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A documentary that shines a bright light on the vital importance of play to our health, happiness, and the future of life itself!
A documentary that shines a bright light on the vital importance of play to our health, happiness, and the future of life itself!
623 backers pledged $42,374 to help bring this project to life.

Recent updates


D629cdf7b82b2e48f530ed81756a5769 original

It's time to meet playmates


Dear friends of play,

We were in high gear shaping Now Playing as a six hour PBS series when a small miracle occurred. At approximately 9:07am this morning (Pacific time) Garbanzo snorted, the stars aligned, and we became officially ready to start talking to potential sponsors and institutional partners.

So here’s the big invitation to you!

Do you know any organization that might want to be associated with the emerging play movement and is in a position to sponsor a TV series (and accompanying website)? If you do, I have some great materials you can share with them. I also brought in a fabulous person who’s leading our sponsorship efforts and I know just how much she wants to work with you (a LOT). So introduce us to your cousins, your friends, your friends of friends of cousins of uncles who are working in any...

  • Corporations
  • Institutions
  • Foundations

…that might be interested in supporting the play cause.

We’d be happy to compensate you on a commission basis and, of course, friendly intros are also ever so welcome.

And we promise not to embarrass you (too much)!


Play on!

Gwen, Garbanzo and the NOW Playing team

A Great Big Boost!


Hello dear playmates,

We're thrilled to announce that NOW Playing has received a rare development grant from the MacArthur Foundation. This will enable us to turn our research into a real plan for a multi-part PBS series.

You could say we're feeling pretty good about that!

PBS Partner 

We're also absolutely thrilled to have Oregon Public Broadcasting as our PBS broadcasting partner. OPB could not be a better fit for us since they have a strong national focus and know how to work with independent producers, like us, who want to make shows that don't look like anything else on television. OPB will be helping shepherd the project to PBS National so we can get a national air date. We're psyched about that.  

New Team Member 

We also have a wonderful addition to our team. The amazing, adorable, and highly effective Susanna Pollack has come on board to develop our business partnerships. After eight years setting up deals at BBC she knows a little bit about funding and distribution. We're delighted (and lucky) to have her!

New Advisors 

We also are a little dazzled by our new illustrious advisors who have recently joined our board. Stand up now, wherever you are, and put your hands together for...

Joi Ito - Activist, entrepreneur, venture capitalist and director of the MIT Media Lab…and three time college drop out.

Donna Friedman Meir - Principal and founder of LEMONADE Creative Consulting, past president of National Geographic Kids Entertainment and held senior executive positions with the WB Television Network and Nickelodeon. Very ticklish.

Michael Carter Ph.D- Learning & digital media luminary. Early advisor to Steve Jobs, oversaw educational new media research at Apple's Advanced Technology Group.

Amazing! Right?

Every day we can keep working on this important project with such fabulous playmates is a dream come true and a day closer to having this important message playing in front of millions of viewers. So we have lots of reasons to celebrate…as we roll up our sleeves for four months of development! 

Thanks for playing your part before we had such an impressive list of mucky mucks involved. You sure know how to spot talent :-)!

With delight,

Gwen, Garbanzo, and the whole, expanding NOW Playing team

Still playing!


Hello dear playmates!

I've gotten notes from a few of you asking what the heck's going on with Seriously!? You REALLY need to hear from me more than once a year? FINE! Be that way. Here's what's up!

WE HAVE A NEW NAME!! From now on, call us NOW Playing: Media for a playful planet instead Seriously! A movie about play. We've made the change on all our platforms except YouTube. So that's where you'll find us. See what happens when you transform from a movie to a series...and beyond! 

Time for R & D! We are currently preparing for a 4-6 month R & D phase that will nail down all the details of the series: scope, treatments, shoot schedules, budgets, and everything little thing it takes to produce them. This is when it gets real.

Meet our new board members! In the meantime, we've been making lots of new friends who are playing important roles in making this happen. I've even convinced some of them to join our good old friends Stuart Brown, Gordon Burghardt, Bernie De Koven, Scott Eberle, and Sergia Pellis on our advisory board. Here they are!!

  • Margaret Keene - Executive Creative Director at Saatchi & Saatchi, LA and one of the madwomen behind Apple’s Think Different campaign
  • Roko Belic - Director of the feature documentary, Happy, and Academy Award nominated Genghis Blues
  • Nirvan Mullick – Producer of the viral short documentary called “Caine’s Arcade” and founder of the Imagination Fund with a mission to “find, foster, and fund creativity and entrepreneurship in more kids like Caine.”
  • Phil Cousineau - Award-winning writer and filmmaker, teacher and editor, lecturer and travel leader, storyteller and TV / radio host.
  • Zuraida Buter – Playful Culture Curator, founder of the Playful Arts Festival, organizer and global committee member of the Global Game Jam, project manager for Dutch Game Garden
  • Peter Gray, Ph.D – Research professor at Boston College, Author of Free to Learn
  • Brendan Boyle - Partner at IDEO and director of their Play Lab, professor of Play & Innovation class at Stanford D-School. Brendan has invented over 150 consumer products and co-authored The Klutz Book of Inventions.
  • Jay Beckwith - Playground design and safety expert, partner at Beaconeering

And now for the Show and Tell portion of my article Well-played: The origins and future of playfulness has been published in the American Journal of Play. I also have a glowing review of Bernie de Koven's new book A Playful Path to share and my recent Huffington Post blog on the roots of play deprivation is here.

Let's Play! I realize it's been a year and a half since you backed this project and now that it's expanded, it will be several more years before it's finished. So instead of getting grumpy, bored, or worse - Let's Play!!! I've met some delightful and inspiring playmates in my travels and I want you to meet them too. So here's the plan: In the fall I'll start luring them to my secret Google hangout where you'll be waiting. Then you listen with rapt attention while I interview them, asking intelligent, edifying questions. Everybody gets amazed and inspired and bring more play into our lives and world. What do you say? You, my dear backers, will get the first opportunity to join in live. 

We're also forming some exciting strategic partnerships with organizations, but if I tell you everything I won't have anything left to share next month. So stay tuned...I'LL BE BACK (no, really! I promise!).

Thank you for your support and patience!

With delight,

Gwen, Garbanzo, and the Now Playing team!

Seriously the series


Happy 2014! I hope your year is off to a spectacularly silly start! 

We've got some big news! If you're on the film's official mailing list then you probably already know what I'm going to say. If you want your news hot off the press from now on then you might want to sign up on our mailing list. Okay fine, I'll cut to the chase...

Our humble, one-hour show is becoming a six-hour series for PBS. That's right, a SIX-HOUR SERIES!!! We just can't do justice to the compelling stories about the emerging play movement and the way it's effecting every area of life in one hour. So we're rolling up our sleeves EVEN MORE, finding great partners, finding more great partners, and drinking heavily (mostly kale smoothies) to prepare us for the marathon ahead. It's going to be a big year! case you're wondering what's going on with your rewards. For those of you who are getting the MP4 file, digital downloads and DVDs, we will be sending you the first hour that launches the series just as soon as it's done. It's really the movie I had in mind when I did the Kickstarter. The only difference is that it's going to take a lot longer. We are still planing on having a sensational world Premier, so those of you with VIP passes can look forward to that. And for those of you who (secretly) can't wait to see your name in the credits, not to worry, they'll roll at the end of the first show. We don't have an air date for the series so we don't have a timeline so I can't tell you exactly when you'll see your rewards, but I'll definitely keep you posted.

In the meantime...

We'd Love Your Help!

We have three hot opportunities for the right match and would love your helping finding them.

1) Series underwriters! Do you have a connection to a company or organization that might want to sponsor the series? Let us know!!

2) Social media intern! It's hard to imagine replacing Jennifer, but we're going to try. Here's the job description from Craig's List.

3) A business partner with successful media and internet biz experience to work with me to develop the web platform and business for the ongoing play content, opportunities, and resources we'll be offering. 

And finally, I thought you might enjoy my latest Huffington Post blog. This one is very close to my heart and gives Macy-the-mutt her well-deserved 15 min. of fame (Sorry Garbanzo; next time). I hope you enjoy it.

It's a big wish list for 2014 so thanks for any leads. As an expression of gratitude Garbanzo will come to your house and give you a big wet kiss. Or not. 

With ongoing gratitude to you for playing your part,

Gwen, Garbanzo, and the Seriously! team

Seriously! still playing


Hello my dear backers,

I'm writing to acknowledge that, although I had hoped Seriously! would be finished by now and you'd be sitting on the edge of your seat, stuffing popcorn in your mouth, totally engrossed in one amazing story about play after another...well, it's not, so you're not. 

Sorry about that. As almost any filmmaker can tell you - if you want to make God laugh, tell her your production schedule. However unpredictable and curvy the path may be, I'm happy to tell you that the team is passionately at work and we're excited to tell you what's new. 

After spending much of the past year doing original research on play, publishing articles, directing animations for a film, and creating playgrounds for women over 50, I've gotten my butt back into the Seriously! saddle. And wouldn't you know, she broke into a gallup. I'm now working closely with Josh Rosen from SPINE Films in a new phase of pre-production - honing the stories we want for the film. 

Here's the big news: Thanks to Josh we have been guaranteed a spot as a PBS special!! 

To celebrate we've gussied up our website and are now offering a little incentive to fluff up our mailing list as well. Sign up and you get Play Pops - a darn near daily dose of delight that pops up right in your inbox. It's curated by Garbanzo (the fearless wonder-pug and Seriously! sidekick), who can't wait to share his favorite play videos. His obsession of the week? Bulldogs on surf boards. sick.

Also, I'm delighted to announce my debut as a Huffington Post blogger. In this piece I describe how play is a dynamic meditation and a path to wisdom. I appreciate your liking, sharing, commenting, and subscribing. 

We're also looking for an experienced, playful sponsorship coordinator to join the team. Contact me through Kickstarter if you're qualified and interested. 

So now that we're off and running, I look forward to keeping you posted more regularly on the exciting developments. I promise to let you know when you can start heating up the popcorn.

With delight,

Gwen, Garbanzo, and the Seriously! team

p.s. If you haven't already, just go like us on facebook already. We're trying to break 3K by Thanksgiving!