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“Often times, when younger talents pitch their projects, they fall into a sort of gap between preschool and kids’ audiences”

Industry Report: Animation

David Gruber • Commissioning Editor, Super RTL Fernsehen


At Cartoon Springboard, Cineuropa talked to the German executive about the network’s editorial policy and what young talents should focus on when pitching their projects

David Gruber • Commissioning Editor, Super RTL Fernsehen

During this year’s edition of Cartoon Springboard, which took place in Madrid from 25-27 October, we seized the opportunity to chat to David Gruber, Commissioning Editor at German free-to-air broadcaster Super RTL, part of the RTL Group. For Super RTL, Gruber commissions animated series for preschool and children audiences, with a focus on projects in early stages of development. In detail, we spoke about the network’s participation in the Spanish gathering, its editorial policy and the aspects of the projects that younger talents need to look carefully at in order to make their pitch successful.

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Cineuropa: Could you elaborate on Super RTL’s editorial policy? What are your target audiences?
David Gruber: We are Germany’s leading content hub and linear TV channel. [At Super RTL], we’re targeting kids aged from 3-13, and in particular the 3-5 preschool and 6-10 kids’ segments. Right now, we’re mainly looking at everything targeting those two segments, especially animated kids’ shows targeting 6-10 year olds. For example, we air popular shows such as the adventure series Dragons [the DreamWorks series] or the comedy series Angelo!. Obviously, we’re looking for more of these.

Why do you think it is important for your network to attend Cartoon Springboard?
I think it’s important to find new talents and new creators, even though their projects may not be the perfect fit for us. It’s always great to find out what’s new in the market, and the new talents who maybe haven't really gotten their feet in this business yet. So for us it’s a great opportunity to meet new producers, new writers and see what they’re up to.

Speaking about young new talents pitching their projects here today and, more broadly, at other similar industry events, what are aspects of their pitches that most often need improvement?
Target audience is always key. You really need to find what your audience likes. And then try to speak to them. Oftentimes, when younger talents pitch their projects, they fall into a sort of gap between preschool and kids’ audiences. So there’s a concern that being in that gap could ‘alienate’ both younger and older children. So I’d really try to find out what speaks either to a preschool or a kids’ audience. In addition, projects tend to become too personal, so I’d suggest not thinking only about the themes you care about, but focusing also on what your audience would care about.

In which markets do you operate? Do you co-produce content?
We don’t do co-productions but we handle pre-sales and developments with production companies from all over the world. We have both our linear TV channel and our online platforms available in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. We have a YouTube channel and our own streaming apps called Toggo, which targets primary schoolers, and Toggolino, aimed at preschoolers. 

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