Nanaimo dad's custom toy set earns him Netflix job
Todd is preparing to play like he’s never played before.
“I like to live a lot of my life in this childlike state of enjoyment and fun,” he says, setting up small buildings and lining up tiny characters.
Todd transformed a Sesame Street toy set from the 1970s into a tribute to the Canadian comedy Schitt’s Creek so he and his three-year-old son Jack can play together.
“He loves playing with toys and I love Schitt’s Creek,” Todd says. “[Jack] can grow up knowing these characters.”
Rather than Bert and Ernie, Jack thinks David and Patrick are “simply the best.” And “a little bit Alexis.”
Last year, Todd taught himself how to do stop-motion animation and created a music video for the "A Little Bit Alexis” song from Schitts Creek using his childhood toys.
It went viral and caught the attention of Schitt’s star and co-creator Dan Levy, who called it a masterpiece.
It inspired Todd, who works as a wedding DJ and karaoke host, to reconsider how he thought about his hobby.
His latest exhibit of Schitt’s Creek toy photography is earning kudos from thousands of followers and fans, including Netflix. The streaming giant reached out to Todd last week to offered him a paid job.
“They want me to do my toy art to help promote their stuff,” Todd smiles, “which is unbelievably cool.”
Todd says the first thing he’s been asked to do its make sets and characters for Netflix’s Stranger Things, which he’ll produce in Nanaimo.
“There’s a little bit of pressure because before it was completely for fun,” Todd says. “Even if no one else enjoyed it, me and Jack would have the greatest time!”
But Todd need not worry. If there’s anything he’s learned during his growth as an artist, and what he hopes to teach Jack, it’s always trust the power of play.
“Growing up and being an adult doesn’t mean you stop playing,” Todd says before crouching down to bring the toy characters to life with an equally enthusiastic Jack. “For me, being silly is where all the goodness pours out.”