The YouTube Originals show “Behind the Beats” has garnered nearly 12 million views since its first eight episodes aired, which premiered Nov. 17. It has 6.7 million subscribers The 26-part animated music anthology was created by leading French animation company TeamTO, along with rights-clearing agency 22D Music Group, in partnership with public broadcaster France Télévision.
The series takes viewers behind the scenes of the emergence of key global music trends such as punk, grunge, techno, funk and salsa. Each six-minute video consists of three tracks and features a main character – like Debbie Harry in the first episode, “Punk + Disco = New Wave.”
The series features a fast-paced music video/video game graphic style, and the narrative revolves around how young musicians realize their dreams through interactions with the local music scene and other artists.
The show is produced by Corinne Cooper (TEAMTO) and Emmanuel Deletang (22D Music Group). Craig Hunter, Global Head of Kids & Family Originals for YouTube, Creative Lead, Zoë Di Stefano as Creative Executive. France Television’s creative lead is Pierre Siracusa.
Creator and director Baptiste Jacquemet produced the initial trailer himself, aiming for an accessible style that avoids the need for complex modeling.
“Baptist has this talent for representing people,” explains Cooper, TeamTO’s senior VP of production and development. “The characters look like real people but they’re stylized, a bit like caricatures.”
The series was modeled using Maya and then animated with Timto’s in-house software Tangerine. It also uses Pixar RenderMan and the effects are done in Houdini with Nuke compositing.
The French-language version was launched exclusively on france.tv on 19 November. There is a six-month holdback for launching English-language versions in France. France Television has first-window exclusivity for the French-language version, with a one-year holdback.
The Spanish-language version will be released on YouTube soon.
In addition to YouTube and France Television as majority partners, the series has the funding support of the CNC National Film Agency, the SACEM Writers Association, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Drôme & Valence Romans Agglo Region and the Creative Media Program. European Union.
“We’re very excited about how well the show has performed so far, both in France and globally,” said Cooper
“This is the first instance where we have combined a very classic French public service channel with one of the world’s largest media companies, YouTube,” explained Patricia de Wilde, Timto’s Director of Marketing and New Business.
Cooper said he was thrilled to create an animation project that has a documentary dimension. “I learn new things with every episode. It’s not just about creating fun and entertaining stories. You get a lot of interesting information, which can appeal to kids and adults. I think that’s why it’s been so successful on YouTube, because a lot of people go there to learn.”
The team also owns the IP, and can sell the rights to broadcasters worldwide a year after launch. Cooper believes that even with exposure on YouTube, the show will be attractive to broadcasters. “Everybody wants to attract visitors. Streamers are taking shows that are available elsewhere.”
TeamTO is also developing the action-comedy animated series “Z Armor,” which launched to strong ratings in fall 2022 on France Television in France, Super RTL in Germany and HBO Max and Cartoon Network in EMEA. It was also sold to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).
The “Jade Armor” all-female creative team is led by Cooper, supported by showrunner and co-creator Chloe Miller; Lead author MJ Offen; French story editor Ghislaine Pujal and co-developer Marie Bredin.
“It’s a very interesting and very modern show, coming from an all-female team and featuring strong female characters,” says Cooper. “It addresses topics that are rarely shown in these types of shows, such as romances between generations and same-sex couples.”
De Wilde said that “Z Armor” performed well among its core 7-10-year-old audience and for both boys and girls aged 10-13. The makers are currently writing season two.
Team TO’s is producing eight shows, including in-house productions and serviced shows, and employs more than 500 people in France.
Other in-house shows include season five of France Television’s “Angelo Rules,” and its servicing productions include France 3 and “PJ Masks” for Disney, two shows for American clients based on videogames, and a series for DreamWorks. It recently delivered the first season of “The Creature Cases” for Silvergate Media/Netflix.
TeamTO recently relocated to a state-of-the-art eco-friendly animation studio in the Bastille neighborhood of Paris, with over 200 employees, which will reduce its carbon footprint by 63%.
The studio includes a datacenter connected to all workstations, which significantly reduces energy consumption and noise levels. It is powered by an AI-based open-source management software, with an in-house production tracking system, which makes it possible to streamline production across shows.
Guillaume Hellouin, co-founder and president of TeamTO, commented: “This is a dream come true. We have been working on the new studio for almost four years. No one has done this before.”
With its low-noise environment and filtered air, Halloween says the new studio “brings a feeling that’s very different from a traditional office. It has a Zen-like atmosphere, which is very conducive to creativity.”
Looking ahead, the team is also developing several animated feature film projects, and Cooper said he would like to create a second season for “Behind the Beats.” “We have a big list of well-known artists, songs and trends that we want to feature It has huge potential.”