I had a really interesting trip to London on Wednesday: Julia Jarman and I were invited to the studio of BAFTA award winning Happy Films.
You might remember me telling you that Class Two at the Zoo was to be featured as part of a brand new show on CITV called Bookaboo. It's for kids and parents, and revolves around this cute, rock-star puppy who can’t perform his drum solo unless he’s had a story. Each day a different, high-profile, celebrity guest meets Bookaboo back stage and helps him out by reading to him.
I had no idea what to expect from the day, but it was fascinating. Julia and I met the producer, Lucy Gooman, and animator Andrea Tran (yes, they have animated our story!) and we got to see how the show was coming along.
The celebrity recordings had already been done, so we didn't get to meet anyone really famous (the names are secret, but our celeb is BRILLIANT!). What we saw was the next stage - I had no idea how much went into it.
The show's opening sequence is animation: it was really interesting to see the Bookaboo dog puppet filmed against a green-screen, and then how CGI of the rock concert and audience was dropped seamlessly behind him.
The main part of the show, where our celebrity reads Class Two at the Zoo, is live film. This was great, and we thought that would be it, then we watched how my drawings were animated: the anaconda slithers creepily from the lake, and the children really POP out when they are rescued (and bounce when they hit the floor!).
Then we saw how a specially composed score was added (jolly, upbeat music, perfect for kids running around the zoo, but suddenly dipping, really dark and scary, each time the snake appears).
It is still in progress, but sounds effects of children and animal noises will also be dropped in, to make it really feel like we're in the zoo.
Everyone at Happy Films was lovely and SO enthusiastic. Like Julia and I, they are all really excited about the project. It's the first children programme ITV have commissioned in a long time. I still can't quite believe they chose our story, out of the hundreds submitted to them by publishers.
Bookaboo begins on March 2nd, and there will be a different story every day. The running order has not been finalised, so I don't know yet which day Class Two at the Zoo will feature, but do tune in and watch them all!
And don't forget, Class Two at the Zoo is still in the running for the Coventry Book Award, although every Monday, two books are knocked out, so it's nail-biting stuff!
If you want to vote, click here.