"Raggs" is a co-production between Raggs LLC, Charlotte, NC and Southern Star International, Sydney, Australia. As a result, an international team of over 150 industry professionals including award-winning producers, directors, writers, editors, composers and advisors have worked to craft "Raggs" Series 1, 2, and 3. (Series 4 will begin production in 2008) Each series is 65 x 30'.
Principle photography is filmed by Southern Star's team in Sydney, Australia. All music, songs, and scores for the series are produced at Concentrix Music and Sound Design, Charlotte, NC. Two segments in the show, the music video interstitials and interviews with the pet cat Dumpster, are filmed in the US by Emulsion Arts. Each country has character voice talent appropriate for their markets. Character voices are currently dubbed into Australian, Bulgarian, Hebrew and English. An Australian educational advisory team oversees Australian "P" programming guidelines, which is the highest standard of preschool in Australia. "Raggs" meets these guidelines. Also, scripts and educational outreach materials are reviewed and edited by a US educational team headed by Shalom Fisch, Ph.D. KQED, the San Francisco public broadcast station, is the presenting station in the US and oversees quality control and educational outreach. In the US, the series is distributed to public television stations by American Public Television (APT).
A marketing veteran who began her career as a copywriter, Steedman owned her own advertising agency for 15 years before deciding to head Raggs LLC fulltime in 2002.
Entrepreneurial in experience and spirit, Steedman has worked with clients in a variety of industries to grow their businesses and build their brands. She has won major industry recognition with Addys and Silver Microphones, and was awarded the 2001 Women in Business Achievement Award for the Charlotte region. In the past few years, she has developed Raggs LLC from a promotional company into an internationally respected children's entertainment property.
Cathy Payne has worked in international television distribution in excess of 16 years, with a special focus on children's programming. Having commenced her distribution career with the Hannah-Barbera library, Cathy has managed Southern Star's roll out of children's brands including Barney and Friends, Wishbone, The Sleepover Club and Hi-5. Payne oversees the entire library of more than 22,000 titles distributed by Southern Star.
Noel Price is Australia's most experienced and prominent producer of children's television. His programs range across all genres and cater for all age groups. He has a wealth of international experience having produced or directed programs in the UK, France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Ireland, Poland, China, Singapore and Australia. Also, he has co-produced with companies in Japan, the US, all of Europe and China. He joined Southern Star in 1998 and is responsible for children's and family production as well as Southern Star's animation production in Australia and Singapore
From the first song, "Raggs Rocks," Concentrix has been responsible for the turn-key development and execution of the entire Raggs music library which now includes over 130 scored episodes and 200 original recorded songs. From their Charlotte-based studio, which is conveniently located a few blocks from Raggs LLC headquarters, Concentrix works closely with both the US production and Australian production teams.
Since Fred and Becky Story founded Concentrix Music and Sound Design in 1990, members of the company have been the recipients of three Emmy Awards; plus three additional Emmy nominations; eight Telly awards; 18 Addy Awards; 37 Silver Microphone Awards, and numerous other corporate and business awards. Music created at Concentrix has been heard on NBC, CBS and ABC networks; Discovery Channel; A&E; Food Network; CMT; and Public Television stations including several award-winning documentaries for UNC-TV such as "Monet in Normandy," "Thank you Eddie Hart," and "Matisse, Picasso and The School of Paris." Fred Story recently scored "A Man Named Pearl," for national theatrical distribution in 2007.
Emulsion Arts is an internationally, award-winning film production company which most recently was a second-time recipient of the New York International Film Festival's Gold World Medal (2007). Led by Producer/Director/Writer Joanne Hock and Creative Producer Heidi Dove, Emulsion Arts has produced feature length documentaries, independent films and major television campaigns for Fortune 500 companies. Film and documentary projects have aired on The Discovery Channel, Sci Fi Channel and BET. In 2007, Hock and Dove also produced a special in Europe for the Echo Foundation based on the life of Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel.
A well-respected name in the public broadcast arena, Shalom (Sholly) Fisch is President and Founder of MediaKidz Research & Consulting, a consulting firm that provides educational content development, hands-on testing, and writing for children's media. (Past and current clients include WNET/Thirteen, DC Comics, Noggin, Scholastic, Procter & Gamble, and the National Academy of Sciences, among others.) Prior to founding MediaKidz in the summer of 2001, Dr. Fisch was Vice President for Program Research at Sesame Workshop, where he oversaw curriculum development, formative research, and summative research for a broad range of television series, outreach projects, school-age magazines, and interactive material for online and CD-ROMs. In his 15 years at the Workshop, Dr. Fisch was Research and/or Content Director for numerous preschool and school-age media-based projects.
Dr. Fisch has served as an advisor and reviewer for various government agencies and nonprofit organizations, such as the U.S. Department of Education, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Coalition for Quality Children's Media (a.k.a. "Kids First!"), and the National Institute for Child Health and Development. In the academic realm, he has been an adjunct professor at Fordham University and New York University, where he received a Ph.D. in Experimental/Developmental Psychology.
Rounding out the picture, Dr. Fisch has also maintained an active sideline as a freelance writer since 1984, with most of his credits consisting of comic book stories for Marvel and DC Comics. In addition, he has written TV scripts, several books for children and adults, short stories, magazine articles, and material for the Web. His book Get in Gear was a finalist for the Royal Society's Aventis prize for best children's science book of 2003. He also literally "wrote the book" on children's learning from educational media - twice - through his two academic books, "G" Is for "Growing": Thirty Years of Research on Children and Sesame Street (2001) and Children's Learning from Educational Television: Sesame Street and Beyond (2004).
Dennis Kostyk, president of Kostyk Communications, Inc, has been retained by Raggs LLC as an advisor and consultant in the area of TV program development and financing. He is responsible for negotiating the production/distribution agreement with Southern Star and continues to advise on TV production, distribution and marketing issues. Some of Mr. Kostyk's present and past clients include: Corporation for Public Broadcasting, National Geographic, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, The Economist, WNET (PBS - New York), WTTW (PBS - Chicago), WETA (PBS - Washington), KQED (PBS - San Francisco) and Collingwood O'Hare Entertainment (London)
KQED (www.kqed.org) is a service of Northern California Public Broadcasting, Inc. (NCPB). KQED Public Television 9, one of the nation's most-watched public television stations during primetime, is the producer of local and national series such as QUEST; Check, Please! Bay Area; Jacques Pepin: Fast Food My Way; and Jean-Michel Cousteau: Ocean Adventures. KQED's digital television channels include KQED HD, KQED Life-Encore, KQED World, KQED Kids and KQED V-me, and are available 24/7 on Comcast. KQED Public Radio, home of Forum with Michael Krasny and The California Report, is the most-listened-to public radio station in the nation with an award-winning news and public affairs program service (88.5 FM in San Francisco and 89.3 FM in Sacramento). KQED Education Network brings the impact of KQED to thousands of teachers, students, parents and the general public through workshops, community screenings and multimedia resources. KQED Interactive offers video and audio podcasts and live ra
With more than 10,000 hours of programming in its library, American Public Television (APT) has been a prime source of programming for the nation's public television stations for 47 years, distributing more than 300 new program titles per year. APT milestones include distribution of the first HD series on public television and the 2006 launch of Create - the TV channel featuring the best of public television's lifestyle programming. Known for its leadership in identifying innovative, worthwhile and viewer-friendly programming, APT has established a tradition of providing public television stations with program choices that strengthen and customize their schedules, such as Carreras Domingo Pavarotti in Concert, Winged Migration, Battlefield Britain, Globe Trekker, Rick Steves' Europe, Great Museums, Jacques Pépin: Fast Food My Way, America's Test Kitchen From Cook's Illustrated, Broadway: The Golden Age, Lidia's Family Table, California Dreamin' - The Songs of The Mamas & the Papas, Rosemary and Thyme, P. Allen Smith's Garden Home, Raggs, The Big Comfy Couch, Monarchy With David Starkey, andother prominent documentaries, dramatic series, how-to programs, children's series and classic movies.
Southern Star is an integrated film and television production and distribution group. Divisions of the Company are involved in film, television and video production; sales and distribution; and licensing and merchandising. Southern Star was acquired in November 2007 by Fairfax Media, a publicly listed company on the Australian Stock Exchange. Fairfax Media Limited [ASX:FXJ] is Australasia's leading media company