Dive Into Reading

My brother Robert and I spent a week visiting around 3000 kids at elementary schools on the east coast, often performing author visit assemblies based on our children’s film The Shark Riddle. How do you write a story about science? How did we write the Great White Shark Song? Several schools had a theme of Dive into Reading! These are some of the things I learned after visiting thousands of kiddos during the week.

1. Books are for reading, not eating.

Books are for Reading not Eating

Books are for Reading not Eating

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My Head Is Blowing Up – News from our School Tour

This Spring we did a Midwest school tour, performing author visits and filmmaker visits in Michigan and Indiana. Frankly, sometimes I am overwhelmed by how awesome schools and kids can be, and how many creative ways teachers use to inspire kids. This week, we have visited several schools who used our book A Pirate’s Quest to inspire their reading month.  We also visited schools who used our film The Shark Riddle to encourage reading and writing. Here are some of my favorite moments from that tour.

1. A hilarious journal page — After one assembly, a little girl named Darcy ran up to us to get our signatures. She opened her journal, and I LOVED her  entry, “Today I am seeing Sisbro from a TV show The Riddle Solvers. This is so cool and my head is blowing up and I cannot calm down.”

Darcy's Journal

Darcy’s Journal

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The Marvelous Musical Report WINS at BLUE

Robert Sams sings

Robert Sams sings

We are so thrilled to announce that our latest short film is the winner of the Best Children’s Film Worldwide at the BLUE Ocean Film Festival (and was Nominated for Best Use of Music and Best Short Film). This is especially exciting, because we were against some incredible competition, including MacGillivray Freeman’s IMAX film Journey to the South Pacific, narrated by the incredible Cate Blanchett.  We created this quirky musical tribute to the Marine National Monuments, four remote and beautiful areas of the Pacific Ocean, as a way to think about ocean conservation in a positive way. The film is available for free through NOAA, along with free educational curriculum.  What are Marine National Monuments? What animals live there? What are coconut crabs? What do giant clams look like? Where can you find sharks swimming around scientists? The video is available here:

What is the film about? A man with a mustache mysteriously emerges from the ocean with a briefcase, on his way to deliver a report about the four Marine National Monuments of the Pacific Ocean. But his report is anything by ordinary. In fact, it is a hilarious musical tribute (with a backup band) that showcases incredible footage from these remote, wild areas. Get ready to see giant clams, sharks, baby frigate birds, red footed boobies, sea turtles, Hawaiian monk seals, albatross, fairy terns, deep volcanic trenches, hydrothermal vents, shrimp that survive without sunlight and coconut crabs that climb up trees! The video shows all four monuments: The Northwest Hawaiian Islands, the Marianas Trench, the Rose Atoll and the Pacific Remote Islands. Created by Sisbro Studios and Open Boat Films.

Twelve Years of Bad Slogans

Ghost Crab by Bad Slogans

Over the years, we have written down our favorite terrible slogans for Sisbro . . . slogans that make us laugh, because frankly, they are bad. Sometimes on long road trips to visit schools around the country, or while sitting in the woods waiting for an animal to emerge from its den, we would think  of slogans that almost sounded like they were supposed to be legit, but upon closer inspection, are not good. So enjoy the best of the terrible slogans from us!!

Sisbro Studios . . .

“we’re gonna learn you good.”

“where practice makes imperfection.”

“like finding something pleasant stuck to the bottom of your shoe.”

“promising the best, and that’s a promise.” Continue reading

What’s That Critter?

Over the past 12 years, we’ve had a chance to find and film a variety of cute, weird, skittish and shy animals. Think you’re good at identifying wildlife? Here are a few animals from our films The Shark Riddle, The Riddle in a Bottle, First Snow in the Woods and Lost in the Woods.  Take our new quiz: What’s That Critter?  The answer key is below.

1) From The Shark Riddle

Photo credit the Save Our Seas Foundation

2) From The Riddle in a Bottle

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Strange Moments from Sisbro Quiz

Strange Moments from SisbroWe have had the  great fortune to perform for audiences for twelve years now. We have visited hundreds of schools, from Hawaii to Oregon to Washington D.C. to Dubai. We have performed at aquariums and museums from the Monterey Bay Aquarium to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. We have performed in libraries, and local fairs, and . . . . well, sometimes strange and embarrassing things happen. Enjoy taking this quiz and learning about some of our weird moments!

1) Where was Sisbro when Rob had to duct-tape his pants shut after they split open (right down the rear end) during a live performance? Continue reading

Name that Sisbro Catch Phrase!

Hey Sisbro fans out there!  Think you know Sisbro’s movies?  Test your skills by identifying these catch phrases from our movies: Stranger in the Woods, Lost in the Woods, First Snow in the Woods, The Riddle in a Bottle, The Shark Riddle.

All right, here are the catch phrases! Name that movie!

1) “Don’t worry about me. I just want to eat you.”

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Sherlock Holmes Exhibition TV Commercial

We were thrilled to make this commercial for the International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes, which had its grand opening last night, October 10, 2013 at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. The exhibition whisks you into old London, where you help solve a crime, with Sherlock’s notes and observations along the way. You’ll also see some artifacts from London in the 1800s (including a heart from 1831 with a knife stab wound in it), as well as artifacts from the various versions of Sherlock throughout television and movie history. Go see the exhibit. The game is afoot.

The History of Invisibility Cloaks

The Atlantic recently reviewed our short comedy film titled “The History of Invisibility Cloaks,” which we created for the National Science Foundation’s, Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE). We were fortunate to be hired by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry to create a short film for NISE about the implications of using new technologies. We wanted to create something funny and thought-provoking, with realistic expectations of what people can actually get out of watching a short film. In our story, a museum docent is leading a tour, sharing the history of the rise and fall of the invisibility cloak. As The Atlantic’s Rebecca Rosen wrote . . . Continue reading