Do You Have the Creative Confidence to Risk it All on Your Ideas?

Everyone’s creative, but not many are willing to risk it all on their creativity. But when you reach that point, everything in your life begins to change. Suddenly you’re willing to make that scary pitch for the dream project, present your ideas to the client, and push your team to new levels. I’m reminded of the handwritten note General Dwight Eisenhower wrote before the famous 1944 D-Day invasion saying that if

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How Hollywood Works (Part 2)

A few weeks ago I started a series on how Hollywood works where I collected quotes from friends in the entertainment industry sharing their insights on breaking in and becoming successful. I’ve discovered that an enormous number of projects fail – not because they’re not good ideas from talented people – but because the filmmakers, writers, or other creative people simply don’t know how the industry works. So from time to time I’ll continue dishing up some great advice from talented professionals about producing, directing, acting, writing, and all the other avenues to making your dream happen:

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What Hollywood Producers Are Thinking About Right Now

As a member of the Producer’s Guild of America (PGA), I attended our annual “Produced By” Conference yesterday at Fox Studios. It’s a gathering of producers from feature films, television, digital media, special effects, commercials, and more, all discussing changes in the industry, projects we’re focusing on, and especially to hear from industry leaders about what’s happening in today’s

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Practical Creativity: Shaking Things Up on a Budget and Deadline

You can be as creative as you want to be if you’re sitting on your back porch painting watercolors, or writing your own book. But if you’re using your creativity in the service of others, or a great cause or bigger purpose, you’ll soon be bumping up against two big issues: budgets and deadlines. As foot soldiers of creativity, we like to

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Creatives: Should You Sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement?

NDA’s or “Non-Disclosure Agreements” float around the entertainment and media business a lot, and they’re primarily used to keep ideas confidential. Film studios often use them to make sure you don’t steal their ideas or methods, and some production companies won’t take a meeting with you unless you sign one. As a result, some less experienced writers and producers also try to get people to sign before they share a movie concept, screenplay, or other creative idea. The question is:

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The Geography of Your Hollywood Dream

Where You Live Matters...

I get regular calls and emails from up-and-coming filmmakers and producers who live in places like Des Moines, Omaha, or Albuquerque, and want advice about pitching a TV series or movie idea to Hollywood. Some have even gone to the trouble of filming a entire pilot. Many of you reading this are in a similar position – you have a dream to produce a TV series or movie, but you live somewhere outside of the major media centers of Los Angeles and New York. So what do you do?

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Three Steps to Becoming A More Visual Storyteller

We are a visually-driven generation. Toddlers have iPads and play with cameras. We grow up with cameras in our phones, and people document every aspect of their lives. Just as important, more and more creative people are opting for a career in photography or filmmaking. The fact that YouTube spends about $1 million a day expanding their server space to accommodate all the videos being uploaded confirms the fact that millions are making short films these days. But how can you increase your ability to see what others don’t? How can you capture more compelling shots? Here’s three important keys to “seeing” at a higher level:

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