Have You Considered Producing Documentaries?

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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

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

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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

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Artists and Creatives: Should You Quit Your Day Job?

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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

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Studio Executive DeVon Franklin and the Ability to Read a Room

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My friend DeVon Franklin is the Senior Vice President of Columbia Tristar Pictures in Hollywood. A couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to interview him onstage at a media conference here in Los Angeles. In fact, if you haven’t read his book “Produced by Faith” then I highly recommend it. During our session at the conference, I asked him what was the single most important skill it takes to reach the top in this industry. His answer?

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The Secret to Finding Creative Liberty

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We celebrate our national independence on July 4th, but there’s another freedom we should consider as well – creative freedom. The problem is, creative freedom, like our national freedom comes with a price. I’m currently reading a book called “Daily Rituals: How Artists Work.” It’s a fascinating look at how successful creative people design rituals and plan their day to maximize their productivity.  Reading the book, you realize pretty quickly that

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If You’re Creative, Read This Next Time You Feel Like Complaining

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If you’re like me, chances are you’re a creative professional who complains too much. In pursuit of creating my projects, I’d like a better computer, I’d like a bigger office, I could use more employees, or I’d like bigger budgets. At least I used to think that way – until I attended a church in Jakarta, Indonesia made up of Iranian refugees. I was in Indonesia helping produce a major outreach event for Dr. Michael Youssef and Leading the Way ministries. Indonesia is a long way from Iran, but many of these refugees are

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Who Are You? (In 5 Words or Less)

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Today’s personal branding challenge:  Describe yourself in five words or less.  What is it that defines you, captures your story, and makes you stand out from the pack?  Like a movie log line, being able to pitch or describe yourself in five words or less, is a valuable tool.  The next time you meet a potential funder, a producer for your project, a future boss, publisher, agent etc – you may only have a minute or two to

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Stop Blaming Everyone Else. Your Future is In Your Hands

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I worry that we live in a culture today where growing numbers of people look outside themselves for success. And when they fail, it’s always someone else’s fault. But the government, your parents, your education, and your job aren’t the key to your success – you are.  Whenever I feel my dreams losing steam, I always think of Booker T. Washington. Born a slave in 1858, his childhood years were anything but pleasant. The family’s farm cabin had no glass windows, and any opening to let in light also let in the freezing wind in the winter. The floor of the cabin was dirt. The life of slave was

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