I consumed a lot of content while I was on the long tour across the country (also a lot of Chipotle bowls). I must have listened to 100 hours of podcasts, watched a ton of movies and TV shows, and read some books. Six weeks on the road mostly alone clarified the reason why some entertainment media is crushing it, while others are either losing ground or stagnating. Here’s what I think is happening – I’d love to hear your opinion. Am I right or wrong? Do you see this happening in your own family and friend group? Let’s talk about it!
Let’s start with active/passive vs. active/active. Lots of entertainment media is active/passive. So this means you can do it while you’re doing something else at the same time. Some of them you can do while you’re driving or walking or cleaning your kitchen. And you can multitask in a million different ways on your phone while you also do all of the following:
Watch a movie or a TV show, listen to a podcast or the radio, play a video game, watch Youtube videos, and scroll through Facebook or Twitter posts on your laptop.
Then there’s active/active entertainment media, something we all enjoyed more before the Internet. These are forms of entertainment where we can’t do something else while we’re doing them, and reading is chief among them. When you’re reading a book, you’re locked in. You can’t do anything else.
Now we get to the heart of the problem, the reason why active/active pursuits are such a tough sell the farther down the technological rabbit hole we go. Kids, teens, and adults have entered a state of continuous partial attention (I’m sure someone else said that first, but I don’t know who). Our brains have been re-wired by our smart phones. We are much more comfortable giving a little bit of attention to many things on a continuous loop, and this is especially true with teens and millennials (all the people who are driving entertainment media).
This last point is for my buddy Jeremy Gonzalez who keeps telling me virtual reality is going to be bigger than anything that’s come before it. I have never agreed, and the above paragraphs are why. It’s the same reason 3D never took off in homes. If you’re watching 3D, you can’t do anything else – you’re locked in. The same is true for VR. If you’re in a virtual world with a headset on, you can’t do anything else, least of all check your phone. VR will go the way of 3D – it will carve out a nice niche, but it’s not going to be as widely consumed as a traditional TV show or a movie you can watch at home. It’s heading in the wrong direction – active/active – a critical flaw in it’s DNA.
And books have this critical flaw as well – reading is possibly the most active/active thing a person can do. This was one of it’s great attributes for centuries, but the world has changed and people have changed along with it. For most people today, reading is hard because it requires complete focus and we’re not wired that way anymore.
I still love a great read, it’s one of my favorite things. But if I’m honest, 20 minutes of uninterrupted reading is a lot for me – and I’m a reader!
The Alpha Team has arrived at the third planet, and as you can see by the book cover, it’s all going to be just fine. Not! Aqua Gen is a planet completely covered by water, and the element our teams need to find is at the bottom of the ocean. They’ll have to battle pirates and sea monsters and ride super cool water crafts in a race against time if they want to find the third element.
If you haven’t boarded the Voyagers mission yet, the Alpha Team needs you! Find out all about the series at www.voyagershq.com where you can log on, join the team, and save the world. Let’s do this!
FIRST LEG VOYAGERS TOUR – stay tuned for locations and times!
Charleston – Thursday, January 14th
Savannah – Friday, January 15th
Jacksonville – Tuesday, January 19th
Orlando – Wednesday, January 20th
Miami – Friday, January 22nd
SECOND LEG VOYAGERS TOUR – mid February, final dates and times TBA
Santa Clarita, CA
San Diego, CA
THIRD LEG VOYAGERS / FIZZOPOLIS TOUR
Kennewick, WA – Friday, March 4th
Seattle, WA – Monday, March 7th
Portland, OR – Wednesday, March 9th
San Francisco, CA – Friday, March 11
Salt Lake City, UT – Monday, March 14th
Denver, CO – Thursday, March 17th
Dallas, TX – Monday March 21st
Austin, TX – Wednesday, March 23rd
San Antonio, TX – Thursday, March 24th
Fayettville, AK – Monday, March 28th
Nashville, TN – Wednesday, March 30th
Atlanta, GA – Friday, April 1st
Chapel Hill, NC – Monday, April 4th
Raleigh/Durham, NC – Tuesday, April 5th
Washington DC – Firday, April 8th
Columbus, OH – Monday, April 11th
Chicago, IL – Wednesday, April 13th
St. Louis, MO – Monday April 18th
The Voyagers mission has launched! This is the most ambitious series I’ve ever created for kids, so if you know an educator or a young reader or parents of middle grade kids, this is going to be big! Please spread the word and help us get this mission off to a great start. And if you have a young reader in your life, ordering this week would be hugely appreciated. Thank you thank you thank you!
If you want to share the series on your timeline, here’s the main info:
About the Voyagers series, with a new book every two months for a year.
Earth is about to go dark. Without a new power source, life as we know it will be toast. A global competition is under way to determine who will join the secret mission that might just save us all. Project Alpha is a contest of physical challenges, mental puzzles, and political alliances. The battle is fierce, and only four kids will make the cut. The Voyagers will journey to the far reaches of space, collecting unique elements and facing unbelievable dangers. The future of our planet is in the hands of four kids. Sure, they’ll be the best in the world . . . but can they save the world?
Do you have what it takes to be a Voyager? Find out atwww.voyagershq.com.
About the experience
The Voyagers experience includes a vast world of digital assets for kids to plug into. At www.voyagershq.com, kids can create their own robot commander, discover hidden secrets in the printed books that unlock tons of cool stuff, join the crew, and much, much more. And the Voyagers game launches in just a few days, where kids can collect robots, play cool games, and learn a ton of science, technology, engineering, and math. It’s a STEM teacher’s dream come true for young readers!
Thank you again for sharing this bold new series. Heading out into space is going to be amazing. Onward!
Bold Films is stepping into the YA ring with the acquisition of Patrick Carman’s 2010 novel Thirteen Days to Midnight. Combining themes of super powers, ancient conspiracies and growing into adulthood, the story is a dark morality tale centered on Jacob Fielding, a teenager who receives incredible power when his foster father whispers to him “you are indestructible.” That power however comes with a dark history that Jacob must discover to keep himself and his friends alive.
Bold Films is financing and will produce the feature film adaptation, and has tapped Mike Flanagan (Oculus) and Kate Siegel (Hush) to write the current draft of the script. An earlier draft was written by Ryan Engle (Non-Stop). Trevor Macy (Oculus, Safe House) developed the script and will produce for Intrepid Pictures. Bold Films chairman Michel Litvak (Whiplash, Nightcrawler) will produce for the company, with Bold CEO Gary Michael Walters executive producing along with Marc D. Evans. The deal was negotiated for Bold Films by SVP Business and Legal Affairs Karen Barna, and for Intrepid by Glenn D. Feig of Reder & Feig.
Patrick Carman is a New York Times best-selling children’s author with more than 30 titles to his name. In addition toMidnight, his other books being developed for film include: Floors, for Disney;Evermore, for Amblin; and Escape the Room, for Blumhouse and Universal. He’s repped by Susan Schulman. Engle is repped by Chris Sablan at Original Artists and Michael Lasker and Langley Perer at Mosaic; Flanagan is reppped by WME and Joel VanderKloot at Nelson Davis; Siegel is repped by TCA Jed Root, Industry Entertainment and Joel VanderKloot at Nelson Davis.