Many industries have been made popular and interesting through their treatment by media producers. Broadcast media outlets, newspapers and other print publications, music and especially movies have all done their share to make many industries interesting. Their creativity has helped to make mainstream the mundane, the interesting and the truly fascinating. I know that I’ve watched television programs and movies that aren’t necessarily on anything I normally follow and have found them amazingly compelling — particularly when I’m watching a well produced documentary.
What I’ve noticed over time is that children’s books and their creators have been treated very traditionally in the media. In fact, I’ve even noticed this on the web where some of the most interesting interviews with authors and illustrators have been low on production value (e.g. ten-minute video interviews of a talking head). There is so much talk about the importance of children’s books and literacy and how fun it is to learn to read and to read aloud, but the way we promote this in the media suggests otherwise.
That’s part of my thought process as I’ve been producing a series of (roughly) fifteen-minute videos about the amazing people behind children’s books. It’s been a six-month project and will likely be another two before I’m done. Why so much time? I’ve drawn on some of the most entertaining and engaging ways to produce programs that I’ve experienced to date, and have come up with a few ideas of my own. The result is a series of videos which give the children’s book industry the pop-culture treatment enjoyed by niches such as fast food, the environment, movie stars, sports, music and technology, to name a few. My hope is that this approach will make the videos and the subject interesting to everyone, from those that are passionate about children’s books and creativity, to those that aren’t particularly interested in books at all.
The video series will be published on the Just One More Book!! website beginning on March 31. I’ve already produced ten videos and I expect there could be as many as another ten by the time I’ve finished the production work. There are also a few audio programs as part of the series and I expect I’ll do a short “making of” documentary once I’m all done.
In an effort to help promote the series, I extracted a short section from Part 1 which kicks off our road trip and highlights images and short clips that will appear later in the series. What I enjoy most about this particular clip is that it uses energetic music to illustrate that childen’s books, their creators and events are exciting enough for a six-day road trip.