Thinking out-off-the-box

The kid’s TV business is becoming ever-more challenging with education producers battling the effects of fragmentation and changing international market demand, EBS’s (Korea Educational Broadcasting System) Senior Executive Producer Dr Hyunsook Chung tells K. Dass how she narrates her education programmes for kids.


Baby on the Way Brother is Zero Do You Have A Sister?

We want to inspire kids to be who they are, not have them dreaming of being someone else. This means programmes have to be aspirational which could be off the shopping list. I initiated children’s drama series at ABU (Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union) for the first time in 2004 as a chairperson of the Children’s Programme Working Party. Since then, my interest has been in developing children’s content in Asia.

Education does not have to be separated from entertainment. When it’s not fascinating enough, it won’t sell or be distributed. So, education should go along with entertainment and creativity to bring the video perspective to the audience especially, at a young age to keep their interest going. Worldwide, the battle for kids’ content is becoming increasingly heated, as scripted and reality shows on mainstream channels continue to pull younger viewers from kids’ nets.

This is something we see as a trend and we’re responding to it. How we ramp up our production strategy: when I decide on a new programme, I take the opportunity to discuss with the kids or educators in the field at the planning stage. I also talk to experts on the ground when the programme is almost edited, before the final cut. The finished product is then shown to the kids (focus group) for their responses. It’s important to notice how they react, their facial expressions and respond to the new shows and adapt by further editing. Factors such as what they understood, what they missed and why it was important are rectified at this stage. Elements like different music, editing is done to emphasise different aspects. The approach is to give them what they really want.

It’s difficult to generalise children’s content because specific programmes have different aims. But nowadays, children’s content is considered a huge borderless global market and that’s why animation is growing bigger. I’m not against animation but it’s important to keep a balance and amplify the real lives of children in their own voice with the fun aspects, such as animation and fantasy world.

We even title the shows creatively to catch the attention of both the children and the parent in Korea for maximum impact. The titles allow The kid’s TV business is becoming ever-more challenging with education producers battling the effects of fragmentation and changing international market demand, EBS’s (Korea Educational Broadcasting System) Senior Executive Producer Dr Hyunsook Chung tells K. Dass how she narrates her education programmes for kids. Thinking out-off-the-box them to start imagining of the topic which in return built their character, social behaviour and conduct. Some of my projects translated from Korean include; Baby on the Way, Do You have a Sister? (Series) and Brother is Zero. So, it can be fun, uttering how it’s nice to have siblings but at the same time it feels like, do you have a sister? I don’t want to have one, so it demonstrates how to socialise and accommodate or welcome the new member in their own kingdom.



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