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Jason WheelerPublished: December, 2012

Discovering Videos teach kids about trucks, tractors and trains
Do you remember your playing with your Tonka truck? Many kids have a fascination with working equipment such as trucks, tractors and trains. A group local video producers developed 3ative Media to make  Discovering Videos for kids interested in big machines. 

OC Family caught up with one of the Discovering Videos’ producer’s Tom Macduff, who is also the director of Irvine Community Television.

The first 3ative Media video is  a 32-minute DVD feature is called "Discovering Tractors, Trucks and Trains" and is available on Ebay and Amazaon and their website.  or less, are.

Check out clips from the DVD by clicking here.

Q: Where did you get the idea to do videos on trains, tractors and trucks?
A: There are 3 partners in 3Ative Media Dane, Tom and myself. Dane and Tom had young sons who loved tractors, trucks and trains.  We did some research on the videos that existed in the market place at the time and as video professionals we were somewhat disappointed in what we found.  We decided as a group that we could create a video that was better quality, more entertaining and also add an educational component to it.  We also felt that we had to create something that a parent could actually watch and would feel good about their children watching. The idea for the series on tractors trucks and trains was born with the idea that we continue to expand upon it.

Q. How did you pick the music for the videos? You even rewrote the lyrics of “Wheels on the Bus” match your theme.

We knew we needed music during the montages and with our experience in video productions we all pretty much agreed a theme song would be a huge bonus. We also knew we needed something that was public domain because our budget was minimal. We searched numerous children's songs that had a great beat, recognizable tunes and changed the wording to fit Tractors Trucks and Trains but nothing really popped. At first we tried Mary had a Little Lamb and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, but they didn’t work. Then one night Brad was watching a Seinfeld episode and there was a segment that focused on the Wheels on the Bus song. Jerry Seinfeld was singing the real lyrics while Kramer was ad-libbing. We took about a week to finalize all the changes in the words. Then we used voice 123 an online service to audition musicians who could customize the song and sing the lyrics.

Q: How did you come up with the character Willie the Whistle for the videos?
A: There are two reasons for Willie. First, we wanted to create an identifiable brand for the Discovering series of videos. An animated character satisfied this desire. Second, the idea to add educational aspects to tractors trucks and trains created an issue as to how to relay that information. We did a similar video where we animated a water logo for a water district video acting as sort of a host. This satisfied our method of how to provide all the educational aspects. The added bonus is it had characteristics that fit with all three; tractors, trucks and trains. We then held auditions for an actor to do the voice, added some effects to make it fit more with the character,  and Willie the Whistle was born

Q:Do you have any ideas for future children’s videos? if so, what?
A:We plan to use any revenue from Tractors Trucks and Trains to make the next edition in the “Discovering” video series.  Some ideas we are currently bouncing around are “Discovering Motorcycles, Boats and Off-Road Machines, “ “Discovering Big Machines” or maybe even a video devoted entirely to trains for all those children out there fascinated with trains.


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