Kevin Costner knows a good story when he hears it.
So when he heard about an app designed to alert travelers to places of interest while traveling, which are noteworthy, but often overlooked, he said he was intrigued.
“I’m a guy driving all over America … when you see them Bronze marker I want to stop on the way. I want to read what was there. ” “It’s kind of history and I remember being really excited. Otherwise, I’m just watching the miles click off.”
He said the app that sent him a compelling and timely story directly was fascinating. “A good story has always been exciting to me.”
According to Sears, Costner was loosely connected through the kids to the app’s entrepreneur Woody Sears. While the app was in the preparatory stage, Costner agreed to tell a few stories before finally joining the company as co-founder.
Called an app Listen here — Launched in August 2020, it happened to coincide with the resurgence of Road Trip, one of the biggest travel trends of the Covid era.
As in the last two years, road trips are expected to be mainstream this summer. Research According to the travel website The Vacationer. According to a survey of about 1,100 Americans in March, nearly 80% of American adults, or about 206 million Americans, plan to take one.
However, Hear Here, billed as a “Road Trip Story Guide,” was under development before the pandemic, Sears said.
“The idea of travel has changed for many,” Sears said. She “opened the door at the same time as the shift.”
According to Kevin Costner, an important part of the app HearHere is to tell the story of the first people to live in North America, the central theme of the Academy Award-winning movie Dances with Wolves.
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Costner said he was involved in several startups, “in the wheelhouse of what I’m already doing when it comes to storytelling and my kind of love for history.” Costner said.
From “Untouchables” to “JFK” to “Wyatt Earp,” many of Costner’s most famous films have touched on the central figures in American history. The main reason he was involved in Hear Here was his desire to talk about the people who first lived in North America. This is the subject he explored in the 1990 Academy Award-winning film Dances with Wolves, starring, directing and producing Costner.
“That was the basis for me … who was the first person? -Because I wouldn’t be here without knowing who was there before,” he said.
HearHere has more than 9,000 stories to date, with topics ranging from Abraham Lincoln to Janis Joplin, from the National Corvette Museum in Kentucky to the music scene in Nashville.
But for Costner, it is also most important to tell the more difficult truths about American history.
“Our story isn’t always great. There was so much violence in America. We’re seeing violence all over the world right now … I don’t think it happened here. Yes — it happened, “he said.
The story of America’s founding father and his Civil War battlefield is dotted with the history of the Mississippi town settled by slaves and the deprivation of black rights.
“We don’t have to be ashamed of it,” Costner said. “We may be a little embarrassed, but what we don’t know is even more embarrassing.”
According to Sears, HearHere has been downloaded more than 400,000 times and has subscribers in all states of the United States. In February, the company announced that it had raised $ 3.2 million in seed funding, led by American RV company Camping World.
He’s at the forefront of a new mobile app company, but Costner has shown that he’s not very interested in technology. He said most mobile apps “fly overhead” and “I don’t even know how to get on” for HearHere’s Twitter page.
Co-founders of Hear Here: Woody Sears, Kevin Costner, Bill Werlin. “I’m not the brain … this is my interest,” Costner said.
Source: Hear Here
“I really grew up with wolves,” he said. “If you need to extend your life … you need to open your ears. You need to open your eyes. When traveling around the country, your nose doesn’t have to be on your computer. You need to look out.”
According to Sears, one of the reasons audio content surpassed video content in 2021 is so-called “screen fatigue.” Audio entertainment “is easier to incorporate into everyday life than video because it can be consumed when walking, driving, or doing chores. I watched it mostly while I was still,” he said. Told.
The US-based story continues to be added to Hear Here, but Costner says the company has a model suitable for international expansion.
He said the company is still refining its business and listening to customers, but “I honestly like to jump off the page … try something new.” ..
Costner said he would apply a similar approach to his films.
“It’s easy to follow trends. It’s much harder to test originality. Trends, or repeating popular ones, is a way for you to make a lot of money,” he said. “Doing classic things like never before can live forever.”