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Posted by on Apr 18, 2014 in Creative Process, Featured | 0 comments

Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling

Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling

In 2011, former Pixar storyboard artist, Emma Coats, Tweeted this list of 22 Storytelling Guidelines she learned while working at the studio. Since then the list has been all over the internet. Just in case you missed them, here they are. No matter what your role is in the creative process, these guidelines can help you take your ideas and projects to the next creative level. 1. You admire a character for trying more than for their successes. 2. You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be very different. 3. Trying for theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about until you’re at the end of it. Now rewrite. 4. Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___. 5. Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You’ll feel like you’re losing valuable stuff...

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Posted by on Apr 9, 2014 in Creative Passion, Featured | 0 comments

6 Things That Don’t Require Talent

6 Things That Don’t Require Talent

Performing at the top of your creative game isn’t just about talent, it’s about making choices to set yourself apart from people who have talent alone. Before the start of every football season, former Ohio State coach, Jim Tressel, gives a manual to all his players to read. In it is a section called, “Things That Do Not Require Talent”. Considering the amazing athletes who have played for Ohio State and the awards they’ve won, it’s fascinating to see the value Coach Tressel places on six key words. Not only are they important on the football field they’re important in the creative world too. Here’s his list of 6 things that don’t require talent… 1. Passion. Passion will take you a long way, get you through closed doors, and sustain you longer than the next person. And it doesn’t require talent. 2. Initiative. You won’t get very far without initiative. It’s the one thing that will push you further then you’ve been before. Initiative ignites talent. The absence of initiative defuses...

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Posted by on Apr 7, 2014 in Creative Process, Featured | 0 comments

Everybody Has A Story

Everybody Has A Story

Every week on The Early Show (CBS), correspondent Steve Hartman tosses a dart over his right shoulder at a map to determine where he will go for his next story. The segment is called Everybody Has A Story, and when Hartman arrives in town he chooses a name at random from the phone book, calls the person up, and begins the interview process. As a result of his skill as a journalist and reporter, Steve has produced 100 of these stories, and has won virtually every major broadcast journalism award there is — including an Emmy. Everybody Has A Story has taken him off-the-beaten-path to places where television simply doesn’t go. When asked what he has learned, Steve replies, “I guess one thing I’ve learned is that people are just a heck of a lot more interesting and a heck of a lot more newsworthy than I ever thought they were.” Steve is responsible for two stories a week and faces this unique challenge: he is not allowed to...

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Posted by on Mar 31, 2014 in Creative Process, Featured | 0 comments

You Gotta Fail To Succeed

You Gotta Fail To Succeed

Every creative person has to learn to deal with failure. “If you’re not failing, you’re not taking enough risks,” says Tony and Emmy award-winning choreographer, Twyla Tharp. “Especially if that view liberates you to fail too often.” In her book, The Creative Habit, she goes on to say that… The best failures are the private ones. Private failures are the first drafts, sketches and manuscripts that get tossed on the floor. They are the not-so-good ideas you reject en route to finding the one that clicks. The more you fail in private, the less you fail in public. The creative act is editing. You’re editing out all the lame ideas that won’t resonate with the public. It’s not pandering. It’s exercising your judgment. It’s setting the bar a little higher for yourself, and therefore your audience. When you fail in public, you are forcing yourself to learn a whole new set of skills, skills that have nothing to do with creating and everything to do with surviving. Failure creates an...

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Posted by on Oct 28, 2013 in Creative Purpose, Featured | 0 comments

Are You Being Typecast?

Are You Being Typecast?

The first time I remember being typecast was in 1982, while working as the Promotion Manager at a Dallas television station. Although the job was demanding and pushed me to my limits, I had an idea for a television series and was excited to pitch it to my Station Manager. After listening to my pitch, he looked across his desk and said, “If you produce this series, what happens to my promos?” In his mind, I was the promo guy, and he couldn’t see me doing anything else. Typecasting happens in front of the lens with actors in television, film and theatre. But it also happens behind the lens [and mic] to creative drivers with an array of job titles. There have been instances in which an actor has been so strongly identified with a role that it becomes difficult for him to play other characters. So, is typecasting a blessing or a curse? For a small percentage of people, typecasting is a blessing that moves them to the...

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Posted by on Oct 25, 2013 in Creative Purpose, Featured | 0 comments

Nobody Pays For Average

Nobody Pays For Average

Recently, I’ve been reading John Maxwell’s book, Talent is Not Enough. In it he shares some important principles and makes this bold statement: “People simply will not pay for average. They never have, they never will.” He goes on to elaborate: “What amazes me about America is we have fallen in love with being average. But what we need to wake up to is that being average has never caught anybody’s attention and made anybody go the extra mile. Being average has never helped anyone rise above the crowd. Average is average. But why are we so much in love with average? Think about it for a moment. After you come home from a hard day’s work, you don’t look at your significant other and say, “Honey, we’ve worked hard today so let’s treat ourselves and go out to an average restaurant. And when the hostess is about to seat you, you don’t say, “Oh, by the way we want an average table. Yes, the table overlooking the water is...

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