Illumination Workshop

Old Mac's Farm Web Series Pilot

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Old Mac's Farm is a series of fun, entertaining and inspirational programs that provide information on essential life skills to children aged 3-7 years.

It combines a fantastic amount of creative talent including puppetry, character acting and dance. Not to mention the amazing talents that are involved in filming our series.

By joining us in making Old Mac's Farm you can create real positive change in the lives of the children we reach. Any donation, large all small, makes a difference. Our mission is to create iconic and inspirational stars, for the next generation of NZ kids. Generating positivity, creativity and confidence.


Who is The Illumination Workshop?

We are a nonprofit charity organisation that produces entertaining educational media. 

We believe in the philosophy: teach a person to fish and you feed them for a lifetime. Our work is in teaching and inspiring children to care for themselves and others and become the best person they can be.

What is Old Mac's Farm? 

There are five parts to Old Mac's Farm. They cover five key topics of self development and are presented by a collection of quirky characters that are learning about where they fit in the world.

Each part can be viewed separately for targeted learning on resilience, relationships, personal safety / peer pressure, healthy eating and physical movement. When compiled into Old Mac's Farm they will be glued together with fun snippets of handy info such as personal hygiene (as a mum of two boys this topic is essential!!!!).

Why puppets?

Unlike common children's animation, puppets; such as those used on Sesame Street, have been proven to extend the realm of reality for children. Children are more likely to believe and invest in puppet characters and empathise with situations that are presented in a realistic environment.

The Plan

We have decided to film the five parts of our pilot in two separate blocks to allow more time to fundraise and prepare. The first three short parts will be filmed in April and the last two, more complicated parts will be filmed in June.

Once the pilot is made and tested we are on to the next part of the plan; to develop a long term series.

Our eventual plan is to have a live touring show that supports the program. This will connect with the community and provide an opportunity to share our information with children and families, assess our relevance and find inspiration and ideas for future content. 


We have a great plan for sustainability. It's a 5-10 year plan. It has the potential to make sure that we don't have to put our hands out again but our program will still remain free to children throughout New Zealand. This all hinges on the pilot and it has to be good!

By producing Old Mac's Farm in Kerikeri, Bay of Islands, we are creating an industry that can support a wealth of amazing creative people that live here but struggle to earn a living from their talents.

We have so many wonderful people working in kind and donating their time but we do need to pay for some professionals and their equipment, to boost our quality to a higher level, and sets don't get built out of thin air. 

After 20 years of dreaming and devising and two years of solid planning and preparation we are on the threshold of creating something amazing and you can be a part of it. Whether it's a little or a lot we gratefully appreciate any support you can give to help make this dream a reality. Donate today!  



  • Part One is looking Great!


    Hi everyone, 

    Just a quick update to show you a sneak peak at the show reel for our Mac's Patch series. You've all supported us when we needed you most and we are so eternally grateful so I hope you enjoy this little bit of joy as much as we do. 

    Thank you and have a great week!



  • That's a wrap!!


    I'm sorry for the distance between my last update. It seems like forever since we made our funding target and now but I can assure you all that we have been flat out making this project happen. And now I can happily say we have the first three parts of our web series pilot in the can! 

    We have had a fantastic team and it has been an absolute honor working alongside the industry professionals from Channel North, our freelance DOP Gavin and the amazing creative volunteers who ran the art department. 

    Now we turn to the editing and testing and seeking funding for an ongoing series. 

    Thank you to everyone who has helped us get this far. It means the world and will make a huge difference to our future goals. 


    That's a wrap!!
  • Ready to film!


    This is the amazingly talented Dani who is trying to look comfortable while squeezing into the most uncomfortable place to perform Max the kunekune pig. She's able to get a fantastic amount of personality into Max who is trying to read his book quietly in a very loud environment. Great rehearsals today. Getting ready to film on Friday. :)



    YEEEEHAAAAA! We did it! You did it! Together we have raised $12,000 to support the Illumination Workshop in making our pilot program to shine a light on life skills for children. Thank you so much to all of those who so generously donated to our Boosted fundraising campaign and thank you to everyone that helped us spread the word. It truly was a team effort. And, as promised, to celebrate we have Chicken doing his happy dance! Enjoy. 

  • Almost there!!!


    Yahoo!! Our amazing matching donor has decided to release the full amount of their generous donation to help us acurately show just how much money has been raised so far for our pilot project. This is a wonderful gesture and now you can clearly see that we are sooooooo close to our target. Our Easter chicken is practising his resilience tools as we ride the roller coaster of the crowd funding campaign. It would be fantastic if I could tell the crew at our recce next Tuesday that we can pay the bills without a worry. So now the rest is up to you. There will be no more matching donations. We have done everything we can to get this project funded, tried every grant that we were elligible for, put more than a few of our own pennies into the pot and worked, worked, worked to make it a reality. Please share this with everyone and anyone you know and help us to create something very special. 

    Almost there!!!
  • What a difference 2 days makes. 48 little hours....


    Yes we have 2 days left to go and are calling on a miracle to get us over the finish line. We have had some amazing donations from some amazing people who believe in us and what we are doing.
    Just to remind you, we are shining a light on information that supports children in life skills. We are designing and bringing to life the rock stars of the preschool generation that can communicate on their wave length and share some secrets about how to navigate this crazy world we live in. We are giving adults an opportunity to open a discussion that might otherwise be difficult and discover how amazing their children are at overcoming adversity with the right tools.
    While we are doing this we are creating jobs for an fantastic group of creatives and support networks in small town NZ. We also have the opportunity, if we do this right, to make a name internationally and wow the world with our magic.
    What's not to love about this project!
    2 days and counting....

    What a difference 2 days makes. 48 little hours....
  • Snail Trails


    Slimon tried out his new shell and new home on the giant rock today. He seems a little amused at the silly woman hiding underneath the rock pretending to be a puppeteer. Tomorrow will bring a coating of plaster and a paint job for the rock, a covering of paper mache and paint job for the shell and, I'm sorry to say Slimon but, a total rebuild of the puppet with some extensive eye surgery. Oh dear. 

    Snail Trails
  • A place to call home!


    Chicken tried out his new digs today. It's not quite finished yet but he was itching to play in the nesting box that will be home to his egg for the pilot episode. This ones all about comfort zones and what happens if you find you have unfortunately outgrown yours and literally have to leave the nest. It can be a little scary at first but in the end it's not so bad.
    Thanks to Kate Slimon is getting a fabulous new shell to call home, which we are both very excited about.
    And I thought you might like to see the tree before it gets coated and painted. Here you can really appreciate the work Kate has put into it.

    A place to call home!
  • The space is filling up!


    True to my word we are starting to fill our blank canvas workshop space with backdrops and set creations in progress. The fabulous Kate Lang is in the house carving apple trees and rocks out of polystyrene and pallets are being pulled apart to be reassembled as chicken coups. The puppets are evolving into their full personalities and we are slowly moving steadily ahead. 

    What a journey this is. Please help us get to the end! Which, in reality, will be just the beginning of something truely special. 



    The space is filling up!