It’s Not Talent. It’s Hard Work.

In the spirit of being for something, not against something (even though complaining about stuff we don’t have is super-fun), here are some good tips for people trying to make movies, TV, short films, or just about whatever, that focus on making the best of what you’ve got to work with.

No talent required. Just hard work.

The Road To Reinvention coverRaindance’s Elliot Grove recently chatted with the Canadian branch of the organization, which is a good reason to check out some indie film tips from the ex-pat Torontonian.

And following on that idea that you can do more with less, or less than less if that’s what you’re working with, we’re going to be checking out Josh Linkner’s book “The Road To Reinvention” for more motivation to get out there and disrupt some industries with little more than some elbow grease and know-how.

Millennial Workplace Tips to Help Create Meaningful Projects

Being millennials, or close to it in the grey area between Generations X and Y, we often find ourselves reading all about how entitled we should be feeling, how we’re terrible to work with, and how creative we can be in the workplace.

One such article that’s crossed our path recently comes from Fast Company, titled “4 Tips To Help Millenials Find Meaningful Work.”

While it’s a good read about what makes work meaningful, or what makes one place better than another to work at (for any generation, really), I think the tips included in this article apply to creating content. These four tips are from the Fast Company article and I’ve added my own take on them here.

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Obstacles

Obstacles - house shootAfter producing a couple of our own things, we wanted to try our hand at producing someone else’s project. Lucky for us, we met a lovely lady by the name of Geeta Sehgal at Yegfilm and it just so happened she was writing a short about an anxious woman who had to confront one of her fears by crossing a bridge high above an Edmonton ravine to support her friend’s exhibit opening.

Geeta’s script arrived soon after we mentioned our interest in producing and we were off and running. Of course, this meant trying to standardize the process and forms we had begun crafting and putting to use on our pilot episode of Startups. Our challenge was to make sure the things we were doing as a duo would make sense to someone else working on the project and help us all accomplish the goal of bringing Geeta’s idea to screens.

More about what we learned, and the movie itself, after the jump.

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April Script Frenzy

Script Frenzy logoThis April we challenged ourselves to write every day in the goal of completing a feature-length movie script each. While we both didn’t succeed, the month was a success.

Based on the old Script Frenzy idea from the good folks behind NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month (it’s November), it used to be a similar event in April of each year where they asked writers to craft a 100-page screenplay between April 1 and 30. The event no longer runs in the spring, but Sally pitched it as a good way to finish a couple of our bigger ideas.

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Reading List

As Jeff mentioned in the previous post, I’m scheduled to be on a panel at the Alberta Media Arts Alliance Society Symposium this Friday, May 9, where I’ll be talking with Calgary super-producer Spencer Estabrooks about finding an audience for your work online (check out his spectacular web series One Hit Die here).

While I cannot say definitively how the discussion will go (if I learned one thing in high school, it’s that the only thing you can count on in social situations is getting swirlied and jammed in a locker), there is one thing that is indisputable – I will mention like 8,000 books, because I have a personal believe-y that any problem, no matter how gigantic, somewhere, has a book that can solve it. I will also heavily plug the web app that Samsonite and I have in the works.

So after the jump, find a list of some books I am likely to recommend on the topic of internet distribution, business models and audience acquisition. Continue reading

Collaborating on Global Visions

Edmonton is home to Canada’s longest-running documentary film festival.

Global Visions globe logoIt’s gone through a few name changes over the years and this year the Global Visions Film Festival is expanding to show more movies than ever.

This post serves three purposes. The first is to mention that Global Visions begins Thursday, May 8 and is almost definitely going to have something you’d like to see.

The second and third reasons for this post after the jump!

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Finding New Ways To Produce And Distribute

Every system has two sets of rules: The rules as they are intended or commonly perceived, and the actual rules (“reality”). In most complex systems, the gap between these two sets of rules is huge. – Paul Buchheit, Applied Philosophy, a.k.a. “Hacking”

The middle-ground of Canadian film and television (and web video), and just about any industry or system, is a fascinating area where innovation lies in wait. While we aren’t going to proclaim ourselves the ones about to change everything that you know, we are interested in exploring what lies in and outside of the rules of producing in Canada.

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