×

Annecy: Sanchez Jorge and Hopcraft Talk About ‘The Jan & Rai Show’

TV series project pitched at Annexe’s Mifa market

Directed by Lluis Sanchez Jorge and produced by Bes Animation’s Jessica Hopcraft, who co-wrote the scripts with Sanchez Jorge, “The Jan & Rai Show” is one of the buzzed-up projects being pitched at this year’s Annecy Fest Mifa market. Variety talked to Sanchez Jorge and Hopcraft on the eve of Annecy.

How would you describe the show?

Hopcraft: The Jan and Rai Show is about a determined adventurer whose quest is hijacked when she must accept the help of two squabbling brothers and their lazy dog.

How did you come up with this idea and characters’ names?

Sanchez Jorge: The idea came up from the earth in a bubble. The characters names blew in through the window and we picked them as they flew past.

Can you describe the protagonist? 

Hopcraft: Indiana Jones if he were a teenage girl.

How did you and Lluis come to collaborate on the show?

Hopcraft: I was brought in during the development stage and our senses of humor and imagination seem to work in sync. Lluis would have an idea for a weird new character or scenario and I would turn it into an episode idea and we would work it out together. We are lucky that the collaboration process is really smooth and super fun for us.

What are some of the hardest aspects about putting together an animated show?

Hopcraft: Time & money. Is that a boring answer? It takes such a long time to get things done which can only be made easier with more people which relies on more money. I think Lluis wishes he could just bunker down and make the whole series but we calculated that would take about 20 years. Haha

Why did you decide on an animated show? Had either of you worked on animated work before?

Hopcraft: Lluis is an animator and I work for Bogan Animation Studio so that’s what we both do, that’s our wheelhouse for sure. I can’t imagine working in anything else. I really love animation.

How did you decide on the type of animation? How did you choose an animator or designer?

Hopcraft: It’s all Lluis, it’s his style, design and animation. He did everything, so it was just a matter of his coming to Bruce our company director with some characters and they started to nut out a concept. No-one else has worked on the design/animation aspect of it.

How will audience be able to identify with the main character?

Hopcraft: I personally love her. She is someone who is wholly capable and determined but has to deal with a real obstacle with Jan & Rai in tow. What she soon realises is that a little bit of chaos, spontaneity and company on her journey makes things a lot more fun.

What are some animated shows that inspired your style and content?

Hopcraft: I love anything weird and silly. The 90’s Nickelodeon stuff is particularly close to my heart. “Angry Beavers,” “Cat Dog,” “Rocko’s Modern Life,” “Aaaah! Real Monsters,” “Rugrats.” My little brother and I used to mimic the Angry Beavers talking style when we were kids. We thought we were hilarious. I think it’s important kids today still see those shows, they’re fantastic and hold up so well. New stuff, I love “Regular Show” and “Rick & Morty.” Oh, and I almost forgot “Spongebob.” “Spongebob” is everything.

Sanchez Jorge: There are so many to name… “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show,” “Ren & Stimpy,” “Betty Boop,” “Mighty Mouse,” “Popeye,  Tex Avery cartoons, the “Beany and Cecil” show, UPA animation. and the list could go on. Also non’animated shows from Buster Keaton, Mighty Boosh, Black Books, “Seinfeld” among others.

Can you give me a brief bios?

Hopcraft: I studied screenwriting and I always wanted to make cartoons. I did a placement with an animation production company and realised I really enjoyed that side of things. Then I got a job at Bogan around two-and-a-half-years ago and I work as a production coordinator, writer and on development. It’s really great understanding the process inside out and it really helps the writing process. I really love my job and the company I work with because they pride themselves on creating interesting, beautiful and funny projects and what’s better than that?

Sanchez Jorge: I left high school in 1996 and moved to Valencia, Spain, where I made a living in the fine arts but I loved animation so much I taught myself to animate, I then become a cartoonist/illustrator making artwork for international rock ‘n’ roll bands. I’ve slowly shifted away from that and now mostly work as a freelance animator/cartoonist.

Are you working on any other projects in the near future?

Hopcraft: We have a lot of things going on at Bogan and we are moving into pre-production on a series called “Kitty is Not a Cat” towards the end of the year, which is super-exciting.

Sanchez Jorge: I have a couple of ideas floating around my head but at the moment I’m mainly focusing on ‘The Jan & Rai Show.’

What are your plans for “The Jan & Rai Show”?

Hopcraft: We really would love to get someone on board to help us progress into series. We have had funding from the ACTF (the Australian Children’s Television Foundation) to create the teaser, pilot script and and bible, plus we have over 30 episode ideas under our belt with the scope for many more. Ideally, we want to steam forward on writing and production, I believe the world needs “The Jan & Rai Show.”

Anything you’d like audiences to know about yourself or the show that I haven’t asked about?

Hopcraft: In the teaser I am the voice of Jan and 3 out of 4 of The Bearded Ladies. I’m not sure I’m any good but it was really fun.

Sanchez Jorge: I’d like the audience to know that it’s never too late… run!

More Film

  • Female-Led and LGBTQ Narratives Win Big

    Female-Led and LGBTQ Narratives Win Big At Durban FilmMart Awards

    DURBAN–Female-driven narratives and daring portraits of queer culture around the continent were the big winners at this year’s Durban FilmMart (DFM), the industry program of the Durban Intl. Film Festival, which handed out awards at a ceremony Monday night at the Southern Sun Maharani Hotel. Among the prize-winners were the story of a Zimbabwean woman [...]

  • Oscar Nominations Reactions Phyllis Nagy

    Screenwriter Phyllis Nagy Runs for Writers Guild Presidency, Citing Agency Stalemate

    Oscar-nominated screenwriter Phyllis Nagy is challenging Writers Guild of America West’s incumbent president David Goodman, citing his handling of the bitter stalemate between the WGA and Hollywood agents. Nagy announced her candidacy online Monday night, a day before the deadline for filing. She made the announcement  in a private online group as part of Writers for [...]

  • Klaudia-Reynicke

    Locarno: Summerside Picks Up ‘Love Me Tender’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Rome-based Summerside Intl. has acquired international sales rights to Klaudia Reynicke’s “Love Me Tender.” The second feature from Peru-born and Switzerland-based filmmaker will receive its world premiere at the Locarno Festival in its Filmmakers of the Present competition, which focuses on first and second features. Summerside Intl. is the world sales agent, excluding and Lichtenstein [...]

  • Elsie Fisher and Bo Burnham2019 Writers

    Writers Guild Announces 2020 Awards Show Date

    The 72nd Annual Writers Guild Awards will take place in coinciding ceremonies in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton and the Edison Ballroom in New York on Feb. 1, the Writers Guild of America announced. The WGA will begin voting in November and will reveal this year’s TV nominees Dec. 5 and film Jan. 6. [...]

  • Tarantino Movies Ranked Illustration

    All of Quentin Tarantino's Movies Ranked

    In the history of cinema, has any director done more to elevate the idea of movies as cool than Quentin Tarantino? Certainly, the idea that films could be made by fans dates back at least to the French New Wave, when a group of die-hard critics stepped behind the camera. A few years later, Spielberg, [...]

  • A Stranger on the Beach

    Anonymous Content Wins Film Rights to Michele Campbell's 'A Stranger on the Beach' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Anonymous Content has won the adaptive rights to the forthcoming Michele Campbell novel “A Stranger on the Beach.” In a competitive situation, Anonymous outbid multiple players for the thriller, which it will adapt for the big screen with in-house producers Alex Goldstone and Rosalie Swedlin. “Stranger” has been likened to sensual thrillers like “Fatal Attraction” [...]

  • Ridley Scott Matt Damon Ben Affleck

    Ridley Scott, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Nicole Holofcener Team on 'The Last Duel'

    Ridley Scott looks to have his next directing job, as he has signed on to direct “The Last Duel” with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck attached to star. Damon and Affleck co-wrote the script with Oscar-nominated Nicole Holofcener. Scott, Damon and Affleck all producing along with Scott’s producing partner Kevin Walsh. Drew Vinton is also [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content