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Archive for the ‘Management’ Category

bcrdcutWith festival season starting soon, and all the festival parties and networking ahead it’s time to think about designing and printing your business cards.

Aren’t they old-school?” you ask. “They’ll just throw them out!”

Indeed, you may be right. The business card has a hard time competing with the smart phone, but then again it may not need to.

Previously, I’ve mentioned the strategy of wearing a blazer or similar piece of clothing that has pockets on both sides of your body. Business cards to hand out in the pocket on one side, and business cards collecting in the pocket on the other (so you don’t mistakenly hand out someone else’s card). It’s still a good strategy.

Why?

1. Not everyone has their cell phone handy (to update) at a party.

2. Not everyone wants to pull out their cell phone to add everyone they meet to their cell phone contact list immediately.

3. A business card can be full colour and eye-catching and provide more message about who you are compared with a text note or name and number added to a cell phone.

4. People respond well to pictures. Promoting a film or book? The card can be the film poster or the book cover on one side and information on the flip side.

5. White space on the card or its back is useful for adding extra notes about your networking conversation (so the recipient will have a memory trigger about you after the event is done). Of course, you’ll need a pen with you too to take advantage of such notetaking.

So… call is a business card yesterday or a “promotional you” card today, it’s still a useful networking tool.

Now, it’s over to you! Design an eye-catching “promotional you” card. You know the recipient won’t keep it forever, so it can be business card sized, small bookmark sized, or some other relevant shape that you dream up (but keep it small, pocket-sized).

Then off to the printers before the festival parties begin!

Cheers & happy networking to you,
Deb

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Excuses, excuses, excuses… We tell them to ourselves. We give them to others. What’s stopping you from writing?

How about that voice in your head that doubts your use of vocabulary (“should I write in US English, UK English or Canadian English?”), or doubts your consistency of style (“you don’t really know how that character speaks yet”)… it’s the voice of:

mageyethe Nit-Picker Copyeditor

A valuable voice later in the writing process for identifying and polishing the details of consistency and flow in your writing, but letting this voice into your head too soon and you can be stopped before even before you start.
A solution?

Make a writing schedule for yourself. Yup. I said that. Real dates on a calendar (or on a clock if the work is short enough). Give enough time for your Wild Creative Brain to work with free reign on the first draft. Then have a specific date (or time) for Nit-Picker Copyeditor to come back in and work with the whole drafted work instead of the words in progress. I bet you’ll find Nit-Picker Copyeditor back pedals on criticism when the whole work is available… it’s not as bad as Nit-Picker Copyeditor thought it would be. Besides that, Nit-picker Copyeditor loves details so much, the specific date/time will be acceptable to leave you alone so you can truly get on with your writing.

How else do you deal with Nit-Picker Copyeditor?

Cheers and happy drafting to you,
Deb

P.S. Since copyediting makes me think of revisions, have you seen and liked or commented on my posting to win a Writing / Budgeting pencil? Here ’tis is you missed it: https://debpatz.wordpress.com/2015/05/14/how-writing-a-budget-is-like-writing-a-script-revisions-and-a-wee-spring-contest/

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You may have seen my PM101 budgeting pencil:
wrt-pmpncl
… or you may even have one (and laugh each time the eraser wiggles while you write). It tangibly demonstrates the proportion of time you spend writing a budget vs the time you spend revising it. Recently, it got me to thinking about script or story writing too.

Revisions, Revisions, Revisions
Both budgets and stories are sooo not done after the first draft! Actually, the “draft” you are ready to show publicly as the “first draft” is sooo not the first pass you penned – you’ve already revised it privately however many times you’ve needed to for you.

Then after the first draft, your creative team contributes, pointing out strengths and weaknesses. You evaluate feedback. You restructure. You revise. You tweak.
Limits and prerequisites are imposed as the revision process continues. How you thought you could shoot the movie cannot be done that way. Script is revised, the budget undergoes re-allocations.

One thing is for sure… both writer and PM spend a lot of time reviewing, evaluating, revising, and tweaking to make the script/story or budget the best it can be.

Wee Spring Contest: Win a PM101 Budgeting Pencil
dp-pnclHow about owning your own PM101 budgeting pencil? Whimsically remind yourself with each wiggle of the eraser as you write that you don’t have to write the “perfect” first pass or “perfect” first draft. It’s ok (and expected) to revise, revise, revise.

To celebrate this parallel of art and business through revisions, let’s have a wee Spring contest. Like and/or write a comment on this post (on WordPress, Facebook or LinkedIn) and I’ll draw a random winner at the end of Spring (June 21). 1 entry for a like, 2 for a comment, 3 for a more thoughtful comment.

Cheers, good luck, and good revisions to you,
Deb

P.S. “PM101” is short for my book’s title “Film Production Management 101” and though there’s a lot inside about the business side of the industry, I’ll bet you know now that because of parallels like this one on revisions, you’ll learn about the art side of the industry too in its pages, too.

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orgdeskNeed to know your skills and strengths for your resume? Notice what people say around you.

I was working in the production office as a coordinator at the time. As usual, I was in the middle of several activities at the same time. I slid a note about credits into the blue file folder in the fan of coloured folders on the left side of my desk. I was talking with set on line two at the same time. The “set square” made of masking tape by the phone only had 3 more Post-it notes in it with messages and questions for set. I was happy to have wheels on my chair as I rolled a bit closer back to the phone side of my desk.

At this point, the Assistant to the Executive Producer came in. She stood beside my desk, not in front, so no doubt had something urgent to discuss, perhaps even confidential.

Set put me on hold, so I took the moment to find out. “Hi. How can I help you?” Was it another note for the screen credits? A question about the star’s contract? A restaurant recommendation? I was alert and ready.

“I just want to watch you organize.”

But not ready for that request.

“Oh.”

Her pen was poised above the steno pad in her hands. Her expression expectant. Was she really going to make observations and take notes?

“Okay,” I said. “Go ahead!”

I almost forgot I was still on the line with the set, until they said my name a second time. I turned back to my desk, peeled up the next Post-it and asked my next question.

I should really mention that I’m organized on my next resume…

Cheers and a good shoot to you,
Deb

P.S. This event also inspired me to write my first book “Surviving Production” – how to coordinate film and TV productions.

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cineqllIt’s time to come back from hiatus! Time to get back to blogging. Since starting my MFA in Creative Writing last year, work-life re-balancing with my full time job has been a challenge. It was time to pull back for a while, and it’s been good. But I’ve missed the blog and my connection with you, so it’s time to find a way to make the blog happen again.

Rather than return as it was (why more of the same, eh?), the F-I-L-M blog is undergoing a bit of an expansion. With so much inter-connectivity in life, I’m adding some I-N-K! What that means is basically, yes, more film/tv industry topics, but also now more writing topics… for both I-ndustry N’ K-ids… which includes kids-at-heart.

So, let’s get started with a little glance back at “The Best Of” before we venture into the territory of the future. Gives you the change to re-familiarize yourself with the blog’s flavour and to introduce other friends you think would enjoy it. So, from your feedback, here are some favourites:

F-un:
Fun posts.. need I say more?

New Technology Quiz
https://debpatz.wordpress.com/2013/08/10/new-technology-quiz/

Wordsearch: In Honour of Coordinators!
https://debpatz.wordpress.com/2012/12/01/wordsearch-in-honour-of-coordinators/

CU on Set
https://debpatz.wordpress.com/2012/06/15/cu-on-set/

I-nspiration:
How movies and books inspire our lives…

Magic Movie Moment: North of Superior
https://debpatz.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/magic-movie-moment-north-of-superior/

Inspiration at the Movies: The Count of Monte Cristo
https://debpatz.wordpress.com/2012/06/29/inspiration-at-the-movies-the-count-of-monte-cristo/

Tail Credits for VE Day: Black Adder Goes Forth
https://debpatz.wordpress.com/2012/05/05/tail-credits-for-ve-day-blackadder-goes-forth/

L-ife:
How aspects of our lives affect filmmaking or the craft of writing…

3 Things I Learned About Filmmaking from… Kids
https://debpatz.wordpress.com/2013/05/31/3-things-i-learned-about-filmmaking-from-kids/

Home Office… Treat It Right!
https://debpatz.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/the-home-office-treat-it-right/

The Serendipitous Cuppa Tea
https://debpatz.wordpress.com/2011/03/18/the-serendipitous-cuppa-tea/

M-anagement:
The business of filmmaking and writing.

Cine-Surfer: About Delegation
https://debpatz.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/cine-surfer-about-delegation/

Tattoos & Copyright
https://debpatz.wordpress.com/2011/06/24/tattoos-copyright/

Free Film Budget (thanks to Deke Simon)
https://debpatz.wordpress.com/2010/04/30/free-film-budget/

Cheers & all the best,
Deb

Deb Patz, author – “Film Production Management 101” and writing for children

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Spring and the birth of new trees… happy sigh.

Though books don’t grow on trees, they are made of trees… well the hard copy is, at any rate.

If you love to browse through through bookstores – especially to be re-inspired in your craft – surf over to MWP.com and peruse the books now available in the:

MWP Spring 2014 Catalogue

mwp-spr14

My book (Film Production Management 101) is on page 33 along with other excellent production books.

Which one(s) catch your fancy? Something for your craft now… and something for what you plan to do in the future? Spring is a time of new beginnings. Perhaps it’s time you explored that untrodden path.

Cheers & happy browsing and exploring to you,
Deb

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Film Awards Calendar

gcupWith the Oscars upon us, we appear to be in the heart of award season. How about a step back to an annual look at film awards?

Mid-January

Late January

Early February

Mid-February

Late February

Early March

Late April

Early May

Mid-May

Late May

June & July – off!

Late August

September – off!

Early October

Late October

Mid-November

Late November

Early December

Ok, ok. So Cannes is actually a festival instead of an awards ceremony, but you have to admit, the awards at Cannes require special inclusion.

Cheers & a happy awards season… all year long!
Deb

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