Kidscreen »Archive» Mike Caron’s journey from soap actor to Nickelodeon director
When Mike Caron first arriving in Hollywood, his plan was to become a famous actor. But thanks to a series of chance encounters and friendships built along the way, he’s now one of Nickelodeon’s best-known live-action directors, and was recently asked to direct and produce the first episode of the upcoming one. Live reboot of Fairly OddParents.
My sponsors are magic (working title) is based on the original 2D animated series that ran for 10 seasons from 2001 to 2017. Created by Butch Hartman and produced by Fred Seibert, it revolved around Timmy Turner’s godfathers and fairy godmothers, who made his every wish come true … Which usually turned against them. . A 13-episode first season of the live-action reboot will air on Paramount + later this year, featuring a young girl who must navigate life with her new godfathers and fairy godmothers.
EP and showrunner Christopher Nowak approached Caron to direct the first episode. They first worked together on Victorious in 2010, then again on Sam and cat (2013) and Henri Danger (2014) – in fact they have collaborated so many times that fans have dubbed them #Mowak online.
Working with executive producer Samantha Martin, Nowak and Caron have developed a visual look for the new show that delves into the absurdity of the original animated series. To achieve this same madness in a live-action environment, Caron focused on the town of Dimsdale, where the story takes place.
“We take this town [where] there is a lot going on [that] are a bit irrelevant, ”Caron says. “Dismdale is not magic, but just a little out of the way.”
To achieve a more surreal look, Caron tried a variety of camera angles that directors often avoid, such as wider frames and whisk pans. And the reboot will still feature plenty of 2D animated elements, including divine fairies and their creations, courtesy of Boxel Animation.
But Caron wasn’t used to working with animated characters, so when they started filming he assumed the animators might just add the fairies afterwards. He soon realized that adjustments had to be made during filming, such as adding liners and cardboard cutouts that the actors could interact with during rehearsals and when setting up the framing. Members of the Boxel team were also on set to help with the transition. While he had never done a hybrid series before, jumping into cold new situations is familiar territory for Caron.
He had his chance in Hollywood when he landed a gig on Young and restless as a recurring guest star from 1995 to 1996. But later, Caron’s acting career was cut short when an EP on the mystical soap opera Passions invited him to be a manager. Although he had no stage management experience, he jumped at the chance and learned on the fly, eventually getting more work on daytime soap operas, before eventually landing on Nickelodeon’s production. Drake and Josh as associate director.
Caron went on to work on some of Kidsnet’s most popular live action shows, including Zoey 101, iCarly, Victorious, Sam & Cat, Henri danger and, more recently, Dangerous force.
“How could I have known that acting on this soap opera would have been the connection that finally put me where I am today?” Said Caron. “Whatever job you get in Hollywood, you have to do the best job you can and be very aware of who you do it – you never know who will be the linchpin to take you to the next level.”
Caron is currently directing the second season of Dangerous force and focusing on build its presence on social networks. He’s been posting behind-the-scenes clips on Instagram for years, and the pandemic recently encouraged him to explore TikTok, where he now has six million subscribers and for his BTS shots.
Then Caron works on a new big project that he thinks Henri danger fans will love it, although he cannot divulge any specific details. He also hopes that My sponsors are magic is being picked up for more episodes and he may direct more.