The Orange Years

Gravitas Ventures, an international film distribution company, recently announced the upcoming release of the highly anticipated film The Orange Years, a documentary about the kid-centric television network, Nickelodeon.

Produced, directed, and written by childhood friends Scott Barber and Adam Sweeney, The Orange Years gave the duo a chance to delve into the history and evolution of the ground-breaking network. Toy Tales spoke with Barber back in January 2017 as the filmmaking duo completed a successful crowdfunding campaign for the project. We reached out to Barber once again to learn more about readying the documentary for release.

“It has been an amazing ride,” exclaims Barber. “We took two trips to California, a trip to New York Georgia, Tennessee, and even Canada! We were able to get almost forty people off of just those six trips! The editing process was intense! We had so much great footage, it was tough to cut anything! But after months of work and many sleepless nights we came up with a cut we are really proud of!. Then we worked with a great post-production team to help finish the film off.  Ali Clark did an amazing job on our opening titles. Jeff Johnson added some stellar animation! His work really helps to bring the stories our interviewees told us to life, and his style fits the tone perfectly. Daron Beck did the soundtrack, and it sounds better than we could’ve imagined! It took a while for us to find the right home for our documentary, but it finally happened! Gravitas Ventures acquired the rights to the film and we are very excited to work with them. We are ready for everyone to finally see The Orange Years!”

The documentary includes interviews with Kenan Thompson, Melissa Joan Hart, Christine Taylor, Larisa Oleynik, and other Hollywood stars associated with the network. First launched in 1977, Nickelodeon is known for shows such as You Can’t Do That on Television, SpongeBob SquarePants, iCarly, Rugrats, The Ren & Stimpy Show, Kenan & Kel, and many others. The documentary pulls back the curtain on the origins of the network and some of its popular shows. For Barber and Sweeny, it was a chance to document and preserve the Nickelodeon story.

These are all shows people fell in love with. When you bring up Nickelodeon from the ’80s and ’90s it always strikes a chord with people. It really resonates. But I don’t think people know how much work went on behind the scenes to make that connection so deep,” Barber shares. “Those shows felt special for a reason.  And that reason is Geraldine Laybourne. Geraldine Laybourne and her team broke ground and absolutely changed the world.  There’s so much more than just nostalgia there, and this story needed to be told.  I think the work they did could also inspire up and coming artists and filmmakers. Adam and I are both very honored to get to tell this story.”

The Orange Years premiers on streaming services starting November 17, 2020. Watch the trailer for the documentary on YouTube.