There are a lot of things that I’m late to the party on: Jeff Buckley, Breaking Bad, not dropping the thundaduh, but the thing that I’m trying to catch up on right now is Friday Night Lights. Those familiar with the show are, I’m sure, yelling and laughing at me right now through the computer screen saying, “I told you so” and collecting money from imaginary bets that no one actually made but somehow still make sense in the reality of this analogy. It’s a great show.
Seriously, a great show.
One of the greatest things I’ve ever watched that was created for television.
Where Breaking Bad takes the idea of the criminal underworld, deconstructs it and then rebuilds it into something that resembles the “failing upward” comedies of the eighties combined with a hard-boiled drama, Friday Night Lights is all heart. ALL heart. Like so many people who didn’t catch onto this show originally, I didn’t give it a chance because I don’t care about football. Never have. I have teams (Geaux Saints!) but that’s mostly on pain of death from my in-laws. I also grew up with the Bears and Packers, not knowing that there was a huge rivalry between the two. My favorite football moment in history was The Superbowl Shuffle.
I think I’ve made my point.
As I was saying, my football bias got in the way of me giving this show a chance. People told me over and over again, “It’s good you should watch it!” Yet I did not. I heard programs like NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour rave about it. I still didn’t try it.
Finally I gave in. I was bored one day and scrolling through Netflix (how do I get a sponsorship through them?) and the show came up under popular TV shows.
I gave it a shot.
I touched the sun.
That phrase, I touched the sun, comes from my high school days. My friend, author Jeff Garvin, and I used to hang out with a guy named Ryan Moore. Ryan was (and I assume still is) a clever dude. He helped to introduce me to the magic of The Beatles, showed me how to use Video Toaster and was a good writer from what I remember. He also had a knack for delivering a turn of phrase when the moment called for it. One day he was explaining something and said, “I touched the sun, Jeff. You know how people can tell you that the sun is hot, but you don’t really know how hot until you actually touch it? I touched the sun.” Well, it was something really close to that. I don’t remember it verbatim. But the point should be clear. There are things that we go through all the time that you just can’t fully understand unless you actually experience them. Little things like a hot fudge sunday or what it feels like to pet a porcupine, all the way up to big things like falling in love or racism.
That was a harsh way to leave that sentence, but I stand by it. Friday Night Lights may not be the same as falling in love, but it’s a damn good show and if you want to know how good I truly advise you to touch the sun.
See you next time!
Also, in case you want to own the series you can purchase it here at Amazon.com
Am I a Startup? Part 2: The “Don’ts”
In part 1 we covered what a startup is and the four best practices to help get that startup moving, with definitions tweaked to work for the entertainment industry (although those tweaks may work for other industries as well). Having an idea of what to do is important and positive and helps get all the work off on the right foot. That being said, it is nice to also know what pitfalls to avoid so you can do your best not to fail on accident. Just like articles on what to do to help your startup succeed there are as many, if not more, articles about what makes a startup fail.
Thinking about it, that makes sense since, by definition, a startup has no guarantee of success so many of them (most of them even) fail. Entertainment careers are no different. In this life you hear “no” a lot more than “yes.” You can have a series go to pilot and then not get picked up. You can be edited out of a commercial after you’ve already shot it. For resilience we all say that it’s, “just part of the biz” but, part of the biz or not, that much rejection can be draining. So the following are four mistakes that can kill your startup inspired by and paraphrased from this article: The 18 Mistakes That Kill Startups. Why are there not 18? Because not all of the mistakes really apply to my topic. Sure, I could shoehorn in a few descriptions and get all symbolic with the language, but that isn’t the goal. The goal is to have strong points that are easy to identify and avoid to keep things moving in a positive career direction. But if you want to read all 18, and I suggest you do, go to the link.
Before we get started with the actual four mistakes, I’d like to point out a overarching general mistake that the author Paul Graham points out that also makes very good sense in an entertainment career:
In his explanation let’s trade out the word “user” for “audience.” Entertainment exists to be experienced by people, there isn’t any way around that. As a general rule of thumb: make and do the things you believe in and have passion for. Those are the things that have the best chance of taking off and if they don’t you can at least feel good about the attempt.
Now on to the mistakes:
Did I miss anything? Are there any best practices that I could have added to part 1? Let me know in the comments.
See you next time.
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