How to Select a Great Director of Photography

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I see a great number of independent movies, reality pilots, short films, and other video work from people around the world. But in the vast majority of cases, there’s one overwhelming shortcoming with the project: It just doesn’t look very good. The truth is – even in the era of inexpensive high definition and 4K cameras – the Director of Photography matters more than the equipment. If you’re a producer, director, or investor, you need to make sure the person behind the camera knows what he or she is doing. So in the interest of a more visually compelling world, here’s a handful of criteria I use to find the right DP or camera operator for my projects:

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Globalizing Your Media Means Localizing Your Media

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Whenever I travel internationally, I’m always surprised to find that when watching American produced religious programming, the vast majority of programs do nothing related to local audiences.  In other words, the program open and close, structure, and even commercial spots were the exact same as the program that had been broadcast in Cleveland, Atlanta, or Tulsa.  It goes without saying that creating a commercial spot with an American phone number and a price in dollars is going to fail when its broadcast in Russia, South Africa, or Bolivia.  And yet,

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Why Traditional Media Still Matters

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It’s popular to prophesy about the demise of traditional TV, newspapers, print books, radio, and more, but just when you get dressed for the funeral, the dead keep coming back. For instance, from personal experience, I can tell you that when someone releases a new book and are looking for publicity, they still want to be featured on network TV, have a review in major newspapers, and do radio interviews. They know that’s where the largest audience is concentrated. And the research confirms it: 

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It’s Time to Stop Worrying About Everyone’s Loyalty

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There was a time when loyalty was everything. My father’s generation worked at the same company for an entire career, professional athletes stayed long term with a single team, and Ford people would never dream of owning a Chevy. In those days, loyalty to a job was assumed. I’ve actually seen employees fired – not because they were incompetent – but because the boss didn’t

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What to Do When People Reject Your Ideas

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If you’re a creative person, at some point you’ll find a boss, investor, studio, or colleague who rejects your ideas. Sometimes it will happen so often you’ll start to question your own ability, and wonder if you’re really creative at all. In these moments (which will definitely come) my advice is:

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The Biggest Mistake Church Leaders Can Make

 Don't Try to Be All Things to All People

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Since writing my book “Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media,” I’ve had the opportunity to meet a number of experts in the field who have significant things to say to church leaders about the power of a great brand.  One of those experts is Denise Lee Yohn, author of the book “What Great Brands Do: The Seven Brand-Building Principles That Separate the Best from the Rest.”  I asked Denise if she could share one message with pastors and ministry leaders today, what would it be?  Here’s her answer.  It’s counter-intuitive for many, but from my experience, worth considering:

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Leaders: Is A Member of Your Team Holding You Back?

Here's how to figure it out...

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A large organization needed to hire an web-design agency, so they interviewed and evaluated five choices. The leadership team made the final decision, so after careful consideration it was decided by a majority which agency would be best. However, the organization’s communications director – the in-house person who would be the point person with the agency, didn’t like the choice. He wanted another web design company he knew and was more comfortable with, but he had to abide by the leadership team’s decision.  However,

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