World of Wonder, the Hollywood- headquarted prodco behind the OWN doc Becoming Chaz, Logo’s Rupaul’s Drag Race and the recent HBO doc In Vogue: The Editor’s Eye, has had a lengthy and varied non-fiction producing career that spans 21 years. In order to mark the anniversary, the indie is celebrating in its typically unique manner, with a photography book, available via Amazon.com as of today (February 5).
“The book was supposed to celebrate our 20th year but it took so long to make that it celebrates our 21st year,” says World of Wonder co-founder Randy Barbato (pictured, left). “We’re finally legal.”
The project began as a collection of pictures featuring celebs the prodco has worked with over its 21 years, ranging from Pamela Anderson to John Waters, but with the varied personalities featured, the team decided “there had to be some text to connect the dots,” says Barbato.
“We wound up writing 10 chapters and 50,000 words,” adds co-founder Fenton Bailey (pictured, right).
Those words encapsulate the producers’ take on emerging as a company just as unscripted programming was beginning to make its mark. “The Real World had maybe been on a season or two, and you had the Rodney King [beating] caught on tape, the O.J. Simpson freeway chase – you had all of these instances that were a seismic shift in society,” explains Bailey.
The team also felt the book should reflect all the individuals who have shaped the company and its work, ranging from the A-list celebs to the World of Wonder receptionist.
“It’s not just about people in Hollywood behind the gates, it’s about everyone,” sums up Bailey.
The team has fêted the project with several parties, including one at the Realscreen Summit in Washington, in conjunction with Passion Distribution. And with one book under its belt, WOW is looking forward to further adventures in publishing.
“On the book it says Volume 1,” says Barbato. “Pretty soon we’ll be announcing the next project.”
For more information on the book, visit the World of Wonder site.
This feature originally appeared in the January/February 2013 edition of realscreen magazine. Not a subscriber? Click here for more information.