Today is a uniquely American holiday – Thanksgiving.
While thanksgiving celebrations occurred in North America as early as 1541, our current celebration is generally modeled after the one at Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621. The Pilgrims, having survived their first winter (during which about half of them died), invited their local Indian friends to join with them in several days of religious activities, feasting, and athletic competition.
Thanksgiving became a festival celebrated annually across New England but did not spread to all the colonies until the American Revolution, when the Continental Congress called for official days of thanksgiving and prayer.
The first federal Thanksgiving proclamation was issued by President George Washington in 1789. Why would he issue that proclamation? He explained:
It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.
Over the next 80 years, national thanksgiving celebrations occurred only sporadically, although they were still celebrated annually across New England.
Beginning in the 1840s, Sarah Hale, a mother of five children and an editor ofGodey’s Lady’s Book persistently campaigned for an established national Thanksgiving – such as in this editorial from 1852:
The American people have two peculiar festivals, each connected with their history, and therefore of great importance in giving power and distinctness to their nationality. The Fourth of July is the exponent of independence and evil freedom. Thanksgiving Day is the national pledge of Christian faith in God, acknowledging him as the dispenser of blessings. These two festivals should be joyfully and universally observed throughout our whole country, and thus incorporated in our habits of thought as inseparable from American life.
Subsequent presidents followed Lincoln’s example in setting aside a day of Thanksgiving, but it was not until 1941 that Congress passed a law establishing Thanksgiving as an official national holiday to be celebrated every year on the Fourth Thursday in November.
As you celebrate Thanksgiving this year with your family and friends, take time to reflect on all the reasons you have to be truly thankful – take time to thank God and specifically recall to Him some of His many blessings on us. You might even outline your prayer to Him by the four items George Washington mentioned in America’s original federal Thanksgiving proclamation:
Acknowledge the providence of Almighty God;
Obey His will;
Be grateful for His benefits; and
Humbly implore His protection and favor.
You can also share with others the history of and the reason for this great holiday. There are several resources on our website that you might find helpful:
Recently, we held a Macro-Narrative Transmedia workshop where we spoke extensively on the importance of determining the theme/message/soapbox of your project. We used Simon Sinek’s concept of The Golden Circle and then applied it to your creative project.
Well, it looks like we’re not the only one’s who made the connection. Maya Zuckerman just posted a blog entry entitled ‘The Why of Transmedia' where she makes the same connection.
Last night we hosted a free Macro-Narrative Transmedia Workshop where we blazed through our internal creative process of developing scalable transmedia projects. It was a massive amount of content for two hours and the people who attended braved horrendous traffic, but we feel we presented a system and way of thinking that will help transmedia professionals, filmmakers, writers and content producers navigate the ever-changing cultural landscape.
Moving forward, we would like to do two things:
1. Post the video from the workshop in eight bite-sized segments next week; and
2. Continue to run a workshop series where we take each of the eight steps that go into our macro-narrative and devote full workshops to each.
“In 40 years any one of your future family members will be able to go back in time and chronologically see everything about you in sequential order… Blogs post, podcasts, tweets, updates and more. It won’t just be a shoebox of pictures and memories… we’re talking about a rich trove of content in text, images, audio and video. Everything. These future generations will, literally, be able to know you - how you were feeling at a moment in time - and parlay that against major moments in our history.”—The Times They Are A Changin’
The American Film Market was a very successful week for us. Our transmedia approach immediately set us apart from the pack and allowed us to make some very strong pitches.
As an aside, it’s shocking how myopic and behind-the-curve the majority of the film industry seems to be. You expect innovation to thrive in the independent scene, but 99% of it operates just like the studios. Because of this, the opportunities for creative, transmedia-minded storytellers and content-creators are numerous and exciting.
The next couple months should prove to be very big months for One 3 Productions.