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Blog: The Road To Normal Island

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As I was typing the title for this blog I thought "Hang on, the ROAD to an Island? Wouldn't that be awfully DAMP"? but to HECK with it. If it's good enough for D.Lamour, B.Hope and B.Crosby (i just checked, Bali is DEFINITELY an island) then it is more than good enough for the likes of ME.

Anyway, after mentioning this yesterday and doing some WORK on it last night ALSO I thought I might as well risk the JINX and go into it in a bit more depth. As discussed previously Mr J Kell and I have been working on a MOVIE SCRIPT for Dinosaur Planet, which we finished and sent off to a Production Company to see what they thought. They thought "No thanks" but were VERY nice about it, even ringing me up for a bit of a chat about it (SIDEBAR: if anybody ELSE reading this happens to be a Production Company and might be interested in a 60 minutes family animation with Dinosaurs and Songs in it, do let me know!) during which they said that they liked the whole MONSTERS angle but what they were REALLY looking for was a series, for KIDS.

BOING! Almost immediately my BRANE went ZANG! and the idea for "Normal Island" started to form. Originally it was called "Monster Island", based on the song of the same name which I'd written for The Pop For Kids Project. I knew there were several OTHER instances of this name but didn't think it mattered, until Mr F.A.Machine pointed me towards an article about it being used heavily in a forthcoming GODZILLA revamp - later that week I also picked up the latest issue of Astonishing X-Men to find that THEY were off to the MARVEL version of the same island too! ZEITGEIST-ALICIOUS!

I had a bit of an old think about it and realised that, actually, "Normal Island" would make a lot more sense. For LO! it is the story of the inhabitants of an island where nearly EVERYONE is a Monster, Dinosaur, Alien, Giant Robot etc etc and so this sort of thing is considered entirely NORMAL. INDEED they pride themselves on how dull and average they are, and so are thrown into PANIC and CONFUSION when the new MUSIC TEACHER turns about to be, TERRIFYINGLY, a human being.

She turns up with a UKELELE, which is pretty much the centrepoint of the whole THING. Every episode's going to feature at least THREE songs, and ALL of them are going to be very very easily playable on the ukelele - the general idea is that EVERYBODY watching the show will be able to pick up a (very cheap, readily available) ukelele and PLAY ALONG with all the songs. I'm thinking RED BUTTON here for the CHORDS and tuners and instructions on a website. I know Zingzillas et al have done musical kids shows before, but none of them have actually taught kids to play an instrument as they've gone along, have they? I reckon this is a GRATE idea - it'll be EDUCATIONAL, for children AND for the parents!

Thus ENTHUSED with my idea i sat down and wrote out a PILOT (which I'm just doing a bit of a tidy up redraft of) which features THREE songs - slightly rejigged versions of Just One Finger (which YES, CAN be played with just one finger - if i ever get to PITCH the show i plan to teach THE BIGWIGS to play ukelele using this song!), A Little Bit Excited and a re-titled Monster Island. I've spent the past few evenings doing the rerecordings of these, along with the TITLE JINGLE which has a tune - get ready to say "Oh, that's quite a good idea" - IDENTICAL to the open strings on a ukelele, so that when The Children Of The Future need to TUNE UP they can sing "Nor-mal Is-land" to remember how it goes. I KNOW! Also: EVERYBODY can INSTANTLY play at least one song from the show! KAPOW!

So yes, that's THE GRATE IDEA! Again, if anyone happens to be a TV BIGWIG, or KNOWS some, and would be interested in having me SHOUTING EXCITEDLY about this AT them do let me know. I'm going to write the PITCH DOCUMENT this weekend (which will probably be, basically, THE ABOVE but with slightly calmer punctuation) and then we'll be ready to head off on the aforesaid road to Normal Island. It's a KRAZY PLAN, but it JUST might work!

posted 25/3/2011 by MJ Hibbett

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This is even better than a Zaucer of Zilk!
posted 25/3/2011 by Pete

That is a GRATE idea. It's interactive and productive as well as beaing learningly-inclined. It will also give THE KIDS toold which they can use to create their own fun (songs). This is BRILLIANT. I am going to buy my niece & newphew ukuleles if this happenz. Also, Zingzillas is AWFUL patronising shit where muppets flop about doing top of the pops versions of watered down textbook definitions of various genres and it makes me CRINGE. I don't think music for kids should be KIDS MUSIC. It's just another way of lowering expectations. And that's the twopenn'orth of a childless, unmusical, non-educationally employed misery. To recap: I LIKES this idea.
posted 25/3/2011 by

In the future, no dogs will have fleas?
posted 28/3/2011 by

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