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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


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Still playing!


Hi playmates!

It's been a long time since you've gotten an update from me.  I wanted to wait until I had some real news to share. And when we got the MacArthur Foundation Development grant last November we got really busy cooking up a proposal for a six-hour series. Series development is a little like a sausage factory, so we'll spare you the gory details. Okay, maybe not all the gory details. As a matter of fact, here are some of the gory details right now.

Some Gory Details

After spending six months working on the series, we submitted our proposal to Oregon Public Broadcasting, our presenting PBS station. A few hours later we got a note back telling us to make it a two-hour special. After staring blankly at the wall for a few days, we realized that this was actually great news and that a shorter show would have a much bigger impact. So we scraped our jaws off the floor, rolled up our sleeves (a g a i n) and six months later submitted a proposal for a two-hour show that we all love and are excited to produce. A few revisions later, we got the green light! 

A Long Road

It's been over three years since you supported our Kickstarter campaign! Since then the project has taken a lot of twists and turns, all ultimately toward a bigger impact. I know we all thought by we'd be sipping Champagne at the world premier by now so I want to reassure you that this is the same project and it is definitely going to happen...and that the Champagne will only taste sweeter when we do finally raise our glasses. So, after three years, I want to thank you for being so patient, for your continued support, and for just hanging in there with me! I'm humbled, grateful, and eager to produce a smart, inspiring, powerful, beautiful case for play.

Some Offerings

Now that I'm no longer chained to my desk working on the proposal and while our team is busy hitting the road to raise the funds for the show (it's true, it takes more than the $42K we raised on the Kickstarter to produce a 2 hour PBS Special), I'm available in a new way for the first time in years! This is the official announcement that opening my coaching practice to those of you who want to unleash your hearts and bring more play to your life and world. I only have space for five coaching clients so I'm giving my Kickstarter supporters first dibs plus a free session. I'm also available to make some productive mischief in your organization through some exciting programs designed to turn your workplace into a play space. Let me know if you want to play. 

Playing ever, ever, ever onward HO!

Gwen, Garbanzo and the Now Playing team

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