Unemployed CFO Turns to Writing Children?s TV Shows

In between job searching and consulting gigs that have yet to pan out, Silicon Valley CFO Richard Neumann starts writing children?s TV shows.

Marin resident, Richard Neumann has been in finance in the Silicon Valley for over 25 years. He has held the title of Chief Financial Officer for numerous start-ups, including co-founding Ravix, a CFO consulting firm and as chief financial officer of a half-billion corporation in Petaluma. Richard has seen the boom and bust of the dot come industry and managed to survive the many dips in the economy. This down turn has left him, like many, struggling to make ends meet.

After hours of searching the web for jobs and pouring more hours into gigs that promise to pay and never do, Richard sought an outlet that would clear his mind, writing. Or, more precisely ?story telling? as he makes a clear distinction between, authors, writers and storytellers. In his spare time, Richard has published four books and numerous stage and screen plays. When the opportunity came to write for The Magic Paint Box, he took on the challenge.

The Magic Paint Box is the brain child of Margie Rex, a San Francisco Bay Area artist and producer. She has pulled together an amazing cast of talented puppeteers and industry gurus. Her team includes, Adrian Baker (formerly with the Beach Boys) who wrote the music and lyrics for the show and Ron Fields, the grandson of the late WC Fields. Also on the team are director Charles Rudnick of Bars & Tone in San Francisco and Marty Collins of the Digital Media Factory in Santa Cruz. Rumor has it they are in negotiations with a top named signer to be the voice of one of the main characters. The only piece missing was a great script.

On a long shot, Richard met with Margie and was surprised when she offered him the task of writing the pilot and four PSA?s (Public Service Announcements). ?Except for my children?s book Charlie?s Treasures, I?ve never written anything for children and never anything as demanding as a pilot for a TV show! Margie took a leap of faith with me and I was determined to give her the best story I could possibly write.? Richard discussed how his goal was to create a story that was more than as he calls it a ?Barney knock-off.? He grew up watching the works of Jay Ward and Hanna Barbara and wanted to create a show that was educational without preaching, entertaining and yet thought provoking. In the end, the goal of every episode will be to show how children can solve problems with thought, imagination and using the arts.

On April 5th at the Bars & Tone studios in San Francisco the cast and crew got their first look at the finished script. The result was fantastic! From the opening lines by Madeline Squirrel reciting her list of favorite nuts (almost to the tune of Tom Leher?s Elements song) to the closing lines, the cast laughed at all of the right places, loved the use of Shakespearian quotes and even got the inside Monty Python, Haruo Nakajima, Russel Braddon and Harvey jokes. ?I wanted to write a piece that was more than just a noisy kid?s show. I wanted, truth be told, to create something John Lassiter would be proud of - enough flash for the kids and yet enough fun for adults. I think, no, I know it worked. Whew! The cast and crew and most importantly the Executive Producer loved it.?

The four PSA?s will be filmed on April 19th at the Digital Media Factory in Santa Cruz. The pilot episode will be filmed there in June from the 10th to the 14th.

So far there?s no money in it. All of the actors and crew have pitched in hundreds of hours of their own time. But, as Richard put it, ?It may never pay, but this has been the best and most rewarding job of my life!?


Contact Details

Company Name: Stone In The Surf
Issued By: Richard Neumann
Phone: 707-696-6610
Zip: 94901
Website: Visit the website

by Richard Neumann (few years ago!)

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