Reed + Rader Get Down with Dinosaurs
If you’ve never Googled “Dubstep Dinosaurs” maybe your priorities are kind of out of whack. If you have Googled “Dubstep Dinosaurs” you’re not alone. A couple months ago someone at Sprout, a kid focused TV network owned by NBCUniversal, Googled that exact same phrase and found themselves confronted with the work of Reed + Rader. Pamela Reed and Matthew Rader have been working on their series of Dubstep Dinosaur videos since 2011 but this was the first time a major client stepped in and wanted a piece of it. Sprout asked Pamela and Matthew to use their original work as inspiration to help Sprout announce and celebrate a marathon of Land Before Time movies and the launch of a new TV show. “It worked perfect because all the costuming and the styling for all the Dubstep Dinosaurs in the past has always been very lighthearted and kid friendly, all the costumes are finger-painted and cardboard and very kind of a kindergarten type of aesthetic and that really fit perfectly with this idea of doing it for kids,” explains Matthew. Not only was this new work going to be directed at kids, but it was going to star some too.
Reed + Rader are masters of blending CGI and live action, and the Dubstep Dinosaur videos are usually a combination thereof, but for the pieces with Sprout it was entirely live action. That meant bringing in a handful of young kids for the expressed purpose of having them dance and bounce around. It was a lot of energy to stick into one room. “It was like seven kids and they’re six years old and they just want to run around on the white syke and do handstands and cartwheels,” says Pamela. “We jumped into set a lot to talk to the kids and explain to them what we wanted. And I looked over at Matthew once and he had three little boys just wrapped around his neck and it was like that kind of day.” Directing that many kids is not unlike herding cats, but Matthew and Pamela were able to get in there and make it work.
Not only did they make it work, they did it on an incredible timeline. In just eight days they were able to pull this whole thing together. That kind of expediency requires a lot of organization, scheduling, and preparation – all things that kids have zero reverence for. “Pamela and I are very planned so we usually get a little freaked out when things are left to chance,” explains Matthew. “From the very first take probably the thoughts going through our minds was that the kids were totally not going to do what we want, but then seeing what we came out with it ended up really great.” Reed + Rader did just the right amount of planning that they could throw caution to the wind and operate with the kids in a way that worked for them for the perfect results.