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December 2003 | Vol. II - No. 12
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New Video Helps Preschoolers Conquer ?First Day? Fears

My First Day Production
My First Day at Preschool is the debut video from My First Day Productions (ToyShow), and already it?s racked up some impressive plaudits, including Parenting Magazine?s ?2002 Video of the Year? and a Telly Award for original music.

Director and producer John Aguirre had worked as an assistant director on numerous film and TV projects, most recently The Hot Chick and FOX?s The Mullets, before developing an interest in children?s programming. 

?I have a lot of friends with toddlers,? said Aguirre, ?and there was this common anxiety amongst all of the parents about leaving the child at preschool for the first time.?

In My First Day at Preschool, the title character, Buddy Bear?an animatronic creation designed by the puppeteer who created the Budweiser frogs?must face his first day away from mom and dad.  With his father?s encouragement, Buddy overcomes his fears and soon finds himself in a classroom making friends while doing arts and crafts activities.  The video was shot on location at a preschool in Newport Beach, California with real children and teachers as supporting cast.

?We think of it as reality TV for kids,? said Aguirre.  ?There?s something more sincere and less precocious about using real kids instead of actors.?

The video also features original songs by award-winning composer Eric Hester.  ?We didn?t want to dumb it down with simplistic nursery rhyme-type stuff,? Aguirre said.  ?The music Eric created?there?s real jazz throughout, with three and four-part harmonies.?

Future videos in the series are tentatively set to include a first visit to a doctor and dentist.  ?I want to continue shooting on location,? said Aguirre.  ?So that means a real kid sitting in a dentist chair.?

How do kids react to seeing their peers on screen?  ?They love it,? said Aguirre. ?You watch their faces and they?re absolutely captivated watching other 2 and 3-year-olds onscreen.?

With most preschools offering flexible enrollment schedules to accommodate busy parents, this is one video that retailers will want to keep on the shelves year-round.

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Tim ConnollyWriter's Bio: Tim Connolly has a degree in film production from the University of Texas at Austin and writes screenplays when he isn?t test-driving remote control speedboats in his bathtub. Read more articles by this author

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