How did the Fantastic World Come About?
Matthew Young, one of the producers and actor (Charles) in Molly Pickens describes the making of The Fantastic World curriculum “a God-thing”. He and his twin brother, Jared (Bill in Molly Pickens), didn’t start out with curriculum writing in mind. They both graduated from the University of Georgia and established an interior painting company in 2008. The brothers also did a little acting in an improv theatre on the side. A local youth pastor friend asked the Young brothers to do a show (featuring the characters Bill and Charles) for the youth group at a lock-in. That’s when the gears started turning. Why stop at live shows? Why not produce some films? The two buckled down and put together a smashing pilot for PBS which was quickly rejected. Bummer. Time for plan B.
The quirky pair continued to do live shows around town, geared towards youth group age, when they were asked by a friend, Julie Butler, to write some curriculum for the Children’s Ministry at her church. They were also contacted by Phil Vischer (wow!) to do some stuff for Jelly Telly, as well as Dan Huffman who commissioned the makers of Molly to produce Zap Pack, a 6-week video series following the life of a preteen boy named Zack who is mysteriously zapped inside his bookbag for some important life lessons.
The children’s ministry curriculum they produced for Julie Butler became Molly Pickens and the Rainy Day Castle 10 Week Curriculum. The fun didn’t end there, though. This team has been hard at work producing other crazy curriculums to line the catalog including: Adventures in Values and the Odyssey of Tiny Pirate (both 5 week curriculums).
Want to know more?
Looking towards the future:
Matt and Jared Young started out with live shows, and that’s still very much their passion. They hope to visit many of the churches who use the Molly Pickens Curriculum. They will do a side-splitting show at your church for $1,000 plus travel expenses. Check out what the shows look like:
They’ve also put together a series called Adventures in Values. The plan for this series is to have 5 volumes with 5 episodes each. Each episode covers a key characteristic such as friendship, honesty, etc. Volume one is currently available for purchase (special price of $50 until September 1st).
A Little More about Matt:
On his bookshelf: Matt just finished up Donald Miller’s A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. He’s usually engrossed in some kind of science fiction though. Some favorites include The Alchemist, anything by Tolkien, and the Song of Fire and Ice Trilogy.
That’s all for now! Jump on over to The Fantastic World’s website to get more details on the curriculum, the brothers, watch videos, check out merchandise and more! Personally, I’m thinking about adding one of those cranky cactus shirts to my collection!