I Was a Teenage Sunbow Intern – Part 8

1980s Sunbow Productions logo as title card for Tim Finn's blog post

In our last episode ([Part 1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]), Tim began his internship exploring production materials for The Brothers Flub.

In the first week, there were two art-related tasks given to the interns.  The first was for MIP or MIPCOM, annual markets where networks, producers, and studios meet to buy, hype, and sell programming for television.  Much as ToysRUS’s year revolves around Christmas, Sunbow’s year revolved around these.  I don’t know who attended, but presumably our top Sales, Production, and Development people from the New York office.  I think they were in different cities each year, and the two different conferences were six months apart.  And one was exclusively for kids shows?  Notably, these weren’t just about American studios and English-language programming.  These were global, where a small network in Chile might plan its broadcast year, or a French studio might sell its first package of 52 half-hours and finally get on the map.  Both names you have heard of and lots you haven’t are in attendance.

My boss Randy explained what needed doing.  Some large color artwork for Brothers Flub was to be mount spray mounted on foam core.  Presumably at a Sunbow table at one of the conventions there would be an easel to display it.  Thinking back, studios probably brought (or rented?) TV/VCRs, and certainly brought VHS tapes, but I doubt they had portable video projectors.  So besides small printed ad slicks and press kits, an old-fashioned sign might be the best way to attract eyeballs.  Two other interns handled this, and I think they did the work in the back stairwell that no one ever used, probably not known for its proper ventilation.

I don’t recall what the other task was for, but it may have been a network or the Los Angeles office.  But I got to do it, and I was thrilled to be working with Sunbow assets, even if Randy said something like “It’s not a big deal/it doesn’t have to be perfect,” meaning the stakes were not high and no one was actually relying on my ability to color match.  It had something to do with communicating what colors the main characters in Brothers Flub were, and the client/end user/mystery person was then going to… print out their own version?  Better know what the paint colors would look like as a broadcast signal?  I don’t remember.  But for some reason, it wasn’t being done with actual paint or the code numbers for animation cel vinyl paint.  I had some oversized Brothers Flub printout, and was matching the colors as best I could to Pantone colors.  But instead of comparing to a Pantone chart and writing down the color codes, I had a Pantone swatch keychain with plastic chips for each color, and Randy had encouraged me to cut a small piece from each and glue it into the poster next to its analog.  I think the New York office lacked some prop for doing this the correct way.  I didn’t understand why it was okay to ruin this presumably expensive item, but Randy was unphased.

And so I did, a little distressed that I was chopping up a fancy Pantone tool because we were missing some other tool, and disappointed that this job was not important.  On the other hand, I was happy to be doing something rather that sitting in the intern room, and I could somewhat put to use the small bit of color theory I had taken two years prior.  I mean, not just anyone could match color swatches, right?

There were two other main tasks for production interns, one which led me to treasure I had seen on my tour, and the other that led to buried treasure the likes of which I could not imagine.

What were they?  Tune in next time to find out!  [Next Part]

[Part 1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]

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