Hollywood, CA -- A 10-foot-tall snowman with a powder blue Afro, a rabbit with bad teeth and a six-armed orangutan recently paid a visit to Hollywood Center Studios and, if all goes well, they’ll soon show up on a television screen near you. The colorful characters are the stars of The Kids of Na!, a new children’s series from writer/director Ryan Hailey with characters designed by Hunter Jackson, a co-founder of the legendary punk band GWAR. Hailey and Jackson shot the pilot for the series on Stage 2A at Hollywood Center Studios and is currently shopping it to several cable channels.
The show follows a group of kids and several over-sized puppets as they film an Internet sketch-comedy show in their garage. It includes a mix of sketches and music videos as well as guest appearances from a variety of zany characters who drop by the garage. All of the songs are written by Hailey and performed by the puppets and kids. “It’s The Muppet Show for the Internet generation,” says Hailey. “The show is by kids and for kids – with a killer soundtrack.”
The pilot was shot on Hollywood Center Studio’s Stage 2A, a 3,150 square foot soundstage with a fixed, 2-wall green screen cyc. The entire 30-minute episode was shot in front of the cyc with background environments added during post production. That proved an economical formula for generating high production value.
“The cyc was large enough to accommodate our 10-foot snowman with no problem” notes Hailey. “The shooting space was also large enough for a lot of camera movement. That was especially helpful for the music video segments where the camera operators worked in a very loose, improvisational manner.”
Hollywood Center Studios provides shooting space for a number of pilots each year, notes Jerry Cole, who directs Television Sales for Hollywood Center Studios. Cole cites the studios’ convenient location and lengthy experience in supporting television production, which dates back to I Love Lucy in the early 1950s. “We are really good at it,” he says. “We know what works and we have everything multi-camera shows need.”
Cole adds that Hollywood Center Studios likes to support pilots because they often lead to regular series. Two Comedy Central shows that are produced on the lot, began there as pilots. “Shows that shoot their pilots here, tend to stay here,” he says. “They like the being on the lot where they have access to wardrobe and make-up rooms, production offices, parking and many other amenities. Besides providing them with top-notch facilities, our clients remain loyal because we know how to provide superior service and value.”
Hailey hopes that The Kids of Na! will be the latest success story to be launched from Hollywood Center Studios. “The resources they have are awesome and the people bent over backwards to accommodate us,” he says. “Hopefully, we’ll be back in a few months.”
Source: Hollywood Center Studios