Justina Chong is a freelance writer currently developing an animated kids’ property with a Toronto production company after successfully pitching the show’s concept in 2011. Justina has also written two scripts for the CBC Kids live-action, animated property, What’s Your News?
Justina is involved in three creative projects this year. The first is Kitten Pony Princess, an animated children’s property that is in development with a Toronto production company. The second is Tales of the Underwear Tiger, a quirky web comic that chronicles the life and times of a tiger who wears a pair of underwear on his head. Justina is also currently working on Lola X. Written entirely in rhyming couplets, it is a creepy, middle-grade novel about a girl who must find her way home after being inadvertently sucked into another dimension.
Why did you choose the Children’s Entertainment Program at Centennial?
I knew very little about the kids’ media industry and the program seemed to cover everything. The brochure copy was enticing.
Why were you interested in a career in the children’s media industry?
I cannot deny it—I am growing up in spite of myself! Working in the children’s media industry seems like a sensible compromise while I morph from child to adult.
Describe how the Children’s Entertainment Program at Centennial prepared you for working in the industry or on a specific project.
More than ever, I appreciate the importance of solid story structure and strong characters—I try my best to root all of my work in these things. I also understand the importance of receiving, absorbing and integrating feedback from the people I work with.
All of our instructors were active in the industry and gave us valuable insight into the mechanics of everything from development to production to post to marketing and all that. There were also many opportunities to connect with other people in and around the business. The instructors are really the best!
What are three skills that you learned in the program that you use everyday?
Time management and the importance of meeting deadlines. Not being too precious about ideas. Teamwork, the collaborative process and incorporating notes from many different voices.
What do you like the most about the work you do or the industry area that you work in?