Unifrance: What is the philosophy behind the series Droners ? How did the project come about?
Raphaelle Mathieu: We believe that as a producer and distributor of content for children, we have a great responsibility in what we convey. Thus, originally, we were looking for projects that allow us to highlight topics such as modern technologies or ecological issues, which are important for our society. “Droners” is the culmination – the marriage in a way – of these two desires.
So we wanted a series that takes place in the world of drones with strong societal issues and endearing characters and kick ass. A series of entertainment above all of course, but which conveys very strong values: to inspire without wanting to teach.
The positioning of the female characters is of course something that is particularly close to our hearts. The idea is to make it clear that girls can do everything, including investing in technological fields that prejudice or self-censorship reserve for boys. We also want to show that girls don’t have to be caricatures of girls to be cool!
But “Droners” is above all the artistic and friendly encounter with Sylvain Dos Santos, the showrunner of the series and its designer.
The series targets 6-10 year olds, what are its assets to speak to children around the world?
RM: The challenge is always to speak to the widest audience. With “Droners”, we believe we have a series that is deeply inclusive and has the potential to appeal to both boys and girls. The approach we have chosen, which is as entertaining as it is open to the world, also means that this is a series that can find its place with both public and private partners.
We also have a series set in the islands with heroes who all have very unique and diverse physical appearances and looks. And we are convinced that in this way, literally, children all over the world will be able to recognize themselves.
What are the first returns after the broadcast of season 1 on TF1?
RM: We are very proud that TF1 is our historical commission partner. The series is regularly ranked in the top 3 of the channel and with peaks of more than 32% of audience share. It was this initial success that made TF1 very quickly want to launch a second season. The quality of season 1, which was followed from the start by WDR (Germany) and Disney France and Benelux, convinced its funding partners to continue the adventure of a season 2 when they had not yet launched season 1. We are very proud of it and we are particularly grateful to them.
Your partners actually saw the potential of the series and trusted you very quickly, how do you explain it?
RM: As I mentioned, the broadcasting success of this leading channel, TF1, naturally motivated our other initial partners. WDR in Germany and Disney in France and Benelux, which were creatively involved very early on, were thus able to be associated with all stages of creation. We are also fortunate to have in Sylvain Dos Santos a showrunner who is very available for international promotion and sensitive to the issues of international distribution.
In short, since the writing and the conception there has been a great collaboration between the talents, the production, the financial partners and the international distribution.
How do you envision the future of the series internationally?
RM: We are very confident for the success of the series internationally, especially since we have a second season, which is even more important for the 26-minute series. The series is now already sold in Australia to ABC, in Portugal to SIC, in Canada to Télé-Québec to mention only the first, and we have very active discussions at the platform level as well as many other territories.
Last but not least, the Licensing potential of the series is naturally very important. In France, we have launched different collections in publishing with a novelization, a manga and a comic strip! Drones of course are in preparation and many other prospects are in the making in France and abroad.
All these parameters make us happy and proud to have produced and distributed “Droners” worldwide and we are convinced that the series will grow and attract more and more viewers in the months to come.
Last update : June 07, 2022 at 09:59 CEST