Moe The Knowbot
Application for Adobe Residency
I mentioned in my 300 word summary that the inspiration for this project came from my niece an nephew. They are curious, outgoing and whip-smart! They’re also pretty stinking cute. Here’s a video of them singing happy birthday to me. And yes this is a blatant attempt to use kids' cute factor to win you over.
Cute, right? I told you.
I don’t have kids myself, but I love that I get the opportunity to pass my knowledge on to these two cookie-munchers. And I hope they grow to be so much smarter than me, or is it “I”?
I believe deeply that an education can lead to a better life for an individual. But an educated public can make a better world. I see a lot of passion in the people around me. I also see a lot of mis-information and bad thinking. We can't solve the problems of the world if we can't even talk about them.
Yeah, I know! It’s ambitious. But I think this little cartoon robot can change the world.
I know kids can be overwhelmingly curious. Sometimes they ask such good questions parents don’t even know the answer. Sometimes parents don’t have the time to explain the very complex reason the sky is blue. But I don’t have kids, so I can research that and make a video about it.
And if it saves a kid from being told, “that’s just the way it is, stop asking questions.” or “It’s magic.” or some fairy tale about leprechauns. I think that sets them up for a life where they question everything. So that what they do know or believe, whether it’s a political belief or a religious one or just a personal policy, it’s because they’ve questioned it and come to their own conclusions and their beliefs are their own.
And with a generation of thinkers like that, they will change the world.
So, that’s my biggest goal with this project.
I’d also like to have a job where I get to research interesting topics and make videos about them all day. If this project takes off like I hope, I will continue making these videos even after the residency is over.
Creative autonomy in my career and making kids super-smart. Those are my two goals.
CONTENT I'LL CREATE
I will be making short animated videos with a Character Animator puppet named Moe The Knowbot, to answer questions for kids. Two of my favorite videos I’ve done so far are “Why Is The Moon Following Me?” (A question my niece asked from the back seat of a moving car.) And “What Are Hiccups?” (My most popular video)
Some questions I intend to answer in the near future are: Why do our fingers wrinkle in the bathtub? Where does the sun go at night? and What are boogers?
As I improve my skills and knowledge of the Adobe software, I plan to introduce new characters. With other characters for Moe to interact with, I can create more complex videos. I plan to have Moe and his friends conduct experiments to find the answers or go on adventures to learn.
Many of the videos I have made so far are science focused. But I would like to spread out into other topics like, historical figures, math, world cultures, and vocations.
I don’t mind mixing real world footage with Moe’s animated world. So I could see him interviewing people like a fire fighter or a baker or a bus driver. I had one viewer ask how peanut butter is made. I’d like for Moe to tour a peanut butter factory and make a video about it.
I would also like to create other ways for kids to interact with Moe. For a little while I was trying to create a daily fact with Moe. I posted these on the Moe Facebook page. I’d like to do something like that again. I would also like to create activity pages with Moe.
SOURCES OF INSPIRATION & RESEARCH
I fondly remember the media I consumed as a child. I watched a lot of Sesame Street, Mr. Wizard and 3-2-1 Contact. My plan for Moe and his friends to have adventures, wherein they have to learn something to complete the quest, is inspired, in part, from the Bloodhound Gang segment on 3-2-1 Contact. I hope someone reading this is old enough to know what I’m talking about.
Some contemporary sources of inspiration would be the YouTube channels I watch weekly, like: It’s Okay To Be Smart, Sci-Show, Vlog Brothers, V-Sauce, Nerdwriter. The list could go on.
And, of course, those two adorable karaoke stars that I started this whole thing with, inspire the snot out of me.