Unlocking Your World of Creativity podcast

Marlene Sharp, Pink Poodle Productions

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Today we traveled to sunny L.A. to sit down with the Founder and Producer of Pink Poodle Productions, Marlene Sharp. Marlene has quite an impressive resume wearing many different hats in the Entertainment Industry. To name a few, Marlene has worked as a director and producer and an all-around key contributor in both iconic and niche franchises such as YO-KAI WATCH, SONIC THE HEDGEHOG, POWER RANGERS, PINK PANTHER, and POSTMAN PAT.

In this episode we some of the topics we talked with Marlene about are:

  • The creative journey from growing up in New Orleans to working in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles.
  • Her role as a mentor for autistic artists at The Center for Learning Unlimited, &
  • The new film trilogy she’s working on, Young Captain Nemo.

“I cannot lie and say that developing video game characters was my dream as a girl. It was not. I was interested in all different aspects of the entertainment industry, deal-making, writing, and producing, especially as it concerned me because there aren't as many roles for women.”

Marlene’s Creative Journey

When Marlene got to Hollywood she fell into the video game-driven content business through her first temp job. She worked for a company called Bandi. The owner of the Bandi worked closely with Japan, which owned Power Rangers at the time. Her company was concerned with selling toys.

Marlene talks a lot about the anime industry in this segment explaining that 99% of what kids entertainment business is about is first selling stuff, to sustain the business and this is mostly through consumer products.

  1. She would have to follow the development and then the production to make sure that the toys were being played within the correct play pattern to make kids want to buy them. imitating that role-playing in real life.
  2. A lot of the anime she received was very stream-of-consciousness storytelling. Which is not ideal for western audiences. They had to create a beginning, middle, and end.

“There was a lot, there was creativity in the sense that we had to disguise the fact that we were selling so much because it wasn't supposed to be just a commercial for, for toys, there needed to be storytelling.”

  1. Marlene attended an all-girls school growing up in New Orleans. She went through what she explains as the hard knocks going through the “mean girl” experience. She feels this prepared her for the cutthroat industry in Hollywood.
  2. She felt a big change coming into Los Angeles from New Orleans with how people are very career conscious in L.A. She said she sees people buckle down and work insane hours and will make all kinds of sacrifices for their careers.

Being a Mentor

Marlene mentors a special group of artists at a school called The Center for Learning Unlimited in Torrance, California. The school has an animation career training program for adults on the autism spectrum. She works with adults 18 and over. There’s a lot of diversity, age ranges, and backgrounds in the program.

  • Three-year certificate training program
  • When the students finish that program, they go into Brainstorm Productions, the companion studio.
  • The studio serves as a traditional studio that takes work for hire opportunities.
  • It's a bridge between the academic program and working at a big third-party studio.

Young Captain

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