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Archive for the ‘Skills Development’ Category

prezyChristmas decorations are filling stores and websites. Catalogues of all types are arriving for perusing both typical and unusual gift ideas. How fun to see what’s been invented or written this year! The season of giving approaches.

When it comes to the gifts we give, we want them to be both thoughtful and meaningful. Though we give for the season, we want the gift’s spirit to last long beyond the days of the winter holidays. Know the saying about “give a man a fish vs. teach him how to fish”? How about a book that helps to teach a new career or new skills? Now there’s a gift that can affect a lifetime!

In that spirit, peruse on over to the MWP online bookshop/catalogue of film industry books at: http://www.mwp.com. What skills and inspiration might you be looking to share this season?

PM101-2nd-EdMy own book (at: http://shop.mwp.com/products/film-production-management-101) covers the entire production process from the POV of the Coordinator and Manager – the folk who know everyone at the wrap party because they’ve been involved in everything along the way.

On MWP, you’ll also find some new, enhanced eBooks, and discover that MWP now takes Paypal to make purchases online-easy for you.

For added interaction and news, drop by the MWP Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/mwpfilmbooks) to keep up on events and specials.

Happy holiday shopping and a good shoot to you,
Deb

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The season of parties approaches… be it a wrap parties, office parties or Christmas parties. Are you ready for all that networking?

I’ve been ciné-surfing lately, and found some cool information on the Career-Intelligence.com site. It’s called the “smart women’s online career resource” but it’s certainly readable by any gender! Some of the latest items I’ve found of interest to read include:

  • How to Avoid a Typical Conversation
    (and you know what they mean, don’t you!)
  • How Do You Accept an Award
    (beyond the obvious awards shows, this can include kudos given to you publicly at the wrap of any production)

What elements catch your ciné-surfing eye?

Cheers & a great festive season to you!
Deb

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Cher was on a talk show and she totally inspired me by her industry professionalism.

By comparison, the guest who came on before her was somewhat unprepared for the questions about to be asked, but he coasted along sufficiently, trying to answer as best he could and answer in an entertaining manner.

Then Cher came on. To every question that the host asked, Cher spun it quickly and smoothly from the direction the host wanted to go, instead to the message she needed to get across. The host tried again and again to control the direction of the conversation, but Cher had better skill crafting her words. It was like watching a fencing match, and Cher was definitely winning. The interplay was fun to watch and the messages she brought were interesting (seemingly more interesting than the direction the host wanted to go). She was a superbly professional and entertaining guest.

Thanks Cher, for reminding me to be prepared for interviews with my own messages; to  practise the interview ahead of time; to craft words to improve the entertainment factor (especially for this industry); and to expect the host to have a different agenda than me!

Cheers,
Deb

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With festival season still upon us, I can’t help but think about all those industry parties and about meeting both old friends and making new contacts… and handling the inevitable business cards that come along.

1. Use Two Pockets – A blazer works well. Keep your cards in one pocket – the “out tray”, and cards you receive in the other – the “in tray”. Your cards will always be instantly accessible, and you’ll never pull out a stack of other people’s cards when searching for the last few copies of your own.

2. Set Yourself a Quota – Nearly everyone I know finds it hard to meet new people, especially at industry parties. Set yourself a quota for the party, like: “I’m going to hand out 5 of my business cards tonight“, or “I’m going to collect at least 3 business cards at this party“. Yes, this type of quota requires you meet people, but is focussed on the goal, not the people, so may be easier for you to strike up conversations with new folk. You may then find yourself on a roll and exceed your quota… and have a great time doing so.

3. Carry Spares of Your Card & a Pen – People do forget to bring business cards, run out of copies, or not have one. Bring extras of yours, and a pen. The back of your business card will do to write contact information of these folk. The pen is also useful to customize notes onto their card (that you receive) immediately to remind yourself later of the conversation or the topic you two want to follow up on together.

4. Research Who’s Attending – In advance, you should have at least a sense of the people who will be attending the party by who is hosting. Is there anyone in particular you really want to meet? Plan what starting conversation you may use to break the ice with that person, and target to exchange business cards. You don’t have to become fast friends at the party itself – you might even meet at a later party and can follow up on the conversation from the first one.

5. Use the Cards Soon Afterward – Finally, as soon as you can after the party (though not necessarily that night!), use the contact information on the cards to follow up with at least a “nice to meet you“.

So, dust off your business cards and start trading. Happy industry partying!

Cheers,
Deb

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If you love a good treasure hunt, the Free Management Library for non-profits is a fabulous place on the Internet. Yes, the collection is designed primarily for non-profits, but not everything we learn is from sources written specifically for the fim and TV industry. It’s worth learning from more traditional sources too… they share some of the same management issues we deal with, just from a different point of view. And sometimes it’s the other point of view helps solve the problem.

Some of my favourite finds (in no particular order) are articles on: guiding skills (delegation, boosting morale, motivation, mentoring); the PR kit; conflict management; project management. What treasures do you find there?

Some of their links are internal to the Library, whereas others are agregated from all over the world. Good stuff! Enjoy!

Cheers,
Deb

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As a P.M. at some point in your career you will be asked to write a budget on spec, or simply on a voluntary basis. Sometimes this is a great opportunity, whereas other times not. Do you know when to say “yes” and when to say “no”? I wrote an article for the MWP Virtual Film School about just this issue. Surf by and have a look:

http://shop.mwp.com/blogs/screenwriting-articles/870152-to-volunteer-or-not-to-volunteer-as-a-production-manager-by-deborah-s-patz

Cheers,

Deb

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