Archive for May, 2013

blksinblks1. It’s All About Me
As we grow up, we talk about the reader (or viewer) “identifying with the story” and “identifying with the hero”… basically we mean that the story has to be “all about me.” As reader (or viewer) I have to be the hero, and I take that journey. I don’t just hear the story, I am part of the story… the biggest, most important part. It’s my story. It’s me. As writer or filmmaker that’s a very powerful place to place your audience.

2. I Want To Hear It Again!
We love to hear the same story over and over and over again. Kids can hear the same book read but minutes after hearing it the first time. They will correct you if you get part of the story – or sometimes even a word – wrong. As we age, we do like to see some of these same stories played with… although we still expect certain story points and twists to be met. The trick is figuring out which ones are game for tweaking without alienating the audience.

3. It’s Magic!
Kids live in a world of magic. Nature is magic. Stories are magic. Science is magic. Illusion is magic. There is much science and illusion in filmmaking to craft the magic of stories. Don’t lose the connection to the world of magic so you can see the joy that you (as filmmakers) are crafting.

Anyone who teaches knows the student often teaches the teacher. What you have recently learned from the students and kids around you?

In the meantime…

Cheers & a good shoot to you,


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kite1 + 1 = 3.

North of Superior is an IMAX movie from the beginning of IMAX. This magic moment was made in the editing room (as many magic movie moments are):

Outside on a breezy day. An abandoned lot serves as a park. Children have handmade kites from empty bread bags and sticks. So much laughter, so much joy, as they run around. You can’t help but smile, remember the carefree times of your own past. Resonating.


The front of a well-cared for church. Mostly adults, well-dressed. Gathering, greeting. Filing into the building. Smiles all around, though more reserved behaviour. So much more grown up.

No narrator needs to tell us the story between these two shots. One cut and we know it. They are no longer only two separate shots showing us a glimpse of life north of Lake Superior; they are so much more. They show us who we are… as we were and as we are now. How, too, we have “grown up”. What did we trade in our own path to growing up?

Don’t forget the bread-bag, kite-flying you inside you. He or she is still there.

Cheers & a good shoot to you,

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flwr-carI know, I know… TV shows debut on air in September, not in May. But coming from a production background, I always think of May as the real start of the TV season. Many television shows start production about now.

It also reminds me of my first TV job as a P.A.. After I was hired I found out that a deciding factor had been that I had mentioned “own a car” on my resume. Figure that! It wasn’t the only factor, but it was one of them.

I had included the mention of my car on my resume very reluctantly, and bowed to the insistence of another. I didn’t see how owning a car had anything to do with my skills and abilities, and isn’t that what a resume is all about? Of course that was a time before I started hiring P.A.s and when I found out that for an entry-level position my skills and abilities at the time were pretty inconsequential. It was more about my attitude first and foremost, and then later, on the job, I could prove my skills and abilities in action. For production at the time, my car would provide production with an easy extra vehicle to get the work done… my including it was (apparently) demonstrating my forethought about what production might need.

So, if you’re considering applying for that P.A. job on your first production, open your mind to what it means to anticipate the needs of production and then go ahead and tell them what you can offer. It just might make the difference for you to secure that first job.

All the best & a good shoot you,

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