Category Archives: Backstory

How we are writing Rabbitwinks

wrwBoard01
We have been “writing” mostly by talking.  Dave and William get together with a whiteboard and map out a scene, usually with AW=Alicewinks (Alice’s path) on one side and RW=Rabbitwinks (Rabbit’s path) on the other. We also show where they intersect, that is where both Alice and Harold are in the same scene. At right is an example. Then we start talking about the scene while recording the conversation. We come up with the dialog in this way. We may modify the diagram as we go along. At the end of the session we take a photo of the whiteboard as an aid in the transcription process.

At first, we would try to each take a different character, but it so often happened that each of us would come up with better lines for the other character than for our own. So we abandoned trying to be “in character” and just spouted lines, as in “The hatter would say ‘blah’ here.”

Laura was not in the same physical place as us (she was in California, later Kansas while we were in Colorado.) So Dave would transcribe the best parts of the dialog along with the scene descriptions. Laura would take Dave’s turgid prose (kind of like what you are reading right now) and turn it into something halfway readable. Then we would iterate on that.

At the end of this process we have a draft of a chapter. We will be uploading such drafts here for comment. At the same time, Brittney Laura and eventually Dave (when he returns from a sojourn to New Zealand) will be working the animations, perhaps revising the story as well. We will probably need some additional illustrations to work from, as we come up with characters and scenery not in the original Alice story. Anybody interested in helping out with illustrations?

When the dialog is finalized, William will record it, finding other voices as appropriate. And the final step will be syncing the voices with the animation.

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Rabbitwinks backstory

We started thinking about Rabbitwinks in June of 2013. Alicewinks had finally been accepted by iTunes as an iBook and we had our marketing started so the logical next step was a sequel. William had noticed that Grace Slick, who boomers like us will remember for writing and performing the song “White Rabbit” with the Jefferson Airplane in 1967, had turned to painting and many of her pictures had an Alice or Rabbit theme. We thought that mixing her modern art work, music and our classic images into a new but companion story to Alice was a great idea.

We produced a demo animation, with a jazz piano riff on “White Rabbit” done by our friend Doug Riecken, and with Brittney Owens animating Ms. Slick’s painting “1965”; which shows the rabbit at the piano, with sheet music of the song. (Unfortunately, since we don’t have her permission, you will not be able to see it—we’re not GoldieBlox are we?) We sent a “term sheet” to her agent outlining the idea. After a few discussions, it became clear that the amount of money required upfront was not in our budget, so we abandoned the idea of using that material, but not the Rabbitwinks idea.

Rabbit at piano
So, we redid that animation with our existing imagery with a photo of a vintage piano photoshopped to look like an illustration. The piano music is by Lucy Broadwood from 1922 (used in Alicewinks as well.) That animation will be posted here shortly, once it is a little more polished. Here is a still.

The current team of Laura Scholl as director, with Dave Neal, William McQueen and Laura writers and Brittney Owens as lead animator was put together in September. Dave and Laura are co-producers. In parallel, we were working the marketing plan for Alicewinks with Silicon Alley Media (Alexandra Levy and Mark Barker). The marketing execution turned out to take up most of our time and resources, including those of Colleen Finley who watches our facebook, pinterest, etc. Laura and Brittney redid the web site and we all focused on getting the Alicewinks story out for the holiday season. (Alicewinks was named a “best of 2013” by Kirkus Reviews and was a finalist for a 2014 Digital Book Award.)

So, with the holidays over, we are back to concentrating on the development of Rabbitwinks.

How rabbitwinks will be created

Rabbitwinks will be created interactively. We will be posting drafts of the storyline here as well as prototype animations and original graphic elements. In addition to the story, we will discuss the characters, scenes and so forth. Also, we will be on the lookout for voice actors/actresses to use. In particular, the voice of the White Rabbit will need to be chosen. We will be looking for a ‘name’ voice artist. Suggestions welcome at any time.

Users of this site will be able to comment and make suggestions. Anyone who’s suggestion is accepted will get an acknowledgement in the actual products. If you get really involved, you might even get a writing or illustration or animation credit, who knows? You could get a voice part. We’ll find out as we go.  All suggestions that are accepted will be copyright  Walrus & Carpenter Productions LLC, so don’t contribute unless you agree to that.

copyright © 2014 Walrus & Carpenter Productions LLC