About this project
[NEWSFLASH: BAFTA Winning Wildlife Presenter, Chris Packham, will be in the new role of narrator. Full story here. ]
Wildlife Jack tells the enchanting stories of a young explorer's adventures with real (documentary) animals. Jack lives in a city, but yearns for the great outdoors. He enters natural habitats through his magic nature book and can talk to the animals he meets. The creatures share their challenges, the secrets of their awe-inspiring skills and show Jack what life is really like for a wild animal.
Everything the animals say is based on their real lives, so other than their ability to talk, they are not humanised in any way. They remain as animals.
We'd like Wildlife Jack to be THE show for young children to find out about British animals. We want to inspire them to go out and experience wildlife for themselves and have their own Wildlife Jack adventures.
We want to make 6 x 5-minute films available as a DVD and DOWNLOADS.
Please watch our 5-minute taster episode.
NB. The uncoloured bits are unfinished. Also, we are developing the format to have more fun around Jack discovering or interrupting the animals’ day-to-day business and their reactions to him.
WHO ARE WE?
The creators are Ed (TV Producer) and Abi Kellie (Journalist / Trainee Primary School Teacher), who are also parents of two boys aged, 2 and 4.
WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?
We were inspired by our boys’ love of animals, but British wildlife was difficult to encounter from a flat in London. There weren’t any real wildlife shows for pre-schoolers, focusing on British animals, on TV or video – and there still aren’t. You can see our eldest’s enthusiasm when he first saw some deer, birds and fish on TV…
Most British children are more familiar with lions and elephants than they are with otters, hedgehogs, deer or seals. But they can be just as exciting and you can see them in their real habitats in sanctuaries or wilderness around the country.
In 2005, the New Economics Foundation found that contact with nature positively affects children by:
We want to encourge children to get involved in activities away from the TV eg. go on bug hunts and British animal safaris, role play as their favourite animals or make footprint casts. As you will see from our "rewards", we intend to offer many of these activities alongside the films.
WHAT WILL YOU SEE IN THE NEXT
We have 7 hours of captivating animal footage and storyline ideas ready to be turned into scripts by a professional children’s writer.
We want to develop the style and format. Jack’s power should be his secret and his adventures are his escape. We’d like to create more comedy with the animals’ reactions to him. When he interrupts their day – they may be too busy, too suspicious or overly keen to unburden their problems. Maybe the animals will talk to each other about Jack. But everything they say will be based on their real lives, so other than their ability to talk, they are not humanised in any way. They remain as animals.
Fundamentally, we want young viewers to experience the animals’ lives as closely as possible, which means being more involved in their daily business. And this will often lead to Jack learning a lesson about life.
Here are some possible storylines based on our footage.
In the future, we would like to give Jack a sidekick, be it a Wildlife Jill or an animal pal. However, we believe that the current format works well because the animals become his confidants and friends.
HOW WILL THE MONEY BE SPENT?
Neither Ed Kellie, Abi Kellie nor Moon Studio will be paid, in fact Kickstarter revenue will cover only 1/3rd of our film production costs.
The Kickstarter money raised goes on:
If we reach £15,000, at least £10,650 will go towards the films.
The film production costs are £30,000 to be spent as follows:
THE PRODUCTION SCHEDULE
2nd Sept 13 – Writing & Animatics for 6 weeks
14th Oct 13 – Animation & Post Production for 14 weeks
21st April 14 – Latest Delivery (see Risks & Challenges below) & Marketing of Launch for 6 weeks
2nd June 14 – DVD / Download Launch
MEET THE TEAM
We have already delivered the taster film and as a team of professionals we are confident of delivering the rest of the films.
We are currently in discussion with several successful children's writers.
Special thanks to Sarah Weal for filming the Kickstarter film, and also to Forest Ranger Ed Heusser, and Rhiannon and Peter Newman Brown for helping us to run Wildlife Jack bug hunts at Elderflowerfields Festival.
HOW KICKSTARTER WORKS?
1. If we don't hit our target, we don't receive anything and the 6 episodes will not be made.
2. Each backer can only buy one reward per account (if you are a couple you could buy two by registering separately.) This is why we have done rewards as packages, because we figure you will want the films but you might also want the activities and gifts.
3. Kickstarter is not an equity sales platform. It is an opportunity for people who really love an idea to help the creators make it happen by pledging to buy merchandise / experiences. Find out more here.
Risks and challenges
We are fortunate to have highly talented professionals who want to be involved in making the DVD and are prepared to work for the bare minimum. Our main challenge is that they will be juggling Wildlife Jack with other professional commitments.
Ed is also going to be doing other jobs during the production (we are not paying ourselves), but since he is in an overseeing role, we feel this is achievable.
The production could therefore be delayed by a maximum of two months giving us a 2nd June 2014 launch date.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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