Thursday, July 7, 2011

Doodle Comes to Visit

No writing yesterday.  Sprout TV was filming scenes from two episodes of the children's show Noodle and Doodle right in front of my house.  I camped out at my front window with iced tea and munchies.

I hadn't heard of N & D so I Googled it.  It's an online show for preschoolers,  featuring Noodle, a muppet who teaches kids how to cook healthy meals. The other title character is Doodle, sort of a cross between an Etch-a-Sketch and an iPad (really he's a hand-held blue screen that's later animated back at the studio). Driving these two stars around in a double-decker bus is human host Sean.  The bus and Noodle were absent.  Too hot for them perhaps. It was humid and 88 degrees in the shade where my thermometer hangs. They were filming in the sun.  They hung white scrims overhead to diffuse the light, and had cases of bottled water and a big fan, but it must have been stifling out there.  But Sean and Doodle were present, along with a production crew of about 30 people.  I have to say, they were all very nice and friendly, apologized for making us all move our cars and closing off our street, and at the end of the day, they cleaned the whole block so it looked better than when they began.  In my prior experience with film companies (I was an extra in Twelve Monkeys), this isn't always the norm.

They use different preschoolers on every show, and yesterday's certainly weren't seasoned actors (what 4 year-olds are?).  The directors both deserve Emmys just for coaching the tots through take after take (for instance, fifteen minutes of shooting them saying "Bye, Sean!" and waving, when their attention spans lasted no more than 5 minutes). One little boy simply stopped doing anything.  One little girl relieved her rising boredom by getting more creative, running into the street instead of stopping on her mark, waving her stuffed animal instead of her arm (and hiding her face in the process).

Here are some of photos of the shoot:

Setting up scene 1.  More interesting than actual shoot.

Sean holding Doodle. Sean spent a lot of time down on that knee.

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