Bohl was one of four workshoppers granted a shot at pitching his project to four industry pros. "Tales from the Bayou," much to Bohl's glee, was chosen as the "best new idea" at the festival. That's pretty cool. Congrats, Al!
In an email, Bohl wrote, "It was truly an honor but I couldn’t help laughing to myself. The 'Best New Idea' is a concept that I have been working on for over 20 years."
I sent Bohl a few follow-up questions this morning. Here is his response:"'Tales from the Bayou' is a live action/animated series of morality tales as told by an old Cajun man. The main character is a little singing and dancing raccoon that has a crawfish for a conscience and a big alligator for an enemy. The raccoon speaks and sings in a unique stutter-type Cajun dialect called Fiddle-d-da. Some of the stories deal with curing “hiccumups,” greed (when the eyes get bigger – the heart gets smaller), finding true friends and much more.
"I have been pitching this series for all 20 years and have gotten close to making a deal numerous times. I have the distinction of being rejected by some of the best publishers and animation companies in the U.S. I know from the responses of children and adults that I have told the stories to through the years that my concept will work. The biggest discouraging remark has been that Cajun is too localized for a national or international audience. I do not agree with this. I feel that a show that features the wonderful music, accents, food, folklore and bayous of Louisiana would have great appeal to a broad audience. A quick survey of television animation will show that current concepts are blandly homogenized.
"As a result of the 'pitch contest' at Red Stick a talent recruiter approached me about her handling 'Tales.' Another start-up animation company really loved the concept, too. So, I (am) doing what I have always done; I’m going through a repackaging of the concept just in case.
"My years have taught me that the entertainment business is like our solar system. The actual decision makers are represented by the Sun. All creators live on Pluto. The other planets stand between creators and decision makers. Somehow Earthlings feel that it is their job to determine if Plutonians are worthy of getting through to the Sun. The more Earthlings that Plutonians meet the more they realize that Earthlings know very little."
Thanks, Al! If you want to learn more about him, log on to www.albohl.com.
And Al, can you help me get my novel going? Once I find a plot, characters and a few choice themes, it will write itself.