We had the good fortune of connecting with Brennan McNichol and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brennan, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
My personal desire to start Schoolyard really came from my frustration at the TV and Film industry. I think there has been resistance and a general lack of understanding from traditional media companies to fully embracing social media, digital platforms, and the direction of the creator economy. We really wanted to create a company that started with an approach of paying attention to what kind of shows Millenials and Gen Z wanted to watch and where they were wanting to watch them. This spawned the idea of creating a digital comedy network that would create shows for young adults by young adults that stars a new class of entertainers.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Schoolyard Inc. was launched just over a year ago as social-first TV production and distribution studio. Essentially we are creating TV series and bringing them free to consumers over social media platforms. We have recently finished our first series which set to release our first series “Burb Patrol” in early spring 2021. There have been many challenges along the way from constantly securing investment to shooting during a pandemic and mostly convincing big-name talent act in the series. A big part of overcoming these challenges has been having such a talented team at Schoolyard. We have a great team of people that have been able to solve any problem thrown their way. I think the fact that we filmed an entire series under SAG without any positive Covid cases is a big testament to that. Another aspect that has helped overcome these obstacles is people getting excited about what we are doing. I think we have a really unique business model that has the potential to change the TV and Film industry and we’ve found industry professionals, investors and talent really want to be part of the process. I think a lot of actors and viewers are getting tired of the same old shows and more streaming services that cost more than a cable bill at this point and what we are doing is something different. Our rule is no more downloads, no more subscriptions, we will bring the shows to y0u on whatever platform you prefer.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I think the beautiful part of LA is all of the different vibes and sceneries you can get in such a close area. I’d probably start with a day trip to one of the Malibu beaches and eat at the Reel Inn on the way there. Hiking is always a must in LA so I’d have to spend a day doing that at Topanga State Park. As far as nightlife goes I tend to be a fan of Hollywood and West Hollywood. You never can go wrong with going to a comedy show, getting a drink at Catch or EPLP. I am also always a big fan of theme parks since I have kids so I often go to Disneyland or Six Flags as a fun day trip Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I think I would have to shout out my wife and Co-Founder Kim McNichol. She has done so much from securing meetings with top VCs to build out a brilliant marketing strategy for launching our network and shows and this company would not be what it is without her amazing work. On top of her amazing work, she has always been so supportive on a personal level and keeps me motivated. Launching a start-up is an extremely difficult endeavor and I think many would shy away from doing it with their wife but it has been a wonderful experience for us.
Miles Carey Snow