This is my fifth year working in the media industry. I'm young, I was a kid during the 80s and despite my parents best efforts to curb my TV habits, I grew up on a steady diet of Branded Saturday Morning cartoons. From the California Raisins to She-Ra to The Ghostbusters, I watched it avidly. In college I was lucky enough to score an internship with a transmedia and franchise building job that through hard work has become my job. I've since worked on a wide variety of international entertainment brands for an equally wide variety of studios, corporations and independent producers.
World building and transmedia production have given me a chance to work in: Comic Books, Film, Animation, Publishing, Online and New Media, Television, Marketing, Merchandising, and Finance to name a few. Most importantly I've seen the people who bring all these groups together trying to hold the fabric of a narrative and a business franchise together. I've seen my opinions validated, discussed, addressed and put into production, and with not a little pride, I can say that my work has affected international properties that my daughter (almost 2 years old now) watches.
One of the biggest things I have learned from these experiences is that the way to make change in these mammoth endeavors is to speak your mind. Most of the battle to make an intellectual property is a battle of ideas, and those who make an impact is those who make themselves heard. The other part of that coin is that you need to be able to back up what you say if you're going to do it justice.
When you work in popular culture, which I often have, and you aren't careful with your research it's not just your colleagues who will tell you if you're wrong, you will have an army of fans trolling you to within an inch of accuracy. A franchise is only as strong as it's fan base, and in order to validate fans one has to be aware of a story's history and future. Fans will be true to a property that is true to them by giving them a solid story, compelling stories and characters and aspirational themes.
And this brings me to the purpose of this blog. I've grown up with all sorts of franchises, Batman, GI Joe, Star Wars, Transformers, a pantheon of interesting stories but when I stop and think, the vast majority of these franchises are tailored for boys. There are plenty of people out there outlining how things made for girls promote unrealistic ideas of femininity, that they sell girls short and don't show a depth of story or theme. Not to demonize everything pink, fluffy and dipped in glitter, nor to glorify stories that are often violent and oversimplified, my greater question is where ARE the stories for girls?
It's not like girls have no spending power, there's money to be made, and the expense of a well-made franchise based on a strong narrative through line is no more expensive than one hastily slapped together and frankly, the stronger the narrative, the longer its staying power. The purpose of this blog is to ask the question, what makes a successful girl's property and what can creators do in order to create quality properties for girls?
I intend to profile successful girl's properties from the past and present, talking about what made us love them, and how to create laudable, highly successful franchises to spark the imagination of new generations of girls.