That Advent Puppet Calendar app - free for Christmas 2018
That Advent Puppet Calendar app - free for Christmas 2018
A free 25 day Christmas advent calendar app that unfolds the joys, meaning, fun, excitement and discovery of the birth of Jesus.
A free 25 day Christmas advent calendar app that unfolds the joys, meaning, fun, excitement and discovery of the birth of Jesus. Read more
We want to launch a FREE downloadable advent calendar for young families this year, 2018, called “That Puppet Advent Calendar App!” This free calendar will be in apple and android stores for download on to smartphones, iPhones, tablets and iPads.
'That Puppet Advent Calendar App!', will feature daily video clips of a serial story at an English primary School called 'St Peter's in the Water' set in Little Puddle - somewhere - deep in the English countryside.
We've been going into schools for over 30 years and have seen the decline in Christian knowledge of why Jesus came and the reason for celebrating his birth. There are a myriad of nativities acted out each year (18 of which I recorded for schools this year), but many lacking in depth or even reason for doing it. We produced DVD calendars a few years back, and gave them out free. I met two boys in a local car park kicking a football recently. They both wanted to say that they remembered the DVD and thought it was funny. I asked if they'd watched it all? Straight away they said. I also had a family stop me inside a supermarket (having been recognised by the children) and said it had been a thrill to watch each day. Really special as a family. Several school teachers have been using various sections each year as they said it gave them a good 'lead into' the Christmas story and it's meaning.
So that is our aim. Through the use of the daily serial story with songs, stories, quizzes etc, is to lift the many aspects of Christmas into easily understood family viewing, that whilst entertaining, is mixed with insight and spiritual truth.
As this is a Kickstarter campaign, and will be quite 'foreign' to a lot of those folk that we'd hoped to reach, our main purpose in using this medium, is that we can show off our puppets, and what we can do!
Through all of Advent just gone, we uploaded daily examples from our previous DVDs, but introduced them with our Primary School teachers! So you were able to see the puppets in action (but not necessarily speaking with their correct voices yet) and see the quality of production we can achieve. If you were a backer at the time, only you were able to see every upload that was featured on the updates area. Now, we are uploading again so that all can see at any time. Please take at least 10mins to click through about 5 of them to get an idea of the approach we are making before forming a conclusion! PLEASE VIEW THEM WITH A CHILD TOO!
2018 serial story synopsis
Miss Mella Dramaticus has been tasked to do a 'Biblically accurate' nativity by the new headmaster who's arriving at the end of term. "What was wrong with the aliens landing in their U.F.O. last year" she panically asks! Through the quest she's forced into, being ably and not so ably helped by the rest of the staff, the answer to 'what is the nativity story all about'(?) unfurls . Added to that, the truths about Jesus and the Christian faith are further explored through the sketches, songs, illusions, quizzes, cracker jokes and stories that tag onto the serial episodes (as in the advent examples in 'Updates'), so that Christmas is looked at from a variety of interesting angles. See the example below.
We managed to get on our local radio. Here's an edited version.
We want to say a big thank you to all our backers, even though we 'didn't make it' Kickstarter style! It's quite difficult coming up with rewards that people might want! We think our potential backers will be happy to contribute without any material reward, so please go to our website and check it out - www.thatadventpuppetapp.org.uk - there's a button to donate, example pages of Christmassy things that will be updated nearer to next advent, and the rewards will feature once again as items to buy to help support.
Alistair has worked in schools for over 30years, and has taught film making, acting, puppetry and model-making.
He is married to Sue, and both are part of the Children Worldwide charity.
He has also been doing school assemblies for many years, as part of 'The HiStory Troupe' which seek to add a spiritual 'down-to-earth' Biblical perspective to every day life, whilst being informative, fun, thought provoking and zany.
Through the many skits and sketches, illustrations and illusions, puppetry and songs over the years, he produced a series of Advent DVDs over three years. Feedback was very positive, from children who had watched it all in one go, families that watched it together each day, and teachers using the content in their classes at Christmas.
In meeting up with Dan Cole, the idea for an app seemed the next logical step!
If you pledged £1 to the project, you will have been sent via the kickstarter daily updates, a sample advent calendar made up of previously filmed content, newly introduced by our very own puppet teachers!
Most of these will be available after March on our website. www.thatadventpuppetapp.org.uk
Scroll down to see these
Even though we haven't reached our target via Kickstarter, we have enough to do the project - even on a shoe-string in production terms - that will have the look of a higher budgeted project. In real terms, something of this size is easily £20,000 plus in the UK! We have half of that and a lot of goodwill!
However, we would like to further what we are doing by the following items. If you feel you would like to donate to one of these, please get in contact, or go to our website www.thatadventpuppetapp.org.uk where there is a button to donate.
1. We'd like to create another set - The Headmaster's Office and the Caretaker's Store. Although these two characters only appear briefly next year, as we are in the process of building, it will save a lot of time to do them now.
2. Children Puppets. To fill our school with children! There will be one or two scenes where there are 10 children on screen at the same time. At the moment, this will not be able to happen. If you've seen the muppets, then you know the value of a 'crowd scene'.
3. Props. We have a limited props budget and so are scouring eBay. We will be asking you to source various items from your locations as well! But some props will have to be made/altered to achieve an on screen look of an everyday object. i.e. a swivel chair. A puppet needs only the back of the chair, it doesn't 'sit' on a seat necessarily. As our puppets are performing 5feet/2.5metres off the floor, a swivel seat has to be adapted!
4. Video Items after the puppet serial story. As you can see in the daily advent you are receiving, we have a lot of material we can 'tack' on at the end. But we have more sketches, illusions, stories waiting to be shot. This, of course is more time and expense, but will give more variety and greater understanding of Christmas.
5. We'd love to have a game in the app that will allow interactivity with the content of the calendar. This stretch goal would be for exploring that route with a professional company.
6. Music. It would be great to have a composer on board so that we wouldn't have to rely on 'stock' copyright free music all the time. They could write the 'Theme Tune' to the serial story, and add bits and bobs to the various screen interactions.
7. We have a model maker ready to start designing the outside of the school. We'd like to create our own 'look' form reference pictures, other models and his imagination. Why have a miniature? It sets the scene of where the school is and will be used many times through the story. As we are only constructing inside sets, the 'easiest' way to see the outside is through a model. We don't want any particular school being identified in the area where we live, but it's beneficial to pick aspects of the schools we visit to make something we want. (We are thinking of a scenario for another year where the school becomes rebuilt!)
Kickstarter Campaign Target
As we have already invested a lot of time and money in the production of 'That Advent Puppet Calendar app!'we came up with this Kickstarter target, to help cover the basic costs involved. (By the time we complete the first Advent Calendar this year, we will see where we were short, where we miscalculated, where we were spot on and where we even bettered ourselves. There's nothing like a first go at something with a steep learning curve!
Breakdown of the Kickstarter target
* Puppet Script Writing, Set Building, Cost of Puppets & Props, Filming and Editing - £3,500 • Animation & Application Design, Streaming and Application Testing and Hosting - £1,750 25.4% • In-house Online & Offline Marketing - £800 11.6% • Kickstarter & Processing Fees @ 9% - £567 • Fulfilment of Rewards - £250 3.6%
Total - £ 6,867
T-shirts come in a variety of sizes from 4year olds to XX2 in red, blue and grey.
Risks and challenges
We have already invested alot of time and some money into the production of 'That Advent Puppet Calendar app!'. The script is written, we have the all the experience from doing the previous Advent DVDs to the schools as you can see from the clips. We now are able to use better filming equipment and editing facilities.
Because this is an 'extra' project to our daily circumstances, scheduling in the time has always been difficult. So were trying to sort permanent places for storage, construction and shooting to allow for the intermittent nature of this project on our time. So we can pick-up quickly where we might have had to stop. Coping with time in this way will maximise what we can do.
In the spring/summer we will have a clear space to shoot for a few weeks with everything set up. Before that, we are gathering props, still making the sets and building the team up.
We thought that Kickstarter would make a great platform to 'launch' from, as we can show you so much and you can feed directly back to us using the facilities here.
Please feel free to ask questions as I'm sure we must have missed things in our explanation!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (44 days)