From Page to Screen…Fan News
A behind-the-scenes story of how the brilliant Tom Gates books became a brilliant TV series!
Have you ever wondered how your favourite character or book - like, say... the Tom Gates book series - is made into a film or TV show?
You probably own one of the Tom Gates books by Liz Pichon or maybe you have the whole collection? When you were reading your latest Tom Gates book (hint hint: Ten Tremendous Tales is the newest book) did you find yourself imagining Tom himself and the Tom Gates doodles coming to life? Or maybe a Tom Gates monster growling and giggling as you turned the page?
The people who make the TV show: The Brilliant World of Tom Gates (now available on Sky Kids) also imagined those things and thought “the Tom Gates Books are brilliantly funny and loads of fun - what if they came to life on TV or in a film?!”
Working with creator Liz Pichon
They met the creator of the books, Liz Pichon, and they told her that they wanted to make the Tom Gates books into a really really funny Tom Gates cartoon show. And maybe a Tom Gates film!
Liz Pichon said that she’d really love to work with them on a TV show and together they decided to make it using all the doodles, stories, characters and colouring that she creates for the books.
Next, they found a really talented children’s TV writer called Ben to help Liz with writing The Brilliant World of Tom Gates TV scripts, and an amazing Children’s TV director called George to help all the animators work out how to make the books into... The Brilliant World of Tom Gates TV Show!!
Filming the series
And because everyone had to work from home - because of the “lockdown” - they filmed Liz Pichon doing her Tom Gates doodles - AMAZING! And how to make your own DIY Tom Gates t-shirt - FANTASTIC! All created in Liz Pichon’s shed in her garden… And an amazingly talented couple called Jen and Stu, made all the stop-frame animations of “how to make” Tom Gates stuff, in their attic! How about that?!
In the Tom Gates books and the new series, you will find loads of songs, which the BRILLIANT Liz Pichon and her super talented husband Mark, wrote together. Then some very musical animators Kate, Scott and Doug made those into music videos. If you have the Tom Gates book set you might know the songs off by heart already!
And just when you were thinking this can’t possibly be more exciting - and you maybe didn’t think about this before… how do you make all those Tom Gates characters speak?!
Finding the great actors
What you do is ask someone like Anna to look all over the country for SUPER talented young girls and boys to audition for the parts of Tom; Amy; Derek; Marcus; Indrani; Solid and Leroy. After a really long search, the team found some AMAZING actors… like Logan who voices and even sings as Tom or Harley as Tom’s best friend Derek, Ahann as Tom’s arch-nemesis Marcus and Lily as Amy Porter.
They then had to find some really BRILLIANT actors to play Tom’s mum, his teacher Mr. Fullerman and even Tom’s annoying sister… Delilah. Keep your ears peeled for Adam, Catherine, Liz (not the Liz Pichon!) and Mark (not Mark the composer!) who ‘voice’ all those grown-up parts.
Putting it all together
So now you have the different sections like Liz showing you how to “Draw-it!”’ in the Tom Gates style; Jen and Stu showing you how to “Make-it!” with the Tom Gates books as your inspiration; throw in a TERRIFIC Tom Gates "Sing-it!" music video from Mark and the animators and add LOADS of really funny jokes and stories. Then you get Connla to put them all together with some more music by Giles, add a really FANTASTIC introduction and you end up with a finished episode of THE BRILLIANT WORLD OF TOM GATES… TaaDaa!!
If you want to match the character names to the people who voiced them in real life, then why not watch an episode of THE BRILLIANT WORLD OF TOM GATES? Right at the end, make the names that appear slow down so you can read them and see who you can spot! Maybe one day, you’ll have your name on the TV or in a film too…!
P.S This article was written by Ken, just one of our team of super-creative people who made the show based on Liz Pichon's amazing book series
© Liz Pichon. Licensed to Tom Gates Entertainment Ltd.
Author: Tom Gates HQ
Date: May 2021