Monday, February 15, 2016

Interview With Farnaz Esnaashari-Charmatz, Creator Of Nickelodeon's "Shimmer and Shine"

The local news website has unveiled a fantastic interview with Farnaz Esnaashari-Charmatz, the creator of Nickelodeon's hit CG-animated preschool series "Shimmer and Shine", in which she talks about working on her popular Nickelodeon show, and what fans can expect to see in the recently greenlit second season of "Shimmer and Shine", scheduled to debut on Nickelodeon USA in June 2016!:

"I love sparkly things, art and fashion so working on "Shimmer and Shine" has been a dream for me," Farnaz Esnaashari-Charmatz, the show's creator, stated during a recent phone interview.

Farnaz has always loved creating things and grew up enjoying shows like "I Dream of Genie". She has worked with Nickelodeon for several years, having been inspired to create animation since seeing "Toy Story" whilst in high school, Farnaz became a NICKtern for Nickelodeon right out of Cal State college and subsequently went on to land a full time job with the number-one entertainment brand for kids and families. Since then, she has worked on several shows, leading up to her first broadcast concept, "Shimmer and Shine".

"The idea for "Shimmer and Shine" came from brainstorming sessions where we sought to find shows about resilience," Farnaz explained. "We also did research about what children respond to. Personally, I love glitter and genies as does my little girl. I used those interests to develop the show." Even though she created the show, she has a dedicated team of writers who pen the episodes, which have received rave reviews from parents and kids alike since the show launched on Nickelodeon USA in August 2015.

(Graphic: Business Wire)

"Shimmer and Shine" takes place in a unique and highly imaginative world that requires the writers to think up original languages, creatures and landscape. The mythology of the genie culture is due to be explored deeper in season two, something that Farnaz hopes will make the show even more appealing for viewers. She stated, "We want to show how the magic works in the genie world and explain a little more about where they come from. There will also be way more genie characters in season two! We want to make kids really believe in that world and willingly embrace it."

Farnaz readily admits that the best part of working in children's media is seeing the effect her content has on children. "I love googling "Shimmer and Shine" and seeing videos and photos of children interacting with my characters. It's so rewarding to see them responding so well to something we've created. It's wonderful to be able to spread that kind of joy."

In ten years, Farnaz hopes to still be working in children's media, perhaps even create a second show. "I want to keep growing and learning and finding ways to entertain people - and finding ways to dig deeper into the dynamics of "Shimmer and Shine" is definitely what I want to focus on now."

Shimmer & Shine Pictured: (L-R) Nahal, Shine, Shimmer and Tala in new animated preschool series, Shimmer & Shine, coming to Nickelodeon in 2015. Photo Credit: Nickelodeon. ©2014 Viacom International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

When asked about what advice she would give to those aspiring to enter the children's animation industry, Farnaz stated matter-of-factly, "Be willing to start at the bottom and work your way up. You will not start at the top and you will need to be willing to do menial tasks at first. Stay humble, soak up as much knowledge as you can and treat everyone with kindness. If you do all that and are good at your job then you are very likely to do well."

In season two, twin genies-in-training Shimmer and Shine will embark on more magical adventures with their human best friend Leah, encounter brand-new characters and explore vibrant new locales in the land of Zahramay Falls. "Shimmer and Shine" features a social-emotional curriculum highlighting the importance of teamwork, resilience and overcoming obstacles.

New season one premieres of "Shimmer and Shine" will continue to air on Nick USA throughout February and March 2016.

"Shimmer and Shine" currently ranks #1 in its timeslot and airs regularly weekdays at 11am (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon USA, which is the top network for preschoolers and kids 2-11.

The second season of "Shimmer and Shine" will introduce new characters, including Zeta (voiced by Lacey Chabert, "Party of Five", "Mean Girls"), a power-hungry sorceress who uses potions and spells to scheme against the genies; Nazboo, Zeta's loyal pet dragon; Samira, a kind genie princess; Roya, Samira's beautiful pet peacock; and Kaz, Zac's new genie and friend. The new episodes feature CG animation and will be set entirely in the genie world of Zahramay Falls.

Shimmer and Shine at Toy Fair 2016.

In the toy aisle, Nickelodeon and Fisher-Price, a subsidiary of Mattel Inc., debuted the first-ever "Shimmer and Shine" line at this year's New York Toy Fair. The collection includes basic and deluxe doll assortment and accessories; feature dolls such as Shimmer and Shine Wish & Spin and Shimmer and Shine Magic Flying Carpet. Products will be available in stores across the USA in July 2016, and in the UK from Autumn/Winter 2016.

Nickelodeon's "Shimmer and Shine" Enchanted Carpet Ride app, inspired by the series, helps preschoolers with basic math concepts, shapes, patterns and symmetry, all while taking a magic carpet ride through the land of Zahramay Falls. The app is available now on the App Store for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. At launch, the app ranked #2 overall in the Educational Apps category on iTunes and in the top 10 Overall in the U.S.

"Shimmer and Shine" is produced at Nickelodeon Animation Studios in Burbank, California.
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