When Princess Diana wanted to send her sons, Princes William and Harry, to weekly musical storytelling sessions as part of their education, she chose my mother, Ann Rachlin. And now Ann has asked Allan and me to bring the same magic of her stories to your iPhones, iPods and iPads.
You see, I was the first to hear her wonderful tales, many of which later became CDs and books. Heckerty, one of my Mom’s favorite characters, stayed on paper for the last 40 years. Mom always felt such a wonderful personality needed more than a CD, DVD or book could offer. (Scroll down to meet Heckerty or visit her website. )
The iPad and iPhone changed all that and they're the perfect medium to bring to life our inimitable, green-faced, 409-year old, zany witch and her mad adventures! It lets us bring all the power of traditional storytelling to today’s kids in ways that have never been possible.
Our goal is to publish the first three Heckerty stories, building on the stories my mother created, creating additional illustrations as needed and making them available through the Apple Store.
The first thing we did was research to see what others had done or were doing. Then we talked to LOTS of parents and educators, watching how even the youngest kids (less than two years old) figured out how to use iPhones and iPads almost instantly, and then used them to explore and learn.
So we built a rudimentary Proof of Concept movie to test our first ideas, before adding the interactivity. And the response was unanimous and so totally encouraging in even this very rough form that we committed to going full speed ahead.
Testing version (before adding interactivity)
To get us this far, we've been putting in our own time, effort and money, plus we've raised some support from friends. Now we're turning to you, the Kickstarter community, to ask you to help take us through the first three stories and to prepare Heckerty's Cordon Black Cauldron Cookbook, so our wonderful witch can get off to a "flying" start. The love and enthusiasm we've seen over and over in the eyes of parents, teachers and kids as we've tested our ideas and stories have left all four of us on the team passionate about our project and how it can make a difference in entertaining and teaching kids about the world and reading.
And if we raise more than our goal, we’ll be able to continue doing more of the stories, develop games, building on the dozen scripts that already exist. We have some wonderful plans for Heckerty including her appearance at the 2012 Olympics in London - as always, the chaos she causes comes with gales of laughter …
We also plan to bring Heckerty's Cauldron Cook Book to kids - this book is prized by young witches and wizards everywhere as the Cordon Black standard for Gourmet Gummy Worms and Cupcake Spiders!
How the Funds will be Used
Turning Heckerty into a full interactive app means reworking the stories and the images to bring the best experience to kids. Allan will program the apps, Jan will voice the stories (that's me!), and Liz will bring her famous Hollywood skill set to making the stories come alive. And we’re doing it all working closely in tandem with Ann for her guidance and experience of a lifetime teaching young children from all walks of life. The Heckerty theme that will be used throughout the stories was created by Iain.
So join our quest as a backer - check out the options and rewards. And if you like our project, help spread the word on your blogs and tweets about what we’re doing - Heckerty will be grateful for every bit of support you give!
Cast in order of appearance:
Jan Ziff — as herself
Heckerty — as herself
Director — Liz Radley
Producer — Allan Davidson
Editing — Liz Radley and Allan Davidson
Camera — Mark Manoil
- (31 days)