Rockin' Blues and a Flying Whale: The Fall 2013 Song Production Kids

This was a high energy group! Each one of them was extremely talented, but they could literally not sit still for a minute without turning into a pack of wild shrieking baboons! I was therefore challenged to make this session of Song Production Workshop extra engaging, or face a total tween madness meltdown!

Song #1: "I Been Robbed"

Phoebe is a soul singing powerhouse! We wanted to highlight that as well as Austin's energetic drumming in our first song. Nico sang the bridge, and James threw down the guitar solo. Dmitri was assistant engineer. We were thinking along the lines of Joss Stone or Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings for this one. Check it out:

Song #2: "Muffles the Whale"

Muffles is a stuffed whale that we keep in the kick drum. The kids made it their mascot from day 1. The boys created the first part of this song on their own while I was working with Phoebe on recording "I Been Robbed" vocals. Note the excellent xylophone work by Austin, Dmitri and Nico. 

The real magic happened in the video. The kids asked if I could make them fly on the back of Muffles, and if I could animate the whale in question. Being a sucker for creative challenges, I went out and got a 10 x 12 green screen (basically a frame with a sheet of green fabric). Shooting on green screen allows you to remove the color green from your shot with your video editing software, thereby removing the subject from the background. 

For the stop-motion animation scene, I had Phoebe repeatedly move Muffles and then get out of the shot. I then edited her out of each shot and spliced the clip back together. This was the first time I have attempted both stop motion and green screen. We shot all the video footage in a little over one hour. I then went to town in the editing room (and cast myself as the man in the moon just 'cause).


The first four pics show a glimpse into the video process. The rest were taken during our recording sessions. If you enjoyed this blogpost, please give me shout in the comments section and use the social media buttons at the bottom of the page.