Today more than ever, video is an essential way to break through the noise and reach new fans with your music. For Debbie and Friends, cartoon music videos are a great vehicle for this.

I’m always pleasantly surprised to learn that families from all over the world discover Debbie and Friends music every day through our YouTube channel and various cable outlets.

Many of our songs are based on classic tales, and therefore well suited for visual presentation. Some of our songs, however, are not based on stories and I was always convinced those songs were not good candidates for video. “Wendell,” for example, is a cumulative movement song about a boy who finds a toy Robot. The Robot adds a new physical challenge with each verse. It’s fun, but I couldn’t imagine it as a video. My amazing animator, Goichi Hirata from Planet Sunday, had another idea. He suggested that we approach it differently than the others and tell the story from the perspective of Wendell’s imagination. For children, the Robot can represent hope and a doorway to, literally and figuratively, scaling walls and overcoming life’s obstacles. Needless to say, I was thrilled with Goichi’s idea and excited to move forward with the project!

To further fan engagement and help with some decisions about the piece, we even hosted a “pick Wendell’s hair color” poll on Facebook. (Purple won) Here are some initial images Goichi designed for the cartoon.

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Wendell finds the Toy Robot.
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Wendell and the Robot flying.
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Wendell and the Robot at the Toy Fair parade.

And, here’s the storyboard version of the animation.

The “Wendell” cartoon music video will be finished in June. I feel so fortunate to be able to work with such talented and creative people as Goichi Hirata and Greg David at Planet Sunday.

How have you used video to expand the reach of your music-related projects?

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    [...] Fan Reach and Music Videos – A Different Approach – “Today more than ever, video is an essential way to break through the noise and reach new fans with your music. For Debbie and Friends, cartoon music videos are a great vehicle for this. I’m always pleasantly surprised to learn that families from all over the world discover Debbie and Friends music every day through our YouTube channel and various cable outlets…” [...]

    My students have certainly enjoyed working with sound and visuals in their performances. Currently, the format of my high school guitar ensemble is half live music and half film. As our projects become more intensive and involve a larger scope (theater department, video department, art department) it has become very clear our first use of technology four years ago has blossomed into a cross-curricular, school-wide endeavor.

    While we are all still learning how to write, perform, and produce quality film; the music and it’s storytelling properties have skyrocketed!

    Atone,

    Thank you for your post! It sounds like you are doing some wonderful things with your students incorporating storytelling into live performance with the tools of technology. I’d love to see a video of your students performing!

    Thanks again!

    Debbie

    [...] up on the previous post… here is the “Wendell” cartoon by Debbie and [...]

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