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:


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:


3 Rookie Mistakes Media Production Companies Make

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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:


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


Here’s What’s Keeping You From Accomplishing Your Dream Project


Why aren’t you writing your book, creating your film, starting your business, launching your ministry, or otherwise making your big idea happen? Probably because of what writer Steven Pressfield calls “Resistance” – that urge to do anything other than sit down and do what you actually need to do. I’m working on my next book, and yet every morning I have an almost uncontrollable urge to do something – anything – else: check my email, re-arrange my closet, organize my desk, take a walk, or a million other things. The idea of “Resistance” is far more powerful than we think, and unless we


Artists and Creatives: Should You Quit Your Day Job?


Most creative people dream of the day they can quit their day job and focus on their real passion. Writers want to write, painters paint, designers design, filmmakers make movies – all full time without having to work somewhere else to pay the bills. You have no idea how often I’ve dreamed of having the financial resources just to write books. But my banker and mortgage company don’t agree. They want me to keep doing my day job as well. But then, I started seeing plenty of evidence that