Flaherty: Ringling Grads Set for Storytelling
Jacob Ogles, email@example.com
When Chip Flaherty co-founded Walden Media, he just liked the idea of producing family movies based on books. But he soon touched on a market not genuinely thought of as a group encouraging audiences into multiplexes—teachers. After making feature film versions of such books as Holes, Flaherty found the film was frequently being included in school curricula. “It’s so hard to compete for kids’ time with all the media out there,” Flaherty said, relating what educators told him. “To have a book they teach and have a movie made out of it, it immediately gave some credibility and some touchstones.”
Flaherty, in Sarasota this week to help launch a Creative Writing discipline at Ringling College of Art and Design, spoke with SRQ about the success of Walden, which has been a part of bringing Bones, The Chronicles of Narnia, Because of Winn Dixie and other books to screen. The company has since launched a publishing arm, Walden Pond Press, creating new books that may some day be made into films themselves. The company also wants to go into television, a growing medium for literary quality story-telling. “That’s great for these kids who are at Ringling because there is a whole other viable venue for their creativity,” he said.