Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Scooter Moves to Live Action

From Cartoon Character to TV Pilot

What began as a lark at last year’s Licensing Expo has turned into a pilot for children’s TV. Scooter News Network (SNN) will be presented for the first time at Licensing Expo 2015 in Las Vegas and Book Expo in NYC through a partnership between Tails of Whimsy and Savi Ranch Studios. The pilot provides fun and factual content with puppet Scooter D. Pup as a news anchor presenting features and stories relating to animal rescue and care worldwide. It is an extension of Scooter and Boots' BrokenHeart Pets Rescue books.

How is it that a young company like Tails of Whimsy determines to bring print characters to life as puppets? A little over one year ago, Daryl and I decided that in order to attract notice on social media, we would have to show the audience more than cartoon characters. No matter how cute Scooter and Boots are, you just couldn’t “hear their voice” or message about rescuing and caring for animals. So we asked the fabulous Lisa Sturz of Red Herring Puppets in Asheville to build us a puppet.  The puppet was to be used for on-the-street interviews in video and photos to post on Face Book.
The Scooter puppet was designed and produced by
Lisa Sturz of Red Herring Puppets
We knew that the cost of the puppet was nothing compared to hiring a professional puppeteer every time we used it. So we have started with Scooter but Boots should be coming sometime later this year.

Marc Garabedien, the brain behind Savi Ranch, built his own studio last year at Licensing Expo 2014 at the request of Advanstar, the company that manages the trade show. This was a savvy step to bring added marketing value to Art and Design exhibitors like Tails of Whimsy who show at LE. Daryl was interviewed on air about Scooter and Boots seeking their fur-ever homes. Then, Tails of Whimsy challenged Savi Ranch to actually tape an interview with Scooter the puppet presenting “himself” as a character and property. That’s Daryl, under the desk, performing as Scooter!
Scooter's first interview at Licensing Expo 2014

Scooter proved to be very popular, gathering a crowd of enthusiastic onlookers and loud claps when the interview was completed. The spirited on-air exchange between Scooter D. Pup and interview co-host Roshelle Baier brought discussions post-show as to ways to capitalize on this lively and unlikely coupling of person and puppet.        

SNN’s format would be considered a cross between a nightly news cast combined with interview segments such as seen on the Today Show. Regular features include: Health, Sports, Celebrity Animal and Book Reports as well as cooking and crafts features, all with Scooter as a puppet and news broadcaster. Roshelle Baier will co-anchor.
Scooter with co-host Roshelle Baier in their studio at
Savi Ranch Studios in Anaheim

Scooter and Boots’ BrokenHeart Pets Rescue has extended its brand this past year to books and an animated TV series in addition to the live-action SNN. It is well positioned for licensing and is actively seeking licensees. Publishers, network and entertainment reps are particularly welcome to Tails of Whimsy’s booth at G21 in Art and Design and at Booth 760 in the Publishing Discovery Zone at Book Expo to personally meet Scooter and his energetic “handler,” artist and creator Daryl Slaton.

For a Sneak Peek at Scooter News Network, a portion of the TV pilot may be found at:    
Scooter hosts Scooter News Network. The intro gives
background and other reports follow: Health, Sports, etc.

The Segments:
Opening & Intro, 0-2:38
Health Report, 2:39-5:45
Sports Report, 5:46-8:22
Happy Dance, 8:23-closing

Tails of Whimsy Booth G21  Licensing Expo  June 9-11
Mandalay Bay Convention Center   Las Vegas

Booth G21 at Book Expo America
May 27-29  Javitz Center   NYC