Filming Wrapping Up in Grand Rapids for
Original Children’s Show

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Dec. 19, 2012) — School Zone Publishing is developing 7 episodes for an original children’s series titled Charlie & Company™, which chronicles the learning adventures of a Golden Retriever named Charlie and his friends.

The production crew, comprised mostly of West Michigan residents, including lead actress Danielle Slot of Grand Rapids, is in its second week of live-action filming. The crew has shot scenes in Norton Shores, Grand Haven, Holland, and Grand Rapids.

The show is about Charlie, his best friend and preschool teacher Ms. Ellie (Slot), and eight original School Zone animated characters. The friends embark on adventures in the woods, a kitchen, a fire station, a Boys & Girls Club, and other locations. Along the way, they learn about letters, numbers, directional words, and other important preschool concepts.

“Children’s television is my heart and my passion,” said the show’s producer and Grand Rapids native Adam Mellema. “It’s a gift to work with such a talented team on a production that not only has heart, but strong content for kids. This show will be fun and light with a lot of opportunities for kids to learn basic skills.”

School Zone, based in Grand Haven, is a leading publisher of children’s workbooks, software, flash cards, books, and mobile learning apps. “Developing quality video content is a great way for School Zone to add strong offerings in the media age,” said Jonathan Hoffman, the company’s president & CEO. “Charlie and Ms. Ellie have such an endearing friendship, they are sure to capture the hearts of children everywhere.”

Joel Tanis, a Holland-based artist and TV personality, wrote the 22-minute episodes with a preschool audience in mind. Tanis starred in and created the Emmy-winning series Come On Over.

Charlie & Company brings additional star power with singer/songwriter Brian Vander Ark, who gained worldwide fame in the 1990s with his band, The Verve Pipe. Vander Ark is the show’s music director; he wrote original songs that he performs in the episodes.

NOTE TO REPORTERS: Filming for Charlie & Company wraps on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012 at Deano’s Studio in Grand Rapids. Reporters who would like to visit the sound stage during filming are encouraged to contact Adam Mellema. Editing and animation will continue over the next several months. Charlie & Company is expected to be ready for commercial distribution in the summer of 2013.

Contact: Adam Mellema
Producer, Charlie & Company