"SCRIPTURE SCOUTS," THE WEB SITE!
(A WEBSITE COMPRISING A KID'S TV STATION, A KID'S RADIO STATION, ART GALLERY, CLUBHOUSE, SANCTUARY! READ MORE ABOUT IT AT THE LINK IN THIS PARAGRAPH.)
My pals at Peace Mountain Mediaworks and I are working hard to create a series of broadcastable entertainments arising out of the spirit and songs of our long-lived audio series called "Scripture Scouts." A Mormon "Sesame Street," if you can imagine that (and we can, vividly). The first script is written, some of it shot, and the concept pretty much in full flower. (I'll post some here soon.) We have some powerful partners and are confident that we'll reach millions more children than in the past.
SCRIPTURE SCOUTS: A PROGRESS REPORT
In May of 2004 the partners of Peace Mountain Mediaworks, who are Roger & Melanie Hoffman, Marvin Payne and Steven Kapp Perry, began meeting weekly to plan the creation of Scripture Scouts TV, the "Sesame Street of Spirituality." From May to September, we shaped a proposal to produce a 13-part series of half-hour television shows designed to teach the principles of the Restored Gospel to children. This series would draw heavily from the spirit, fun, and hundreds of songs that account for the twenty-year multi-generational success of Scripture Scouts in its "audio adventures" form.
We wrote a script for the pilot of Scripture Scouts TV and hired a storyboard artist, and developed a sequence of segments that could be adapted to a curriculum of ideas and behaviors we thought would benefit our audience over the course of many episodes. We're developing a rapport with the managers of BYU TV, a global satellite network, and have agreed with our partners at Deseret Book Company to make available to them DVD versions of whatever we create. We have the probability of conventional TV broadcast and the certainty of wide DVD distribution.
More recently, we have begun developing another means of reaching our audience that can become a hugely effective, more affordable way to create and broadcast new material. With the whirlwind advent of "podcasting," audiences are looking increasingly to the internet for programming. A continually replenished library of segments will be made available on our new site, ScriptureScoutsTV.com (visit us!), for download and viewing on demand--Scripture Scouts for Sunday, weekday mornings, Family Home Evenings, whenever parents find it most useful.
This webcasting model allows for small 2-4 minute segments to be created and downloaded instead of whole 26-minute shows. "Economy of scale" allows us to shoot 3 or 4 similar segments at a time, resulting in tremendous savings. 26 minutes of this kind of program material can be produced for 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of regular programming. Webcasting, with creative promotion, can become an affordable, sustainable way to create and develop Scripture Scouts TV. The Deseret Book DVDs will contain bonus material not available on the web to make them more appealing for sale.
A new Scripture Scouts TV logo has been created, "ScriptureScoutsTV.com" t-shirts silk-screened, and 127 children were videotaped in a joyful high-energy first audition.
We are exploring internet alliances and other advertising means to determine the most effective ways to lead families to Scripture Scouts TV. There will, of course, be links from many popular related sites.
Our not-for-profit fundraising effort has produced nearly $20,000 dollars so far, enabling us to plan, budget, and script, hold the auditions, create the Boo-Dog puppet, and launch the web site.
We project that another $20,000 will empower us to create sufficient programming both to begin regular webcasting and to provide our "higher level" fundraisers the tools they need, so that the creators can focus on creating. Recent sales figures of similar DVDs in LDS Bookstores indicate that sales of the Scripture Scouts DVDs should be able to make us self-sustaining within a period of two years.
Thanks for your attention.
Roger, Melanie, Marvin and Steve