When one watches a TV show or movie, it is not likely many stay to watch the end credits which is when those who are involved in the production and development of what has been watched are mentioned.
That changes when one knows a familiar name is going to appear among those credits.
For those in Redwood Falls a list of TV shows has included a local name as a writer, producer and creator of that which has been viewed.
That name is Nick Stanton.
Stanton, who is a 1998 graduate of Redwood Valley High School, has credits for myriad Disney and Netflix shows from “Zeke and Luther” to “Prince of Peoria,” and his success in the entertainment industry has led to his selection for induction into the Redwood Valley Hall of Fame in the alumni category.
Following his high-school graduation, Stanton attended the University of Southern California (USC) Cinema-Television School where he majored in writing for film and television. He graduated in 2002 with honors.
After completing his college degree, Stanton began his career as a writer for Disney Television Animation. There Stanton and his writing partner, Devin Bunje, who met at USC, were involved with shows, such as “The Replacements,” The Emperor’s New School,” “Kick Buttowski” and “Phineas and Ferb.”
Stanton added the title of producer to his resume with the show “Zeke and Luther,” and one of the scripts written by Stanton and Bunje was nominated for a Writer’s Guild of America award.
The pair created the show “Gamer’s Guide to Pretty Much Everything,” and most recently became the creators and showrunners for “Prince of Peoria.” While past shows have allowed for additional input beyond just the script, Stanton said becoming a showrunner for the first time meant making all of the creative decisions. It also meant being involved with all of the nuts and bolts of creating and producing the show, which he described as a “Coming to America” for kids.
“That has been a fun learning experience,” said Stanton. “We have a great cast.”
The show was recorded before a live audience, said Stanton, who said “Prince of Peoria” has been nominated for two Emmy awards. The awards program is in May, but Stanton said he will not be in attendance.
“I’ll be in Redwood Falls,” said Stanton.
The first eight episodes of “Prince of Peoria” can be found on Netflix, along with a Christmas episode. A second season of eight shows will be available soon.
Stanton said one of his goals was to be a showrunner by the time he turned 40, and with that goal now accomplished he can move on to adding more credits to his name and continue to do what he enjoys.
Stanton said he has always been a fan of TV, adding he enjoys being able to write scripts for TV shows, and while he has tried his hand at writing movie scripts he really believes his niche is in the TV industry. Of course, he continues to leave his options open.
“I enjoy writing for TV, because you get more time with the characters,” said Stanton, adding he enjoys that part of the development of the stories.
Writing TV for kids is challenging, said Stanton, adding not only do you have to have a good story you need to continue to keep it interesting and engaging to keep audiences coming back.
Naturally, working for companies like Disney also means writing things that help to maintain the family-friendly reputation it has developed over the years. Yes, he said, there are opportunities within the kids’ TV space to incorporate some adult elements into the writing as a way to reach a broader audience.
Yes, he said, they will add some jokes that only adults would understand all in an effort to gain broader family appeal.
Speaking of family, Stanton is married. He and his wife Thanh, have two children, Phineas (named after the popular TV character) and Liam. They live in Los Angeles, Calif.
Stanton, who was a standout athlete in track and cross country at Redwood Valley, continued to run in college, and one of the things he still enjoys doing in his spare time is running.
Stanton said he attributes his success to the start he got in Redwood Falls and in the local school district, and quite often he will include references to his hometown in the story lines.
Stanton said he feels very honored and humbled to have been selected for the Red-wood Valley Hall of Fame.