Two Conroe friends turned the story of Nickelodeon into a documentary

Calling all ’80s and ’90s kids.

HOUSTON – “The Orange Years,” is a documentary film that chronicles the rise of Nickelodeon, the first cable channel for children.

It was written and directed by two local men, Scott Barber and Adam Sweeney, who shared the story behind this unique project.

Scott Barber and Adam Sweeney at Oak Ridge Elementary School in Conroe (Scott Barber and Adam Sweeney)

The duo met in 1991 at Oak Ridge Elementary School in Conroe and would watch Nickelodeon together after school.

“Nickelodeon is something that really shaped our childhood, it brought us together and we knew that documentary filmmaking, probably, was the more affordable way to get that stepping stone (moviemaking). So, we did a lot of brainstorming and talked about something we were really passionate about but also that an audience would like,” said Sweeney, who has a background in journalism and writing.

The lifelong friends soon discovered that the network shaped the lives of a whole generation of kids and that it would make for a great film.

“We really wanted to showcase the work of the absolute visionary, Geraldine Laybourne. She was a teacher and she just approached kid’s programming from a totally different mindset than anybody before her or even after her,” said Barber about the former president of the company who helped launch the network and turned into an international phenomenon.

Geraldine Laybourne (The Orange Years: The Nickelodeon Story)

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