This innovative pilot TV program is a rock 'n' roll Mister Roger's Neighborhood. Music, history, social issues and participatory fun.
NOTE: Funds raised in excess of goal will help pay for post-production editing and animation. Thanks for your support!
Time Machine Guitar is like Mr. Rogers with a Stratocaster. (Ready to sing along?) It's a TV pilot by me, Ralph Covert – For those of you who don’t know me, I'm a kids' music rock dude who's been on the Disney label with my Ralph's World band. And, yes, I can hear those of you who do know me chiming in, “But we like the music as much as our kids do!”
I’ve been nominated for a GRAMMY, been on the front page of the New York Times Arts section, and if the number of hours my music’s been played in mini-vans counted toward my miles, I’d have free tickets to the moon.
So now I’m going back to my indie roots to make a TV show, with the help of a few animal puppets and a tricked-out guitar that transports me back in time to meet folks such as Columbus, Bach and Ben Franklin. All from our home base in a treehouse TV set. Yeah, it's that kind of fun. Makes you nostalgic for that kind of positive, social-lesson-teaching, puppet sing-a-long show you grew up with.
But, as in all childhood morality tales, I need help from my friends. So, I've wrangled up a star-studded production team to get this pilot made. (Check out the short list at the bottom.)
The other friends I'm reaching out to are my Ralph's World fan base – the thousands and thousands of kids and parents (apparently, I'm pretty big among the big people, too) who collect my albums, come to my concerts, and like to rock 'n' roll. Besides, they're a lot more fun to do the Alphabet Dance with than most studio executives.
The pilot will start being shot in January 2012 in Charlottesville, Virginia – thanks to enormous support from the community. But, you can only go so far on in-kind donations. Cash funds raised from Kickstarter will go toward fixed production costs (and help pay what's already been spent in development and pre-production). We like transparency. So, fans will be able to check out the process via periodic behind-the-scenes video updates and interviews with cast and crew.
The final Time Machine Guitar pilot will be edited to roughly a half hour (00:23:30, actually). From there, with a little luck and a lot media strategy, it goes to the networks – hopefully another fun addition to the educational pantheon of my all-time heroes Mister Rogers and Captain Kangaroo.
Meet the Crew
Puppeteer: Pam Arciero
Pam is a principal puppeteer with Sesame Street, performing numerous characters, most notably Grundgetta Grouch and Leona Lion. She has worked on Blue's Clues, Blue's Room, Chappell's Show, Allegra's Window, The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss, TV Funhouse, Oobi, Eureeka's Castle and The Great Space Coaster.
Puppeteer: Jim Kroupa
Jim is a master puppeteer, puppet builder and mechanism genius who has worked on Sesame Street, The Muppets Take Manhattan and Muppets in Space. He’s a co-owner of 3/Design Studio, which has built puppets for shows such as Eureeka’s Castle, Between the Lions and The Great Space Coaster. He has also worked with Woody Allen.
Puppeteer: Brodrick "Jigsaw" Jones
An aficionado of comics, puppetry and accordion music, Ben assumed he’d work for Jim Henson when he grew up. Ben missed out on the Henson experience, so he created Jigsaw, a puppet web series featuring Lump, Doktor Kranium and Milton the robot.
Sets: Helen Williams Ward
Illustrators, set designers, visionaries – their credits include work on such erudite projects ranging from the HBO series John Adams ... to Elmo in Grouchland and Muppets from Space ... to Hannah Montana: The Movie.
Animation: Jonah Tobias
Jonah spends much of his time animating music videos for Dave Matthews Band, Tim McGraw, Jay-Z and the Beach Boys. His work has also been featured in the documentary Super Size Me, TED Talks and Jean-michel Cousteau's Ocean Adventures.
Director & Cinematographer: Eric Hurt
Eric has both helmed and contributed to dozens of feature films, television, commercial and music video projects such as The Parking Lot Movie, Anchor Man, The OC, Alias and Tim McGraw concerts. As writer/director, Eric recently completed his fifth feature film.
Supervising Producer: Mark Cowen
Mark has produced, directed and written Television Specials for HBO, A&E, ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and the BBC and worked on projects with such film luminaries as Steven Spielberg, Sydney Pollack, Ron Howard and Steven Soderberg.
Line Producer: Jack Steinberg
Jack’s AD credits include the HBO series John Adams and Six Feet Under. His feature films include Starsky & Hutch, The Last Samurai and How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Producer/Casting: Erica Arvold
Erica’s feature film credits include Lincoln, Charlotte’s Web and The Horse Whisperer. She also worked on the TV series Wings, Frasier and Almost Perfect.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.