This months Daddy Cool, movie maker and father Alex De Rakoff tells Summer Litchfeld how he came about creating positive storytelling apps for children
London-born Alex De Rakoff has had a pretty impressive career so far. Having directed award-winning music videos for the likes of The Rolling Stones and Pharrell, he went on to become a screenwriter and director on feature films such as Dead Man Running and The Calcium Kid, starring Orlando Bloom, before, more recently, working as a creative director for the booming online games industry.
Having lived the not-so-simple Hollywood life for eight years – he is married to the actress Monet Mazur and they have two sons Marlon, eight, and Luciano, who is two and a half – the family have recently decamped to London where Alex is setting out to change the face of interactive media for the under-fives, one app at a time.
Together with fellow screenwriter Peter Kline, Alex has launched Mothership Publishing to create magical, immersive apps which combine beautiful animation and entrancing soundtracks with cutting-edge technology and solid principles.
Mothership’s first release, Little Big Foot, is about a young yeti who ventures away from his familiar mountain hideaway and is lured into a world of excitement and celebrity in the big smoke. Needless to say, the little yeti realises that fame isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be and yearns to return to his roots.
“As parents,” says Alex, “Peter and I want to develop beautiful stories with imagination and depth while embracing the latest in interactive design. We’re looking forward to introducing many other unforgettable characters and worlds and telling timeless stories in a new way.”
The pair have 12 franchises (that’s apps to you and me) planned, with Low Down City slated as the next. A story of micro, eco-robots on a recycling mission, it’s an app that aims to educate children about environmental issues while also providing action-packed entertainment.
So, if they’re going to stare at a screen, better that it’s at a Mothership production, created by two passionate fathers with a pedigree in film-making. The only problem there might be is that you’ll enjoy the apps so much the kids won’t get a look in.
Little Big Foot is available to download via iTunes