Monthly Archives: March 2016

Advice So Bad It’s Good…

As I have often said when offering “advice,” take it with a grain of salt.  

Heck, my wife, bless her heart, has a “do the opposite of what he says” policy that she finds works very well for her (and our marriage).

But seriously, we all get advice, solicited or not, almost everyday of our lives – especially in the age of social nakedness where all we do is up for an opinion to be shared, commented on, or ignored – which is a kind of advice.

Curious, I googled “best advice I ever got” – and as soon as I started to  poke around the top hits, shrugged, muttered aloud “they know this stuff” and googled “worst advice I ever got” and found this below article.

I am going to expect that you (and I) will never look at “bad advice” the same way again…

8 successful entrepreneurs share the worst advice they ever received (Business Insider 3/27/16)

by RICHARD FELONI

Bad advice is easy to ignore. But sometimes the worst advice can stick with you, as a reminder of what matters most to your personal and professional fulfillment.

Entrepreneurs by definition have to go against the grain, and so conventional, albeit terrible, advice can be used as a motivational tool.

We’ve collected the worst advice successful entrepreneurs like Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran ever received.

Here’s what it taught them.

1) “Shark Tank” star and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is firmly against the idea of following your passion.  Cuban has said repeatedly that the worst advice he’s ever received or heard others receive is “Follow your passion.”

“What a bunch of BS,” he wrote in a blog post from 2012. Everyone has multiple passions, Cuban says, but those don’t lead to career success. What does, however, is finding something to work hard at.

By “following your effort” instead of your passion, you can develop a skill and learn to appreciate it. Your passion for growing tomatoes in your garden can remain a hobby. Continue reading Advice So Bad It’s Good…

So, you can be the new Coen Brothers…

The other day I had the pleasure of meeting Andric L. Queen-Booker, Class of 2012 – a wonderfully talented and smart young man – and he mentioned that he enjoyed the HBO series, Togetherness, and was a big fan of the Duplass brothers.  As am I.  And my wife.  This is a win-win as it means she enjoys watching a show I enjoying watching, and when you’re in your 4th decade together, and TV wasteland time is limited, that’s a HUGE deal.

When I asked Andric why he liked the brothers, and Togetherness, he said: “It’s real. Truthful.”

So it is.  HBO worth paying for.

Imagine my surprise when the LA Weekly (a paper like the New Times for all my AZ friends) published today – did a wonderful story on the Duplass brothers that is perfectly timed to share with you.

Read this.

I did, twice.  And their story has ME pumped to do more, my way, now.

Go out there and be the STORYTELLER (actor, producer, director, writer, executive, agent, human being) that you want to be!

How the Duplass Brothers Changed Hollywood by Refusing to Change at All

MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2016 AT 6:30 A.M.

by Gwynedd Stuart

It’s an irresistibly warm weekday in late January, and Jay and Mark Duplass are in their office at Sunset Gower Studios in Hollywood preparing to write the third season of their HBO series, Togetherness. I note the timing because it happens to be Sundance week, and they’re here rather than there (I note the weather because, goddamn, we’re lucky) — and it’s the rare year they don’t have a pony to show. Last year, Sean S. Baker’s iPhone-filmed, Hollywood-set dramedy Tangerine, which the Duplasses executive produced, was one of the festival’s most talked-about films. They also executive produced Melissa Rauch’s The Bronze, another 2015 Sundance selection.

And all of 11 years ago, their first full-length feature, the low-budget relationship drama–slash–road-trip comedy The Puffy Chair, was among the festival’s breakout hits, winning the Audience Choice Award and making their mutual inclusion in conversations about young filmmakers-to-watch almost instantaneous. They were among a handful of auteurs whose work was being lumped together to constitute what was called the “mumblecore” movement. Major record labels were fixating on all things indie rock, and major film studios were fixating on quiet, quirky dramas being made for $15,000 rather than $15 million.

After the 2005 fest, Mark and his now-wife, director-actress Katie Aselton, packed up and moved from New York to L.A.; Jay headed West that December. With the benefit of hindsight, it’s safe to say these were good decisions. Continue reading So, you can be the new Coen Brothers…

Don’t Hit Send On Your Script Unless…

…you have ALL your i’s dotted and t’s crossed.  What’s that?  Of course you will!  No one in their right mind would submit work that wasn’t ready to be shown to a buyer, agent, producer, actor, executive, or a highly competitive screenplay contest – right?
You’d be surprised how often this happens AND it has happened to me when I have been in a hurry to meet a deadline after I procrastinated one day too many and it was deliver or die day for my screenplay.
So, in the hope you avoid my mistakes, I give you:

7 Things to Do Before You Submit Your Screenplay to Anyone

By Ken Miyamoto

October 27, 2015

Whether it’s submitting it to competitions, production companies, agents, managers, studios, or talent, screenwriters need to go through a checklist to prepare their scripts for submission.

This is the first time the powers that be will be seeing your script. This is the first and only impression that you can make with them. If the script is not up to their standards and doesn’t adhere to the various submission directives that there may be on their end, you’ve lost them before you ever had them.

So here’s a To Do list for all screenwriters (otherwise known as a “Make Sure” List), offering habits to get into before submitting scripts. And we’ll toss in some tricks of the trade as well.

  1. Make sure you have permission to submit your script.

This is primarily for submitting to agents, managers, production companies, studios, and talent. You cannot send unsolicited material to these powers that be. Hollywood is so afraid of being sued these days. Because of that, they simply won’t and can’t accept screenplays, television scripts, and treatments. Most of the big agencies won’t even accept query letters or emails that showcase loglines or a short synopsis. So make sure you have permission to send a script in the first place. All too often, you’ll be asked to fill out a release form, releasing them from any litigation regarding concepts that may be similar to yours that they eventually produce. Continue reading Don’t Hit Send On Your Script Unless…

Adventures in VR Part 3

2020 Vision: Experts Predict the Future of Virtual Reality

jesse-schell-vision-3

The inaugural Unity Vision VR/AR Summit just wrapped up, where 1,400 Unity developers converged on Hollywood to learn from some of the legends of virtual reality. During the event, six of these VR veterans took the stage to share their predictions for the state of virtual reality in the year 2020.

1. VR will be the new internet.

This from Mike Capps, former President of Epic Games and current advisor for the Vision Summit. He earned a PHD in virtual reality before Keanu Reeves’ performance as Johnny Mnemonic ruined VR’s early chances of survival, creating unmanageable expectations, and breaking his tender heart.

Johnny Mnemonic VR

But now he’s back, arguing that VR is going away once again. But not the tech. Not the content. He argues that ‘virtual reality’ isn’t even the phrase we’ll use to describe the medium in 2020 because it will be so much bigger than that.

2. You will spend your flights in virtual reality.

Instead of passing out cheap ear buds, Capps believes that by 2020, airlines will provide virtual in-flight entertainment systems for all passengers.

Continue reading Adventures in VR Part 3

Adventures in VR Part 2

From the WSJ:

Virtual-Reality Movies: Get Ready for the VR Revolution

VR headsets, like the Oculus Rift, can immerse you in the action as never before. Here’s how the technology is changing Hollywood—and 7 must-see virtual-reality experiences to try now…

By

ERICH SCHWARTZEL

WHETHER YOU’RE AN avid cinephile or you haven’t been to a movie theater since enduring “Attack of the Clones,” one thing is certain: Over the next few years, virtual reality will completely reboot your relationship to the moving image. That’s because the once-geeks-only technology, known as VR for short, is becoming shockingly good at making you feel as though you’re in the midst of the action—cycling through the air with E.T. or spinning atop an alp with an excitable Fraulein Maria—rather than observing from afar.

We hear your objections: “There’s absolutely no way I’m going to wear one of those dorky-looking headsets. I won’t even be caught dead in 3-D glasses.” Even if you acknowledge that the motion-tracking technology VR systems employ is pretty cool, allowing users to look freely around a 360-degree environment, you’re perfectly content with real reality, thank you very much.

Behind the scenes, however, VR is rewriting the script for Hollywood. VR works are already popping up at prominent film festivals like Sundance and next month’s Tribeca Film Festival (where screenings take place in small rooms rather than large theaters). A-list directors such as Ridley Scott and Steven Spielberg are working on top-secret VR projects. Even “Airplane!” director Jerry Zucker, not usually associated with the cutting edge, is developing an immersive comedy.

Viewing VR is starkly different than watching a traditional film: With conventional movies, the director dictates your focus of attention. An aerial view cuts to a medium shot cuts to a close up—giving you no say in what you see. But virtual reality puts you in charge. The headset allows you to observe any aspect of a setting and, in some cases, even affect the way the story unfolds depending on where you look.  Continue reading Adventures in VR Part 2

Adventures in VR Part 1

I have been waiting to find a good combination of stories on VR and the opportunities this new tech offers storytellers, and here are the best of the best online now.  Well worth your time to read and learn…

Goldman Sachs Has Four Charts Showing the Huge Potential in Virtual and Augmented Reality

Virtual reality started making fresh headlines in 2014, when Facebook made a $2 billion acquisition of Oculus VR. Now Google Inc. has ramped up its “VR” game by focusing Clay Bavor, vice president of product management, solely on virtual reality.

As Wall Street tries to calculate the possible impact on a number of industries, Goldman Sachs Group has put forth some charts laying out its assumptions for what it believes will be an $80 billion market by 2025.

Here’s what caught our eye.

1. Slower adoption, big potential

The first chart looks at how the virtual reality and augmented reality business will fare when compared to the adoption process undergone with smartphones and tablets. Goldman believes it will take a while longer to see such adoption, but “as the technology advances, price points decline, and an entire new marketplace of applications (both business and consumer) hit the market, we believe VR/AR has the potential to spawn a multibillion-dollar industry, and possibly be as game changing as the advent of the PC,” the analysts noted.

Continue reading Adventures in VR Part 1