Thursday, October 27, 2011

DIGITAL PIGEON (hows & whys)

I'll be visiting the Apple store in NYC's Upper West Side Saturday morning at 10am (if you're in the neighborhood, stop by).  Why an Apple store, instead of a book shop?

Well, for the last million months or so we've been working on a Pigeon Application entitled, DON'T LET THE PIGEON RUN THIS APP!

This project is, ironically, an outgrowth of my distaste for 'enhanced' digital books, which I feel tend to ignore narrative with their distracting bells and whistles, while also making the readers input irrelevant. (You can see more of my thought process about real books v. electronic books in this transcription of the 2011 Zena Sutherland Lecture that I gave earlier this year in Chicago.)

I've concluded that Books and Apps are different media, like radio, or film.  Just like a film adaptation of a book takes the concept and changes it to meed the needs of the film media. This is not an e-book, rather an 'application' of the Pigeon being thwarted by his audience. I want my work to be played, so I needed to insure that the child would be essential to the running of the experience.  I want kids, like myself, to participate, not just consume.

I think we've managed that with this Application, which is why I'm proud of it.  Kids can create their OWN Pigeon stories either by choosing from a menu or recording their ideas as to what and why the Pigeon can't get what he wants.  In addition, kids can learn to draw the Pigeon along with me, something I hope will help them flourish as the authors and illustrators they already are.

Personally, it was fun to work on this project.  We brought back voice actor Ken Schatz, who has been doing voices for me since my first Sesame Street film in 1994 and Pete List provided superb animation along with a really interesting, dedicated team at Hyperion/Disney.

click to enlarge

Oh, and it's fun to play!

I'll be explaining this App more over the coming weeks, so you'll get a better sense of what it is.

Of course, you can always pop over to the Apple Store and get a copy for your device.  If you do, I hope you as much fun playing as we had making it.