LazyTown stands stronger than ever. The company's relatives are big-hearted and seem to have every reason to be optimistic about the business in the coming years. "We have just become part of the Turner group, which in turn is part of Time Warner. Those agreements were finalized late 2011, and the purpose, among other things, to bring on board an owner who has the right distribution channels," say...
Latibær is located in a four thousand square meter building at the lava fields in Garðabær, where 120 people work in the dark during the production of 40 TV shows for the American television station Nickelodeon. The episodes will be shown in the USA in about two months. The media was invited to come to Latibær yesterday, as the fifth episode of the series was being filmed.
Three actors take part in the episodes, Magnús Scheving plays the role of the Sports elf, who has been given the name Sportacus in English. Then Stefán Karl Stefánsson plays the role of Robbie Rotten, or Glanna glæpur and twelve-year-old American girl, Julianna Rose Mauriello, plays Solla stirða, or Stephanie. The other inhabitants of Latibær are puppets and sometimes up to three puppet managers are needed to control each of them. The background is then drawn in three dimensions.
“I’m not the best actor in the world, I’m a really bad actor” says Magnús about his own performance. “In the first episode I was very poor but in the fifth I did better, so this is coming. I think after forty episodes I’ll just be a good actor. I hope so.”
An advertising campaign will begin in the near future, and soon a huge sign with a picture of Magnús will tower over Times Square in New York. Nickelodeon reaches more than 86 million homes in the United States and has a 60% market share in children’s content viewing.
The Sports elf’s costume is number ten and Magnús says that there is a way out for him, so that if the series continues or a movie is made, as he is convinced if the shows become popular, someone other than him can play the Sports elf. “I still enjoy it and while I can still jump I keep going. It’s not a bad thing to be forty this year and still be in full swing” says Magnús, but admits that he is just starting to stiffen. He says the main problem is how good the resolution of the recording is. “You’re just starting to get wrinkled and things like that so you have to be careful.”
Various changes have been made to the Icelandic Latibær. Goggi mega has a dark skin, Halla hrekkjusvín is Asian and Siggi sæti is Swedish. Guðmundur Þór Kárason directs Siggi and lends him his voice. Then the Sports elf was put in a new costume and his appearance popped up so he changed from an Icelandic elf to a ‘slightly above averige hero’.
Magnús says that it is difficult to play in English. “There’s no problem with Glanni glæpur because he’s a bad guy and they [Americans] want him to speak with an accent. The bad guys always have the German accent and the Russian accent and it sounds just like the Icelandic accent. “When asked, he says that it is a bit of a problem for a good and bad guy to speak with the same accent. “You make the difference with the jumps and the movement.”
Magnús says the cost of making the episodes is enormous, he imagines that each episode costs around 35-40 million ISK. Five to six Icelandic companies are shareholders in Latibær. “We hope Latibær will gain popularity in the United States and in the rest of the world. We have got producers who are interested in buying Latibær for Europe.”