Read-a-roo's Block Party is a 3-hour block of curated programming on Rootle and UNC-TV's flagship channel. The episodes are selected from one series each month with extra time available around each segment to program original content between episodes. The idea is that this time is a virtual neighborhood block party, where kids can gather from across the state to participate in something together. The branding for this block needed to be very kid-centric, colorful, and have a general feel of street-art and neighborhood gatherings.
I came up with an illustration style very similar to a children's drawing but with more defined outlines. The animations have a 3-dimensional structure to give additional depth and create the feeling that it is a real space created by and for kids. Every area in the state needed to be represented, from the cities to the most rural areas and everything in between. This is a representation of the real places right outside our viewers doors, portrayed through their eyes and artwork.
Later on I was asked to help brainstorm a concept to convert the theme song into a music video. I immediately thought of Harold and the Purple Crayon.
For anyone that missed out on this childhood gem, Harold and the Purple Crayon is a children's book. The titular character is a bald little boy with a magic crayon. Whatever he draws comes to life, letting him sail into an empty abyss on a line-drawn boat full of possibility. In hind sight, this book might encourage children to draw on walls. (Worth it.)
With the concept solidified and pre-production in progress I started making props! I love oversized objects. There's a certain exaggerated sense of childness that just makes me feel silly. I started with shipping tubes and craft paper cones and made a batch of twelve crayons, each with a unique color. The final pieces are about 30 inches long.
With a lot of collaborative help from our friends, we created a video that showcases the idea of Rootle being a place for kids to learn and create. We provide a bright foundation surrounded by a vast canvas for them to explore and expand.
The video features an original song by Faby Galanis, original puppets crafted and brought to life by Joe Lopina of the UNC School of the Arts, and a dance performance by Tschaina Taylor and the Celestial Academy of Performing Arts.