What to Do When People Reject Your Ideas

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:

READ MORE » |

Director Werner Herzog on Filmmaking

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:

READ MORE » |

How to Select a Great Director of Photography

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:

READ MORE » |

3 Rookie Mistakes Media Production Companies Make

People have peculiar ideas about launching start ups. Before the Internet, I knew an inexperienced producer who was convinced that to be taken seriously, he had to deliver everything important (scripts, contracts, etc) via Federal Express. It didn’t take long to run up a $250,000 Fed-Ex bill and he eventually declared bankruptcy. Others have equally unproductive ideas about launching projects. So if you’re an investor in a media production company, or a major donor in a nonprofit media effort, here’s 3 of the biggest red flags you should be looking for:

READ MORE » |

Have You Considered Producing Documentaries?

At the Sundance Film Festival year after year, some of the hottest tickets are for documentaries, and there’s no question that the most memorable films for me are often docs. Mike Snider, writing in USA Today reported that documentaries have finally arrived as a potent movie force.  At the festival a few years ago, 45 major documentaries were released to theaters, up from 29 just a year before.  Certainly, we’ve seen recent feature documentaries do so well at the box office that they’re making the public aware of the format – some bringing in more than $100 million at the box office – but

READ MORE » |