Director Werner Herzog on Filmmaking

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I’ve been reading the fascinating book “Werner Herzog: A Guide for the Perplexed.” I’m a huge fan of the enigmatic German filmmaker, especially his approach to documentaries. Since I’ve been involved producing “The Insanity of God” and “Let Hope Rise: The Hillsong Movie” this year, documentaries have been on my mind a great deal. I particularly love Werner’s advice on breaking into the industry. I only wish I had heard this after graduating from college:

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The Power of Staying in a Difficult Situation

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In the worlds of business, nonprofit, church, and universities there are plenty difficult and frankly terrible places to be. I know people working in situations where they are regularly threatened, criticized, belittled, and ignored. In my experience, it’s not so much about physical violence, but incredibly poor leaders who have no clue how to inspire their team. As a result,

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The Power of Being Brief

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I’ve written about this before, but until people get the message, I’ll continue to be a crazy prophet in the wilderness. Keep it short – please. I have a friend who can’t send an email less than 300 words. He feels compelled to add the backstory, all the details, the possible alternatives, and more. Even his simplest email drones on and on and on. I met with a producer recently who kept deviating from the pitch. He rambled on about

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Never Forget the People Who Indirectly Influence Your Journey

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For whatever reason, I’ve always recognized that many people indirectly contribute (or detract) from our mission in life. In high school, I was always amazed at the “bad boys” who ignored their girlfriend’s parents – especially since those parents held the permission for when and how often their daughters could go out on a date. And why make an enemy of a teacher who controlled my grade? At work I learned pretty early that secretaries, assistants, and even janitors often held the

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How to Stop Worrying About “Life-Work Balance”

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There have been hundreds of books, seminars, and consultants focused on helping people negotiate the demands of balancing life and work. Yes, there are workaholics who can’t seem to turn it off – ever. But here’s what I think: Life-work balance is only necessary when you’re doing a job you hate. That could cover a lot of careers obviously, because everyone has their own preferences. So if you hate your career (and plan to stay there) then yes – start working on the balance thing. But if you

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Why Plan B Matters for Creative People

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Every parent, upon hearing that a son or daughter wants to become a filmmaker, writer, musician, dancer, or other artist, feels compelled to encourage them to have a “Plan B.” “Take a business minor.” “Get your real estate license.” “Marry a doctor.” We’ve heard it so often it’s become a joke for creative people. But the truth is,

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How To Deal With An Insecure Boss

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Early in my career, I had a string of insecure bosses.  Guys that would steal your ideas and take credit, criticize you in front of others, and do anything to make themselves look good.  So I learned survival techniques early on.  Perhaps that’s why 10 years ago this commentary by Jeanne Sahadi connected with me.  If you’re trapped in a situation with an insecure boss, this might help transform your outlook:

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