In recent weeks this blog has taken a peek behind the curtain at the wonderful world of Lullaboo®. Now, we’re focusing on one of our team members who is creating some of the magic bringing Snorble® to life.
Meet Michael-Andreas Kuttner – or M-A to his friends - our Executive Producer - Experiential who, in his own words, is a “jack of all trades and doer of many things” when it comes to his role within the Snorble experience.
M-A modestly describes himself as “technically the Snorble lighting designer” but we know from having seen him in action that he brings so much more to Team Snorble.
“I came onboard to provide the different lighting configurations that go along with Snorble telling a story or getting ready for bedtime and other things like that,” says M-A. “But if I was doing just lighting design, I’d get bored quite quickly. I like to roll my sleeves up and contribute where I can be most useful. For example, I worked on some of the AI routines that determine how Snorble has conversations with people. I do some video production as well, filming the various updates that we put on the website.”
A Pioneer in Digital Animation
An interest in many things is one of the reasons why M-A is one of the founding fathers of the Canadian Digital Media industry. Fresh out of university, he founded the pioneering Collideascope Digital Productions, one of Canada’s largest animation and digital media studios, focused primarily on kids’ entertainment. There, M-A went on to collect armloads of awards producing dozens of digital media properties and more than 250 episodes of animated TV for international markets.
During that time, M-A met future Snorble Co-Founder and CEO, Mike Rizkalla.
“About 20 years ago, Mike came into my office and I don’t know that we were even looking to hire someone, but he just walked in the office and said ‘I want to work for you,’” M-A remembers. “We heard him out and he ended up being my Creative Director at Collideascope for a number of years until he left to start up his own company, which I then ended up working for several years later.”
“After I left there, we just stayed in touch, and he mentioned he was working on a new project called Snorble and asked if I would like to come on board. So here we are. Not only is he a great person to work with, but I like his overall vision and how creative he is and how he approaches things.”
“Having the perspective of someone who has gone through being a young father and running my company, which took an enormous amount of time, and my wife was at home and taking care of the kids, I can appreciate the value of Snorble.”
From Cartoons to Snorble
So, what appealed to M-A, with his background in animated kids’ television, about joining Team Snorble? (By the way, since his home base in Halifax, Nova Scotia, was originally the location of the prototypes of our interactive sleep buddy, he is still referred to as being the “Keeper of the Snorbles.”)
“I’d worked producing animated shows for preschool, so I think that background gives me a better understanding of some of what we’re dealing with from a content development perspective. What’s the cognitive load that a toddler can handle compared with an eight or nine-year-old?” he explains. “You want to be very specific and very one step at a time for a toddler. So, it’s been very attractive to approach the content development of Snorble having had that experience.”
M-A can also draw on his own personal experiences as a parent to appreciate the appeal of Snorble.
“Having the perspective of someone who has gone through being a young father and running my company, which took an enormous amount of time, and my wife was at home and taking care of the kids, I can appreciate the value of Snorble,” he added. “The ability to have had Snorble as an additional arrow we could have had in our quiver, certainly would have been a fantastic thing. I would have paid through the nose for a Snorble!
“I like that Snorble can have a positive effect on life for people who have kids, especially those who are busy, and that Mike emphasizes it’s not a replacement for parenting. Snorble can help kids and parents transition back into the more traditional routines more quickly, especially when parents are coming back from work and you have to get to dinner and you want to have your time and time with kids. I think Snorble can help coach parents as much with good consistent routines as they do the kids.”
There’s so much more that M-A contributes here at Team Snorble that we can’t divulge because we’d risk giving away proprietary information. A recent presentation to our investors revealed some of the unique and ground-breaking ideas M-A has brought to the Snorbleverse and the fruits of his labor will be evident to everyone, once Snorble is let loose on the world.
Leaving the final word to M-A, he sums up perfectly what it feels like to be a member of Team Snorble.
“It’s great to be able to develop a compelling blend of tech and stories and something that requires a lot of new ways of thinking about things,” he says. “It’s a fantastic opportunity to create something new.”