Open it now

A couple of weeks ago I read this piece about Instagram founder Kevin Systrom and discovered he owns a bottle of 100 year-old Jim Beam but refuses to open it until the right time. Just to be clear, he owned it before the Facebook/Instagram merger last year. If a $1 billion business deal isn’t the […]

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Freedom vs. Limitations

I wrote on Tuesday about the freedom of creating without limitations. Today I want to contradict myself because knowing what you can’t do can be just as valuable as what you can. Independent filmmakers often say they love the challenge because, without the “money hose” of Hollywood productions, they are forced to find more creative, […]

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The money hose

Filmmakers often talk about the Hollywood “money hose”: problems on big-budget films are simply “washed away” by throwing money at them, not always in a way you’d expect. On a major studio production, it can cost anywhere from £250,000 to £millions every day to keep the shoot running once you account for crew, equipment rental, […]

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The Tao of Storytelling

Tao: noun. (in Chinese philosophy) the absolute principle underlying the universe, signifying the way, or code of behaviour, that is in harmony with the natural order. Origin: Chinese, literally ‘(right) way’ Bruce Lee introduced me to Tao. When he created his own marital art, Jeet Kune Do, his focus wasn’t on the form, the style, […]

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On endings (Part II)

(Part I is here) “Art is never finished, only abandoned.” Leonardo da Vinci Anything we create will end. Endings can be rough – I still remember (on the smallest scale) the sense of deflation that came at the end of school productions; I’d almost always get ill straight afterwards. That difficulty, though, is why it’s […]

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Impact: showing vs. making

I want to make a difference. I want to change things. I want to have an impact. My personal website lays it out loud and clear: Write. Speak. Create. Inspire. Sometimes, though, creating content is more about showing a difference than making a difference. Take World Vision, for example. I manage the social media for […]

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Progress

I can still remember the whirr, hiss, buzz and beep of the external modem dialing in to “The Internet” when we first had it installed at home. I remember having limited access because it cost the same per minute as a local phone call each time you used it. I remember being patient enough (excited […]

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Know who you’re talking to

Marketers know who they’re talking to. They dig deep, deep down into the psyches of their ideal customers, their target market, working out their habits, their preferences, their pet-hates and their biggest loves. Creators don’t. We create because we want to see something out in the world, regardless of who sees it. But we need […]

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The ROI of Storytelling

Unless your novel is sitting high up the Amazon/New York Times/Times of London bestseller lists, it’s pretty hard to define success for telling stories. But stories aren’t measured in how much money we bring in, nor should they be measured on how many video views or podcast downloads we get. Storytelling is about more than […]

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On endings

All good things come to an end. I’m not sure who said it, but it’s true. It’s equally true that bad things end, too. “Everything will be alright in the end. And if it’s not alright, it’s not the end.” Unknown. Recognising and preparing for endings is what makes them palatable, what helps us to […]

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