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.
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.