Becoming Ruby

18 Oct

Madison Cheeatow as Ruby SkyeHow did Madison Cheeatow get the part as Ruby Skye?

She auditioned for the part along with about 25 other girls.

Far more 14 to 20 year old girls sent in resumes and in head shots when they heard we were casting. Some – including Madison and Elena Gorgevska who plays Diana –  were submitted by their agents.  Others saw our casting call at their local drama club, on Craig’s list or one of the casting sites like Mandy or Casting Workbook.

There were a lot of emails and lots of photos to look at and resumes to read.  When we were picking who to audition, we chose girls with some experience.  It didn’t have to be professional.  Training is good too – kids who’d taking acting classes or improv or who had been in school plays.Griffin and Ruby walking

Madison had done been in plays at school and at a community theatre.  She’s also done some modeling.

Her audition was terrific.  We could tell that she really understood Ruby.  She seemed very natural.

We watched the audition videos over a few times and knew she was Ruby Skye.  We called her agent and offered Madison the part.

Madison in a crowdEvery day when we look at her performance as we edit the chapters of The Spam Scam we know we made the right choice.

You’re going to like her too when you see her in Chapter 1: Animal Farm on Monday October 25.

Coming Soon!

17 Oct

Ruby look8 days until we launch Ruby Skye P.I.: The Spam Scam.

On Monday October 25, 2010 you’ll be able to watch Chapter 1: Animal Farm. We’ll release two video chapters each week for six weeks.

Like the chapters in a book, each chapter in The Spam Scam is a different length. Some are longer, some are shorter.

Goofy RubyBesides the video, they’ll be tons more fun on rubyskyepi.com. Pretty soon our new website will be up with tons more pictures and backstage information, plus Ruby’s blog, her latest theories and more.

8 days till Chapter 1, but lots of action between now and then. So keep tuned to this space.

Hailey’s Anti-Water Bottle Campaign

15 Oct

Hailey and her petitionIn The Spam Scam, Hailey Skye carries around a petition asking City Hall to ban plastic water bottles. She asks everyone she meets to sign it.

Here’s what Hailey’s petition says:

TO CITY HALL:
We the undersigned believe that water is a human right and urge City Hall to ban bottled water for the following reasons:

Bottled water makes people think that tap water isn’t safe;

Bottling, manufacturing and transporting bottled water wastes massive amounts of fossil fuel.

Bottled water wastes public water that citizens need. It takes three to five litres of water to manufacture a one litre plastic bottle of water. Water shortages have been reported in the Great Lakes region near water bottling plants.

Bottled water creates huge garbage and recycling problems.

Therefore, we ask City Hall to disposable plastic water bottles so future generations can enjoy a clean environment. We hope you understand the gravity of the situation and will support our noble cause. Down with plastic!

When we launch our website, we’ll have an online petition for you to sign if you support Hailey’s cause.

Skye SistersWe’ll also be running the Skye Sisters Tap Water Campaign. You can join Ruby and Hailey in their fight to end plastic water bottle pollution by pledging to stop drinking from disposable bottles.

We’ll have lots more information about water, water bottle pollution and what you can do right here on rubyskyepi.com when the series launches on October 25th 2010.

For now, why not go Change.org’s petition for an international treaty to provide clean water everywhere.  You can sign the petition right here!

Ban Plastic Water Bottles!

15 Oct

It’s Blog Action Day and this year’s theme is water.  Ruby Skye P.I. producer Kerry Young guest posts today explaining how we kept the crew hydrated through some of the hottest days of summer without creating a mountain of plastic water bottles!

This is the cry on the petition signed by many of the characters in Ruby Skye P.I. and the reason our set was a plastic water bottle free zone.

Starting at rehearsals and all through the shoot every member of our cast and crew was given a personal stainless steel water bottle and a marker and some tape with which they could make it their own.

Office Coffee Solutions donated a bottled water cooler and several giant bottles of water so that we could keep everyone hydrated and cool during the shoot. We took our water bottles and our cooler everywhere we went, even out into a park during one of the hottest days of the summer.

From Episode 6, scene 34 of Ruby Skye P.I.: The Spam Scam:

HAILEY:
65 million water bottles end up in landfill every year.  Plus all the ones littering our rivers, lakes and forests.

Tap water is safe and delicious and there are all kinds of different and fun styles of reusable water bottles readily available these days. We at Ruby Skye P.I. encourage you to stop using plastic water bottles and help save our rivers, lakes, and forests!

Taking Blog Action

15 Oct

It’s Blog Action Day:

Blog Action Day is an annual event that unites the world’s bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day. Our aim is to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion around an important issue that impacts us all.

This year’s Blog Action Day theme is water and we at Ruby Skye P.I. are delighted to take part and to have something to contribute to the conversation.

The impact of disposable plastic water bottles on the environment was a serious concern for the characters in The Spam Scam, the Ruby Skye P.I. mystery which launches on October 25th. Hailey Skye, Ruby’s little sister, spends a great deal of story time collecting signatures on a petition to have plastic water bottles banned by the city.

When my co-producers, Karen and Kerry read the script, they agreed that we should follow the example Hailey Skye was setting. Today, we’re devoting our production blog to Hailey’s cause. There are a few more posts coming through the day. But for now, we encourage you to sign Change.org’s petition calling for an international treaty to provide clean water everywhere.

The text of the petition is below, you’ll have to go to this site to sign:

Dear Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon,

I support the UN’s life-saving efforts to accomplish MDG seven: By 2015, halve the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.

Safe drinking water and hygienic sanitation facilities are basic necessities required for health and for success in the fight against poverty, hunger, child deaths and gender inequality around the world.

It is also central to the human rights and personal dignity of every woman, man and child on earth.

Thank you for all that you are doing at the UN on behalf of the world’s poorest communities.

[Your name here]

Meet Diana Noughton

14 Oct

Diana Noughton, fourteen, is Ruby’s archenemy. Simpering sweet to adults, teachers and friends, Diana is simply horrible to Ruby. She finds any excuse to “accidentally” kick or trip Ruby and far, far worse. With other kids, Diana can be competitive and bossy, but with Ruby, she’s just plain evil.

Ruby is mystified by Diana’s hatred for her and it’s a mystery that Ruby intends to solve… some day.

An Unbiased Review

14 Oct

Skye SistersHere’s a guest post from Margie Golick PhD, clinical child psychologist, educational adviser to many children’s entertainment and educational properties including Sesame Park, Busy World of Richard Scary, Caillou and Mia Mouse.  Dr Golick is the author of several books including Deal Me In, Wacky Word Games and Reading, Writing and Rummy.

In the interests of full disclosure Jill Golick, executive producer, is my daughter (and Marlee Maslove who plays Hailey is my granddaughter). As a psychologist I have worked as a consultant on many children’s media projects on which Jill was a writer and always managed to put sentiment aside. The fact of the matter is  we both believe that children of all ages need to hear, read, and watch interesting stories. It keeps them cheerful and attentive, ignites their imagination, develops their vocabulary. I know — and the Ruby Skye team obviously know — that stories (and their characters) don’t have to be violent, slapstick, or kitschy to be interesting.

Ruby Skye P.I. What fun! I laughed out loud (just reading the scripts) and turned the pages as fast as I could to find out what happened to whom and why.

Ruby is a would-be detective out to solve the mysteries around her. And because she is curious, observant, and has a great imagination she finds lots of mysteries. There are heroes, villains (not too villainous) and red herrings. Every kind of relationship comes into play: siblings, friends, teacher/pupil, father/son, boy-girl, and story, story, story. New developments in every scene keep us guessing.

The main characters are Ruby, age 15, her little sister Hailey age 13, Ruby’s sometime sidekick, Griffin, and the snooty, malicious Diana (who seems to have her eye on Griffin). The dialogue is fast and funny. And the adventures take place in an urban neighborhood.

Snooty DianaThere is a crime, there are suspects galore, , there are modern day tools: computers, cell phones and a smart little sister who knows how to hack. But there is still the need for careful observation and good old-fashioned logic. Ruby Skye P.I. lets us in on the essentials of nailing a perpetrator: there has to be motivation, opportunity, means and some evidence.

Ruby and Haley are great role models for their tween age viewers. They are strong, opinionated girls, and though they do their share of bickering they seem to care genuinely about their neighbours, the environment and when it comes right down to the crunch, about each other.

Meet Hailey Skye

14 Oct

Hailey Skye ponders the matterHailey Skye  is Ruby’s 13-year old little sister and roommate. Whose insane idea was that?  Was it a cruel joke to force them to share a room?  Or their parents just have a sick sense of humour?

It doesn’t really matter to the girls…they hate it.   What their lives lack in privacy, they more than make up for in fighting.

Ruby & Hailey walkingThere are times when it seems like the Skye Sisters have nothing in common.  Hailey is Galinda to Ruby’s Elphaba.

Hailey is popular. Ruby is an outsider. Hailey is neat.  Ruby is messy.  Hailey is an A student. Ruby has more important things to think about. Hailey is a picky eater.  Ruby will try anything…once. Hailey loves Broadway show tunes. Ruby loves rock and roll.  Hailey loves shopping.  Ruby hates it.

Hailey at MailboxBut the sisters do have some things in common. They both are obsessive and stubborn.  It’s just that Ruby’s obsession is focused entirely on solving mysteries while Hailey spreads her obsessions around.  One week it’s musicals, the next it’s an environmental cause.  But just like Ruby, whatever Hailey does, she does it big.

Hailey is a computer genius and web wizard. She can find any piece of information that’s out there on the web, infiltrate any computer and basically bend technology to her will. You may know Hailey’s web series, Hailey Hacks.  Ruby may have to beg, bribe or blackmail Hailey, but somehow she always manages to get Hailey to do whatever computer work she needs done for her investigations.Sister Skye laugh and hug

Hailey can be a great ally for Ruby, but then she can turn around stab her in the back.  They have an explosive relationship, but when the sisters come together they are a powerhouse.

Meet Griffin Lane

14 Oct

Griffin Lane headshotGriffin Lane is Ruby’s best friend, biggest fan and reluctant sidekick.

They’ve been inseparable since senior kindergarten.  Five-year-old Griffin was mystified because his chocolate chip granola bars were disappearing from his lunch bag every day.  Ruby solved the mystery for him.

First, she noticed that Griffin never took the time to zip closed the top of his Bob the Builder lunch bag before he threw it in his cubby at school.  Next she noticed that when he threw it in the cubby, it landed face down. Griffin Gary Ruby at the Big Chill Finally, she found a stash of a dozen granola bars wedged between Griffin’s cubby and the one next to it. As the two shared the feast, a friendship was born.

Griffin loves Lady Gaga, video games, mint chocolate chip at The Big Chill, playing soccer and hockey.  He’s not crazy about mystery and he hates it when Ruby drags him into an investigation.Griffin and Ruby investigating

Griffin is sensible and cautious.  He likes to think things through and consider the consequences before he does something.  But Ruby doesn’t give him time to think and there is no point talking to her once she has her mind set on things.

And speaking of talking, it’s not something Griffin does a whole lot of.  And when he gets angry?  He clams up entirely.Ruby and Griffin best friends

But he admires Ruby.  He thinks she’s smart and great company.  They’ve been hanging around together for so long that it’s just easy and comfortable.  Besides, Ruby always laughs at his jokes.

Griffin is incredibly loyal to Ruby.  He’ll back her 100% — even when he knows she’s wrong. Which –sadly — happens to be quite a lot of the time.Griffin and Ruby share a laugh

Hello Ruby

13 Oct

Ruby Skye shines a lightRuby Skye sees mystery wherever she looks.  And when Ruby is intrigued, watch out.  There’s no stopping her.

She’ll go through garbage, shadow a teacher, impersonate a librarian.  And if she’s really desperate, she’ll whip up a batch of her famous Roasted Marshmallow Brownies.Ruby and her Roasted Marshmallow Brownies

Ruby always has a plan.   It’s not always a good plan, but if she ends up in hot water, don’t worry.  Ruby’ll come up with a new plan.

Ruby is smart, but that doesn’t mean she does well in school  – have you read her report card?  A case can keep a girl up at night.  And who has time for homework when someone is stealing from your crazy neighbour?

Ruby Skye with bff Griffin LandeRuby’s bff is Griffin Lane.  She wishes he’d take more of an interest in her investigation.  He wishes she’d just stay out it.

Hailey wishes Ruby would stay out of her life but instead, Ruby’s little sister always get dragged into things.

Ruby’s arch enemy is Diana Noughton who hates Ruby for highly mysterious reasons.

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