“The Adventures of the Last Jellybean Dragon” Goes Live as an Independent Kickstarter Project

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"The Adventures of the Last Jellybean Dragon" iBook (app for iPad) will meld art and technology to spark young readers’ imaginations with the success of the project’s Kickstarter fundraising campaign.

In this year of the dragon, during a double dragon full moon, Forest Rose Productions has chosen this very special time to launch its interactive children’s iBook (app for iPad) project, "The Adventures of the Last Jellybean Dragon," which went live as an independent Kickstarter project, early Saturday morning. It’s creators are expecting the “JBDragon” project followers – called Dragonians – to pitch in as a group to fund the endeavor. The project goal is $72,000 which includes the project’s budget plus the costs of the various rewards that are being offered to backers such as JBDragon iBook app downloads, project art postcards, book bags, “I Saved the Dragon” t-shirts, various downloads of special ring tones, and music tracks along with limited edition artwork by the project illustrator, Michael Koch. Backers can expect some surprises along the way.

Become a JBDragon "Dragonian" by backing the project at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2059302411/the-adventures-of-the-last-jellybean-dragon

“The Adventures of the Last Jellybean Dragon” project combines multiple arts with interactive technology to spark young readers’ imagination to inspire them into becoming tomorrow’s innovators. This effort is planned as the first in a series of original interactive chapter books for “curious, courageous young readers” who are ready to venture beyond Mother Goose and basic books (before heading into the realms of Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket). The story is about a boy and his sister who help a young dragon defeat an evil sorceress to prevent extinction of the dragon’s species. The group is confronted by Kildragonian Guards, Buzz Buzz Bees, trek through Yucky Muck Bog, and learn to cope with Slimber Climbers and Sludge Trudgers. Just the names conjure up some magical giggles! With just the right balance of magic and humor, young readers will learn that they should be prepared for situations that demand quick thinking, and that problem-solving can better occur through cooperative efforts. Values-based themes include loyalty, helping friends, and, of course, good prevailing over evil. From the moment the reader discovers the secret to unlock and open the book, interactivity will provide fun problem-solving opportunities (surprises and rewards) throughout the ibook. Beyond that, the experience conveys an unmistakable message that, "Reading is an adventure!"

Forest Rose Productions’ principal, Jan C J Jones, is the author of the story, and it was she who sought out and recruited the creative team, focusing wholly on individuals who would have the understanding and multiple skills required to create an interactive product. “The team members, as individuals, have 3 things in common. We’re independent artists, all of us are parents, and we’re consummate professionals with a genuine passion for what we do,” Jones remarked, then added, “At some moment in our lives, each of us was inspired by another creative’s work that compelled us to become the artists and people we are. This ibook project is a fantastic opportunity to inspire another generation of kids to become the artists and innovators of tomorrow. They’re our beneficiaries, and those to whom we must ‘pass the baton,’ ...the brush, pen, microphone, and keyboard.”

Children’s book illustrator, Michael Koch (Sleeping Troll Studios) is the talent behind the pen, pencil, and brush. Koch’s talent for creating whimsical, expressive and unique characters that appeal to both children and adults, will establish the initial visual impression, tone and overall design.

Radio personality, actor, and acting coach, Paul Neal Rohrering (Rohrering Success, Inc.) will narrate and direct the vocal talent that will bring life and personality to the ibook and its characters. As one of the project's “stretch goals” (funds received beyond the project’s stated goal) are renowned character voice talents, Emmie Nominees, Maggie Roswell (from the The Simpsons tv series, and more) and Hal Rayle (Disney’s Rotten Ralph and "Predator 2" among many others).

Original music composition & sound design that will round-out the audio ambience will be created by film score veteran, John Schuerman. Writing the code that will seamlessly meld all these disciplines together to produce a downloadable “app for the iPad,” is seasoned ibook developer, Steve Harlow.

Multiple artistic disciplines and state-of-the-art technology play essential roles in projects like this. "Interactivity" is a costly endeavor. Interactive books must include a manuscript, illustrations (including the breakdown of individual interactive elements), oral narration, distinctive character voices performed by voice over talent, music composition, sound f/x, and an enormous amount of interactive computer programming that is platform specific. Since ibooks currently don't have a standard route for publication, it falls to their creators to venture forth without the help (or hindrance) of traditional publishing. Few creatives are capable of self-funding efforts that go so far beyond the written word, and illustrated page. For this reason, Forest Rose Productions is taking the project to a global audience in a fundraising campaign via internet and Kickstarter.com, “a funding platform for creative projects.” This effort began September 1, 2012, and early contribution is encouraged for those who are interested in getting some of the limited edition, signed prints.

Thousands of advocates for the arts from around the world have discovered Kickstarter and the independently crafted projects that are presented there, whose creators are seeking all-or-nothing funding. The contributing “audience” is empowered to back the people and projects that appeal to them. Kickstarter project backers make monetary pledges (via charge card) at levels from $1 to thousands of dollars (in some cases). In exchange, and as a way of saying “thank you,” contributors are offered various rewards directly related to the project, from t-shirts to CDs, tote bags, signed-limited or one-of-a-kind artwork, in-project credits, website acknowledgments, or various digital downloads. Backers usually have priority access to finished products, before they’re offered for sale to the general public. If this project sounds interesting, like one you would like to see become a reality, or you'd like to learn more, become a backer by visiting the project Kickstarter page at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2059302411/the-adventures-of-the-last-jellybean-dragon

The campaign will run for 30 days, ending September 30th, but limited rewards are expected to be taken early.

Through Kickstarter, scores of independent artists are provided an opportunity to compete with the established “big boys.” After reviewing several successfully funded projects, it becomes obvious that quite a lot of effort goes into preparing a Kickstarter project “pitch” page. Behind the scenes, those who submit projects must agree to follow strict guidelines and fulfill rigorous business requirements before Kickstarter will accept the project. And projects are only successful if they reach their target funding goal. Since Kickstarter’s launch in April 2009, more than 24,000 projects have been funded, totaling $250 million in pledged funds. Many projects fail, while others garner far more than their funding objectives. Long in coming, Kickstarter has provided a world of opportunities for support of the arts. Bravo!

More information about "The Adventures of the Last Jellybean Dragon" ibook and the project’s creative team can be found at http://www.JBDragon.com, with updates on the project’s Facebook page (blog) https://www.facebook.com/JellybeanDragon, or through http://www.Forest-Rose-Productions.com. Those interested in providing support, can pledge their contributions (for as little as $1) at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2059302411/the-adventures-of-the-last-jellybean-dragon.

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Jan CJ Jones
Forest Rose Productions, LLC
(719) 487-0435
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