This is a special year for FableVision. We’re celebrating 20 years of designing and developing a wide array of engaging media that have inspired, taught, and moved people to action. Behind this mission-driven company is a team committed to creating positive media to help move the world to a better place – and at the helm of that team are our co-founders: Peter H. Reynolds, Paul Reynolds, and Gary Goldberger.
Gary was a founding member of FableVision when it was created in 1996 and holds a unique perspective on all things FableVision. Over the years, Gary has watched and helped shape FableVision’s evolution into a full-fledged studio. He currently serves as executive creative director on many of our projects and oversees the day-to-day running of the Studio.
You’ve dedicated 20 years of your life to making “stories that matter, stories that move.” As one of FableVision’s co-founders, what has that journey been like for you?
FableVision “began” for me when I found a like-minded creative in Pete. We shared similar philosophies and dreams about how even the smallest changes can impact the world in a meaningful way. At that point in my life, I was still searching for that partner who complemented my talents and made the process of creating effortless and joyful. He believed in me in a way that I didn’t believe in myself, and became so much more than a collaborator -- he was, and is, my friend.
I’ve experienced such tremendous personal growth over these last two decades, and I have both Pete and Paul to thank. Looking back on it now, they were really brave to give me opportunities at FableVision that were, truthfully, a real stretch based on my experience. They pushed me out of my comfort zone, trusted me implicitly, and gave me the freedom to rise to the challenge. It has been a time of inspiration, creativity, and a lot of fun. We’ve made some amazing things together. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
We like to say that FableVision’s on a 200-year mission to move the world to a better place. Where did that message spring from?
Soon after we started FableVision, schools in the late ‘90s were becoming very test-centric and we were really frustrated with what we were seeing. Music, theater, and art programs were being cut to make more time for standardized test prep, and kids who didn’t fit this one model of the perfect learner/test taker were, ironically, getting "Left Behind.”
Huge sweeping changes were being implemented in the educational system, massive layoffs, new mandates, overhauls, really, and it wasn’t working. As a very small company with HUGE ideas, we started thinking about how to make effective changes in education through small steps. Pete, Paul, and I have always been optimistic people and we refused to be disheartened. We knew if we stayed positive and optimistic and channeled that into our creations that we could empower others -- educators, parents, kids -- with messages about embracing individuality, creativity, and self-expression.
Where do you hope to see FableVision in the next 20 years?
My gut reaction is to say “more, bigger, better” but in a uniquely FableVision way. I want to continue to work with the best-of-the-best partners on a global scale for our service work. We’re not just a service provider and our clients aren’t just “customers.” It’s a collaborative partnership between two groups trying to make the best possible product for an end-user that we all care about. That relationship is so important; it’s what makes FableVision FableVision.
The best clients are the ones that believe in us and trust us to create something impactful. Sometimes FableVision surprises even me by making things that I didn’t even know we could create, and it’s because our clients believed in us. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to make media I care about, and a lot of that is a tribute to our incredible partners and clients.
In addition to our service work, I’m passionate about our Original IP department that launched two years ago. Since we started, we’ve tried to open new doors to creative challenges. Our Original IP department has done that. It’s an exciting new venture, an opportunity to push the envelope, and I want to continue to feel challenged because that’s great creative fuel for me.
What do you think is the secret ingredient for the success that FableVision has cooked up?
The right people, hands down. The right talent. That might be cliché, but I really believe in our team. We’re not scared to do things we haven’t done before because there is such a smart, supportive group of people helping and cheering each other on. I also think FableVision does a good job in letting our staff explore what they’re personally passionate about and that makes the whole company a better place to work.
From the very beginning, we surrounded ourselves with amazing, talented people. A couple of us are still here, and we even have a few folks celebrating a decade here -- that’s pretty incredible. Even when people leave to pursue other dreams, we tend to stay in each other’s orbit and end up working together again in different ways. I’ve always liked to think of FableVision as a creative hot house. Bring people to FableVision and they’ll grow, they just need the right environment to thrive.