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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The Digital Secret: 0-1-2-3

I had an incredible opportunity a few years ago to speak to business leaders in Singapore at the Eagles Leadership Conference. After my keynote talk, I was able to partner with Lucas Chow, former CEO of the Singapore mobile phone company Singtel Mobile to lead a workshop on how the digital revolution has changed the way we live. During that session, he taught a principle from his days at Singtel that I’ve never forgotten:

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Media Leaders: What’s the Most Important Skill You Bring to Your Job?

At this year’s “Produced By Conference” sponsored by The Producer’s Guild in Hollywood, there was a panel of media executives who discussed the future of our converging media world. During the Q&A with the audience, one producer asked each of them “What’s the most important skill you bring to the table as you lead your media company?” I thought their answers were worth thinking about and applying to our own work. I may have paraphrased a bit since it was a live event, but these comments captured their responses:

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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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How Easily Tweaked Are You?

I had an interesting social media exchange recently with a snowflake. I had actually written a positive post about an interview with Camille Paglia, the outspoken and controversial lesbian, feminist writer and critic. But apparently, I made the grave mistake of using a link to the interview from the conservative Drudge Report. A not-so-conservative reader quickly responded that she wanted to read my post but wouldn’t because she just couldn’t get past the fact that it was

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The Middle Eastern Anti-Terror Spot That’s Going Viral

Adweek recently profiled a new extended anti-terror TV commercial that’s actually going viral in the Middle East. It’s a 3 minute telecom ad that was created for Ramadan, when TV viewing increases throughout Arab countries. As Adweek reports, the spot “Features a range of nationalities pleading with a suicide bomber not to carry out an attack, by appealing to his faith, and sense of shame, with a gentler reading of what it means to be

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When Was the Last Time You Went to a Museum?

Where do you get your inspiration? Sometimes it comes from a working routine, and other times it happens because of a spark. That spark can come from a million things, but without it, creativity simply doesn’t happen. The question is – where do you get that spark? Maybe it’s music, conversation, prayer, reading, hobbies, or other sources, but whatever it is, you need it. Some of my best creative sparks happen in

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Why Seniors Are More Tech Savvy Than You Think

One of the most common arguments against introducing contemporary design and new technology into churches, ministries and nonprofits is what I call “The Senior Myth.” That’s the idea that seniors aren’t tech savvy, don’t like contemporary music or design, and generally aren’t interested in current culture. And since they are the biggest donors and supporters of many of these organizations, we don’t want to rock the boat by

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