Broadcaster Buys Into BotShop

Our Annual Report, “Unlocking Creative Profitability” is now available.

You can meet many of the creative entrepreneurs we invested in right here. Here’s one of our favourite stories about our support for BotShop.

Success frequently requires failure. It’s a lesson that holds true in television as much as any other industry.

And it’s certainly the case for BotShop, the 52 episode preschool television series in production in Saskatoon, and soon to be seen on televisions across the country. BotShop, according to its producer, began life as a bad idea.

“With the support of Creative Saskatchewan in 2015, we produced a pilot of a children’s show called Bone Droid,” said Tim Tyler, owner of Cheshire Smile Animation Inc.

“We marketed the pilot, again with Creative Saskatchewan's support, to distributors and broadcasters.

It didn’t fly, no one warmed to it. We realized what we thought was a great idea, wasn’t actually very good.”

For every great TV show pitch that convinces broadcasters to buy in, there are countless failed attempts.

"The Slate Development Grant is a lot different from investments that are more commonly

available to TV producers"

The secret to success is to learn from every misstep. “We processed all the negative feedback and tossed out everything about the concept except the robot,” Tyler said.

“That’s how BotShop was born. We received a development deal with Télévision française de l’Ontario. That led us to further partnerships with the Bell Fund, Radio-Canada, and the Canadian Media Fund. BotShop is now ready for export to more broadcast territories around the world.”

Tyler believes that Creative Saskatchewan’s unique Slate Development Grant was essential to his success. “This particular grant is a lot different from investments that are more commonly available to TV producers,” Tyler said. “It allows a producer with a track record to develop multiple concepts, which often feed into one another, and get them through to a proof of concept stage without a distribution deal. It allowed us to chart a path to commercial success.”

The Film & TV Development Grant: Slate Development Stream opens on September 4th.