A few months ago, I didn’t know what green screen technology was. I thought a green screen was the color of the a green room where people hang out before an interview or television appearance. But thanks to Scott Guy, executive director of New Musical Inc, (aka The Academy for New Musical Theater) I have not only learned what Green Screen technology is, I have fallen in love with all its exciting possibilities for bringing a children’s book to life as a children’s musical.
When I called Scott Guy to discuss creating a children’s division for New Musical Inc where NMI and booksicals perform booksicals for local schools and underserved communities. Scott Guy offered to take this idea to another level. “Would you be interested,” he asked ” in doing a booksical as a green screen video?” As I said before, I wasn’t familiar with the term… he explained it to me… and my mind exploded with ideas. We decided to take Too Many Visitors for One Little House, Booksicals’ debut book, and turn in into a children’s musical green screen video project.
We explored the possibilities: How to to use the green screen to bring Too Many Visitors for One Little House to life in the simplest, uniquest and most fun way possible:
Possibility one: Remove “the crabby neighbors” from all the illustrations and in their place substitute “live actors”. I loved that idea of live actors playing the neighbors as it makes the book very theatrical . The live actors would get to sing and dance on the page and really bring the characters to life.
Possibility two: Remove some of the “family member’s from the illustration and have actors play the role of the cousins, aunts and uncles, who come to visit. That was also a good idea too but the songs from the musical ebook were written for the crabby neighbors. Erase that idea.
Scott and I both are extremely loyal to keeping the integrity of an original book and its illustrations. We don’t like adaptations. We want the book to look JUST LIKE THE BOOK YOU READ. Substituting real live actors for the actual illustrated characters deviated from the original book. Would kids get disappointed that the crabby neighbors looked different on the screen? I certainly would and so would Scott!
Then we came up with a third possibility. .. What if instead of cutting characters OUT of the illustrations … we bring 3 narrators IN to the illustrations? That was it!
We casted three wonderful musically talented actors as the narrators and we shoot on August 6. Through the magic of green screen we will be bringing the narrators into the pages to interact with the characters, sets, and props from story.
I am very excited to be working with NMI and Scott Guy on this new way of bringing children’s books to life and hope this is the first of many ‘booksicals’ to come to life with the green screen.
Would love feedback from our readers and fans once it’s released. Will keep you posted.
Founder and CEO
Booksicals Children’s Books and Musical ebooks