As a novice filmmaker living in Los Angeles from 2012-14, I was faced with absolute life-changing experiences. And what came out of my sojourn, was a real education about the film industry and some lasting, genuine connections. But most unexpectedly, it was an idea and the framework for a promising children’s series that has now evolved to “magnificent!” For over the last year we have written twelve powerful episodes that focus on environmental, human and spiritual growth and conflicts. We have created a professional teaser reel, a concise production plan, a dynamic business plan, an emotional and inspirational musical theme, and we have gathered together the most trustworthy and talented team of professionals that I have ever worked with in my career. None of these accomplishments would have been possible without THAT amazing team.
Therefore, it is my joy and pleasure to announce today a professional business partnership that has been formed for the Moon Drake Series through Moon Drake Series, LLC. Our team of companies, Broken Hand Productions, LLC, Martin Nuza Productions, and Temple Gate Films, LLC reflect an exceptional collaboration of experience, creativity, talent, wisdom and so much more. I humbly thank Martin M. Nuza, Rick Balentine, Mark Rickerby and Tanille Yow Ulm, for their belief and unstoppable passion!
We are also deeply grateful for our like-minded nonprofit partners. The development phase of Moon Drake was made possible by PAZA Tree of Life, and their belief in the project’s purpose and mission. In addition, the devotion and inspiration we have received from Growing Seeds Worldwide Foundation has been exceptional with even more to come.
Last but not least we wish to thank you, and everyone who has encouraged us and watched this project take shape over the last 18 months through our posts, stories and reels. Every comment, every heart, every share has helped us harness energy and light together, and the Moon Drake Series is now flying toward production. Indeed, we have LAUNCHED OUR ROCKETSHIP TO MOON!
We have completed our sizzle reel and created posters using the actual characters from each episode. Collaborator Studios, with Jacob and Arnold Pander (The Pander Brothers), did an absolute, amazing job with the reel along with Temple Gate Film’s composer, Rick Balentine, who created the powerful and emotional music score. To view the sizzle reel, please click the YouTube video on the sidebar of this website!
The Moon Drake production team believes so deeply in this wonderful anime production. The purposeful and vibrant energy it embodies, gathers us together across the world. It loves us, holds us, teaches us, encourages us to give of ourselves, helps us remember our normal goodness and reminds us that we are the light!
Yes, we are the light of the world, and we are reverently and wonderfully made! That is why we are here in this time! We are important and we can be brave!
Children will love these powerful and adventurous stories. They will learn that THEY are the hope for change. They will learn that THEY can make a difference right now!
We are LOVE. We are ONE. Nothing else is relevant.
Our fifth poster for Season 1 is centered around the African Continent. It was my great joy to research and explore this continent with Martin Nuza, an incredible and experienced storyteller. We found this part of the world diverse and captivating, filled with intriguing wildlife, exquisite landscapes, spiritual energy, ancient history and unique cultures.
Episode 1, Lesadi & Her Star, is set in Kenya. There’s a reason this is the first Moon Drake episode… I wrote it in honor of my Kenyan daughter, Rose Atwenga, as I wanted to share her beautiful heritage! Our story unfolds with Lesadi, a Kenyan girl whose father has died. Her cruel uncle forces her to help him illegally poach lions and cheetah cubs. Through this adventure Lesadi is faced with a dangerous choice but discovers an unexpected hero.
Episode 10, Ali & His Dream, by Martin Nuza, takes place in Cairo, Egypt. Ali and his father are tour guides to the ancient pyramids. One night, the boy has a dream that takes him to another time and place and fills him with great joy. But when he awakens, something is missing from his life and his spirit, and he must do everything he can to find it.
All of our Moon Drake stories embrace human conflicts, the human spirit, and/or specific challenges impacting the earth. They show a diverse and glorious world, painting a picture of truth and love that gathers us all together as One. This is our quest.
Today, we want to highlight and thank another three valuable and highly skilled consultants that bring added credibility and authenticity to their specific episodes. This is a vital part of the Moon Drake vision and purpose, because we are presenting stories that show the children of the world how diverse and glorious Humanity is and all of Creation.
We will never run out people and places to write about in the world. And as we strive to learn and understand each other, we believe the people of the earth will one day come together in an embrace of love. Though the Moon Drake stories are simply written, their truths and characters will open hearts.
Rose (Rosie) Atweng’a, Kenya, Africa – is the startup entrepreneur for a small business in Kenya. She is also involved with youth groups that advocate for self-development and integrity. “Having grown up in extreme poverty I relate so well to Lesadi. Sometimes people in need, can be tempted to get involved in anything to earn a living. So, it takes a strong will to say “no” to both criminal and immoral activities. Living in Nakuru, Kenya, and especially through the writer’s background of the story, the storyline is so vivid. In our youth groups we encourage young people to avoid illegal activities. Therefore, in our next meeting we will be reading this script and point out the vices and virtues the story teaches.“
Rose is the Cultural Consultant for Episode 1.1 – Lesadi & Her Star, (Kenya, Africa, African Continent) – “This story gives me a mix of emotions as the background of the story is very familiar. The cultural wisdom, ‘Be a woman of light’ encourages the spirit of integrity. I love the characters of Lesadi and Jabari showing us that vulnerability shouldn’t lead us to crime, we should be strong-willed. In essence, the poachers are the least in the chain of this crime because we have more powerful people who are in charge of poaching, who are also involved with the authorities. But the story gives us hope that all is not lost since there are still good people in authority who collaborate with Jabari to do the right thing. Though the exact location is not mentioned, it takes me to the area around Lake Elmenteita. The story is not only exciting but also educational and reflects on societal morals.”– Rose Atweng’a
Nadezhda (Nadia) Vulova Nuza, Bulgaria, Europe – is the perfect consultant for the Moon Drake story set in the beautiful country of Bulgaria, for it is her original homeland. In addition, Nadia understands what it takes to create a relevant story in film, as she has worked in the film industry for many years from Production Assistant to Production Manager. She has been a program host and even worked behind the camera. As well, Nadia has an eye for detail through her work as a still photographer. She went to the University of Gibraltar and is the wife of Moon Drake producer and writer, Martin Nuza.
Nadia is the Cultural Consultant for Episode 1.3 – Zhivka & Mitko (Bulgaria, European Continent) “It is my greatest pleasure to be the consultant for this episode because it has the backdrop of a Bulgarian village, a place dear to my heart, and follows the story of a young girl’s heroic struggle to fight an evil and corrupt system. It is her quest, for the sake of saving her mother and neighbors, to keep those she loves from a pending environmental catastrophe. This episode, as with all Moon Drake episodes, is truly a heart-warming story filled with inspiration and hope for a better planet.” – Nadezhda Vulova Nuza
Mark Rickerby, ancestors from Ireland, Europe – As a Moon Drake producer and writer with roots in Ireland, I could see no other person but my late father, John Sidney Rickerby, as the posthumous Cultural Consultant for this episode. He was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1933. After leaving Ireland in 1957 for Canada and later America, he founded the John S. Rickerby Company, which operated for over fifty years. He was interviewed on television and radio and contributed numerous articles about Ireland to the Los Angeles Times, the Belfast Telegraph, and other publications. However, his main claims to fame for those who knew him best were his singing voice and seemingly endless supply of jokes and stories. He passed away in 2014 at the age of 81, but many of his stories can be found in his memoir titled The Other Belfast – An Irish Youth. He was always an inspiration to me in many ways, but particularly singing and writing. Here’s part of a poem his influence inspired.
I was born and raised in the good ol’ U.S. of A. But my heart also belongs to a place far away, An enchanted isle of leprechauns and banshees, Of shining green fields, craggy hills and bent trees. Where ever-falling sunshowers light up the grass. Their emerald beauty dazzles the eye as you pass.
The life’s work of John Rickerby is the Cultural Consultant for Episode 1.8 – Eamon & the Last Forest (Ireland, European Continent) “My father’s influence is present in this story in several ways. First, he always used to tellme stories about climbing Cave Hill, which looms over Belfast, and his love of the solitude and nature he found there. Secondly, during World War II, he was sent to the country to live with a relative, as many children were, to be safe from German bombing raids of the city. He spent most days exploring a forest near the cottage he lived in. And lastly, my father instilled a love of nature in me as a child, particularly forests, because he would often take my mom, brother and me to a cabin deep in the forest of Big Bear, California. Much of what Eamon discovers in the forest reflects my own childhood impressions.
“If he were alive today, I’m sure my dad would love this episode because of his deep connection to nature, which was especially strong when he was a child and escaped his sometimes-harsh reality in the alternate world of forests, and because he was a storyteller much like Eamon’s grandfather, always regaling anyone who would listen with wild tales. His imagination was every bit as fertile as Ireland’s ‘40 shades of green’.”– Mark Rickerby
We close this blog post with memories of John, for this Ireland episode will be dedicated to him. Here is his most popular Irish poem:
There are those who say that Ulsteris a place of hate and pain, But many who have left it would still go back again.
The strangers do not see behind the bombs and flames and smoke, And fail to see the character of the kindly Ulster folk.
But we have memories of the dayswhen we were young and gay, Of carefree romps through Ormeau Parkor over Cave Hill’s Bray.
The Saturdays at Windsor, the Sundays by the sea, The bathing belles at Pickie, the sands at Donaghadee,
Our best suit pressed and ready and we were Plaza-bound, But first a stop at Mooney’s and pints bought all around.
The Sunday morning papers, the bacon and dip bread, Then a dander to the castle where all the scores are read.
Back to work on Monday, the weekend’s tales are told, While the oldsters smile and chuckle as our youthful tales unfold.
A new girl in the office, she’s a quare wee bit o’ stuff. Is she going strong, you wonder, as you act so big and tough.
Those were the days, there is no doubt,as my memory wanders back. That is what we all recall, not the rifle’s crack.
Will it ever be the same, you ask. Will today’s kids ever know The simple life we all enjoyed a long, long time ago?
By Mark Rickerby – As the Moon Drake global journey continues, we are thrilled to bring you another episode script for the series. Mark Rickerby has completed episode 1.8 – “Eamon & the Last Forest.”
This time the story takes us to the European Continent and the country of Ireland. It is the tale of a 11-year-old lad addressing the conflict of deforestation and a family feud… and there may also be an enchanted forest! So, the question is, what would an Irish story be without leprechauns?
Mark has created a powerful episode that will delight children. It is a relatable topic, and kids will learn about that part of the world and the Indigenous wisdom it holds for each of us…
This story unfolds fun, conflict, resolution and a strong passion for family love. I am so thankful for Mark and his creativity and writing talents. Indeed, he has created a powerful addition to the first Moon Drake season.
With only three more scripts to complete for the 12-episode season, we are very proud of our writers, and we look forward to the next exciting steps. Thank you, all, for your good wishes and encouragement! Indeed, we are REACHING FOR THE MOON!