An important part of the original Mr. Rogers’ show was the opening shot of zooming into his miniature neighborhood set. Pee Wee’s Playhouse used a similar device in its opening shots as well. There is nothing quite as charming and engaging as a miniature world of make believe and the Green Room is determined to follow in the steps of the greats!
Designing a Layout to Accommodate the Monorail
The scale chosen was standard HO scale due to the availability of a wide variety of building, trees, accessories, and other “set” pieces. A layout was designed that would include places where alternative energy could be demonstrated: solar, wind, hydro-electric, as well as a gardening and recycling centers, etc. The initial layouts looked like this:
About the Monorail
Like Mr Rogers’ Neighborhood Trolley, a moving monorail is essential to the script and story development. It serves as a transition device between real world events and imaginary world events. The Australian Darling Harbor Harbourlink toy was chosen as the best for scale and design.
Tests were done with various transformers to make sure the vintage HO monorail purchased through ebay worked.
Background movement was provided by a Matchbox Motor Speedway which would allow matchbox and hot wheels cars to move around the city. We had a 3 car pileup at the Giant Donut shop while testing out the track! Luckily, since it was a donut shop, the police were nearby!
Stay tuned for Part 3!