live action and animation, starring Meg Donnelly (“American Housewife,” “Disney Zombies”). Among the content Schwarz created and executive produced for Nicktoons Network under his Animal Collective shingle, which attracted an investment fromBritish film production and distribution company, Handmade Films, founded by George Harrison of The Beatles, is: “Kappa Mikey” (MTV Networks’ and Nickelodeon’s first-ever global program acquisition) and its spinoff, “Dancing Sushi,” “Three Delivery” (Nickelodeon’s second global acquisition), “Thumb Wrestling Federation” (for Cartoon Network US and CBBC UK where it was the highest rated kids show), “Ellen’s Acres” (for Cartoon Network worldwide),“Leader Dog; The Series,” “Tortellini Western: The Series,” and “Speed Racer: The Next Generation.” Schwarz also produced “Wulin Warriors” for Cartoon Network and the first season of “The Incredible Crash Dummies” for Fox Kids.