"Captain" Ian Hummel and the rest of his kid-centric band the Shazzbots are ready for take-off.

"Captain" Ian Hummel and the rest of his kid-centric band the Shazzbots are ready for take-off.

Since 2008 Hummel and his crew/co-stars have been bringing G-rated rock songs with actual chops to pint-sized fans around the city and beyond. Last summer, the crew took the leap to expand the project to include a children's TV show. With a successful Kickstarter campaign and a grueling production process under their jumpsuit belts, Columbus' favorite family-friendly band is set to share their tour adventures on the big screen at Gateway Film Center for the pilot episode of "We Are The Shazzbots" on Saturday, Aug. 22. Hummel and the crew hope they can help "inject some heart and soul back into children's programming" and grab the attention of a major network.

"All of my friends were having kids, and I noticed a lack of any good children's entertainment or music. So I sat down to see if I could write a kids' song. Next thing you knew, I had an album's worth," Hummel said. "I began formulating a plan for this outer space rock band for kids. I created characters with backstories and laid the groundwork for every little detail about this band, their spaceship and the world they live in."

Hummel asked former bandmate Josh Tully to join the project. Later, the crew would include Mike Heslop, Steve Frye and Hummels' wife, Dianne. The Shazzbots released their first album Shazzbots Go! in 2008. Though the project centered on the band's live performances, according to Hummel a television show was always part of the plan.

"From my initial impetus of this Shazzbots project, I was always thinking about [doing a] TV show [that] would follow the crew as they tour the universe in a Winnebego teaching kids to be excited about art and expression," he said. "At the beginning of last year, I got that urge to make a show back. There was so much that I wanted to explore in this universe. We've got a story to tell, and you can't [do that] in a 45-minute concert. To get across the depth and the vastness of our artistic vision, I wanted to get back to the original plan."

Last summer Hummel and crew went on a media blitz pushing their Kickstarter campaign, playing free shows, marching in parades and appearing on radio and TV spots. The Shazzbots exceeded their original goal of $20,000 raising $23,467 to date. According to Hummel, raising the funds was the easy part, and the real work was still ahead.

"It took a good six months just to build the sets. We may have made our Kickstarter goal, but that still wasn't all that much money with all we wanted to do," he said. "This is by far the hardest, most intense and stressful artistic project I have ever worked on in my life. This is absolutely no joke what we're trying to accomplish here."

On Aug. 22, fans and friends can enjoy the group's hard work at Gateway Film Center. The event will include a Shazzbots performance and a milkshake afterparty in the lounge. Though the Shazzbots undoubtedly focus on child-friendly themes, the band's songwriting is legitimate and tailor-made to engage rock-loving adults.

"When they engage in the music and the show together as a family, there is nothing better. That's what our music is about; it's kids' music for the parents too," Hummel said. "These are 100% real songs written and played by us that just happen to have childlike subject matter."