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Monday, November 24, 2014

Tunnel of Love -- Chapter 9: Love is the Only (2014) -- Scott Ginsberg Concert Documentary

Tunnel of Love is a feature length concert documentary written, produced, directed and scored by Scott Ginsberg. The film explores the intersection of identity, belonging and creativity. Through live performances, playful and romantic exchanges, unexpected creative moments of conception and behind the scenes storytelling, Ginsberg’s film takes you on a heartfelt journey about what it means to be an artist, a romantic and an opportunist.

Watch the trailer. Meet the creators. Go behind the scenes. See the episode schedule. Download the discussion guide.

Tunnel of Love will be presented as a serialized, episodic documentary. The movie’s centerpiece is a live concert, so I’m premiering each song as a stand alone chapter. There are 14 songs in the concert, so the distribution timeline will occur over a period of 14 weeks, from September to December 2014.

Here's chapter nine:

 

LOVE IS THE ONLY
Blurring lines between your theology and this theater
Take a marvelous flight and furrow our skies and slay the maker
Every little fragment of hope puts me back together

Love is the only song she will outlive us
There is no right or wrong nobody can give us

Turn a seed into a forest before you even notice that is raining
This sword of obligation a dangling iteration forever reigning
Every little fragment of hope keeps me from complaining.

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter. 
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2014-2015.


Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!




Sunday, November 23, 2014

Moments of Conception 137 -- The Recruiting Scene from Armageddon

All creativity begins with the moment of conception.

That little piece of kindling that gets the fire going. That initial source of inspiration that takes on a life of its own. That single note from which the entire symphony grows. That single spark of life that signals an idea’s movement value, almost screaming to us, something wants to be built here.


And so, in this blog series, I’m going to be deconstructing my favorite moments of conception from popular movies. Each post will contain a video clip from a different film, along with a series of lessons we can learn from the characters.


Today's clip comes from the recruiting scene from Armageddon:




What can we learn?


Hire people to amplify what you do. When it comes to creative work, there’s nothing wrong with being a control freak. The fiercely independent artist deserves sovereignty over their work. But you can’t do everything yourself forever. There comes a point in every creator’s life when you have to defer. You have to hire people to amplify what you do. Otherwise you impose a ceiling on the level of impact you can have. Over the years, I’ve contracted dozens of designers, illustrators, developers, coders, editors, researchers, programmers, virtual assistants, audio engineers and public relations specialists. Each one of these people filled in the skills gap when I surpassed the perimeter of my competence. And with their support, all of my projects grew light years beyond what could have been possible on my own. That’s a form of creativity too. The resourcefulness to find the people who can help you become what you need to be. Because if you pick the right people, all you have to do as the artist is cast a vision, sit back and watch them do their magic. It’s actually quite liberating. Once you let go of trying do everything, it feels like you can do anything. Who was the last person you paid real money to amplify what you do?


The direct relationship between passion and ownership. I love a good recruiting montage. Any movie where the main character has to assemble his dream team for the final showdown at the end of the third act is entertaining and interesting to me. Then again, it’s also a warning. Because it’s hard to be passionate about somebody else’s dream. No matter how much you pay, how exciting the project or how inspiring the vision, other people will always have a limited capacity to come aboard your ship. There’s only a finite amount of fire available. And so, when you’re sitting across the table from somebody you’ve enlisted, wondering why they aren’t as excited as you are, try not to get too frustrated. Because it’s not their dream. And nobody will ever care as much as you will. But don’t let that scare you away from breathing in help. Success never comes unassisted. Besides, asking for helping doesn’t make you bad, incompetent or in the debt of the helper. It makes you a leader. It makes you resourceful. So let it be okay that you need other people. Admit that you need their help, ask them to give it to you, accept it, and then appreciate it when they’re done. And don’t be afraid to give them enough rope to find something better than what you came up with. Are you afraid to bring people into your dream?

The wall of how is crumbling. My mentor once told me, do everything yourself until you don’t have to. That’s good advice. But what’s interesting is, that timeline is longer than it used to be. Fifty, twenty, even ten years ago, artists had no choice but to find people to fill in the gaps of their capabilities. Of course, that before the sum of all human knowledge was free and available to all. Now, thanks to the magic of web, the wall of how is crumbling. Now, not knowing how to do something has zero bearing on whether or not your creative dreams become realities. Because nothing is a closed silo anymore. If you need to learn a new skill, and you’re lucky enough to have the access to information about it and the diligence to work at, nothing is off limits. When I launched my own online television network, I didn’t know the first thing about lighting, keying, cutting, editing or any of the other skills required to produce a show. But I did know that there were thousands of online tutorials for each of those individual tasks. And they were available for free. So I started teaching myself. Every single day. Within a few months, I had learned the bare minimum I needed to get by. And within a few years, I had become proficient. Interestingly enough, I never ended up hiring anybody else to help with the show. The workflow was so simple and so doable, it just made more economic sense for me to do it all myself. Proving, that before asking for help, you might ask yourself if it’s worthwhile to learn how to do it yourself. Are you depleting yourself learning how to do all fifty steps right away?

What did you learn?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter. 
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-2016.


Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

With detachment comes the freedom to create

Anytime we create something and release it into the world, we can’t help but get attached to what it means for us. We get stars in our eyes. We see the potential, not the reality. After all, these ideas are our creative brainchildren. Our babies. Naturally, we’re a little attached. 

The disappointing part is, we soon discover that most people aren’t as interested in our work as we want them to be. In fact, most people aren’t even thinking about our work enough to judge it in the first place. And that hurts our feelings. It dampens our enthusiasm. Even our ego crosses its arms like a spoiled child and pouts, hey, why aren’t you more impressed with me? 

But this is the reality of the end of the creative process. Once we ship, once our work is living in the real world, we officially surrender any and all control over how that work is received. And despite our most protective instincts to coddle our creative brainchildren, we learn to practice a healthy sense of detachment. We learn not to over identify with our art. 

Yes, we love our work and take pride in the process, but we don’t get too precious about anything we create. 

Yes, we believe in the value of our product, but we can’t treat each piece of our art as fragile vase that’s going to shatter. 

Otherwise our spirits will shatter right along with them. 

All we can do is give ourselves permission to start on the next one. Immediately. Nothing personal to the project we just finished, but we’re professionals and professionals never stop creating. 

Krishna famously said that we have a right to our labor, but not to the fruits of our labor. His words remind us that what we create isn’t as important as how the experience of creating it changes us for the better. Because it doesn’t matter if we’re doing something right or wrong, good or bad, it only matters if doing it moves in a direction that makes sense. 

How do you inoculate yourself against the devastation of expectation?

*  *  *  *

Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter. 
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-2016.


Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Moments of Conception 136 -- The Opening Scene from It Might Get Loud

All creativity begins with the moment of conception.

That little piece of kindling that gets the fire going. That initial source of inspiration that takes on a life of its own. That single note from which the entire symphony grows. That single spark of life that signals an idea’s movement value, almost screaming to us, something wants to be built here.


And so, in this blog series, I’m going to be deconstructing my favorite moments of conception from popular movies. Each post will contain a video clip from a different film, along with a series of lessons we can learn from the characters.


Today's clip comes from the opening scene from It Might Get Loud:



What can we learn?


It’s impossible to fail at self expression. I was recently listening to an interview with one of my favorite songwriters. He said he’d rather be on stage in front of thousands of people than in conversation with a few. And his reasoning was, on stage, there is no wrong. Maybe better or worse, but never wrong. Conversation, on the other hand, has rules and standards and boundaries. But in art, you can do whatever you want. It’s not about being right, it’s about being yourself. Jack is an eccentric guy, there’s no doubt. He got his start as a furniture upholster, where he used to submit invoices in crayon and write poetry inside the couches. He convinced the world that his wife was his sister. He frequently color codes his creative endeavors, like his recording studio which is completely outfitted in yellow, black, red, and blue. And in the opening scene of this movie, he makes a crude guitar out of a two pieces of wood, a few nails, an old wire, a soda bottle and a cheap preamp. Is it an act? Is it a persona? Is it just a clever way to sell records? Doesn’t matter. White’s relentless individualism is what matters. He refuses to be anyone other than himself. And it’s enabled him to enjoy both critical and popular success, winning piles of awards and being dubbed as one of the greatest guitarists of all time. And he doesn’t even need a guitar. If you’re just being yourself, how can anybody tell you that you’re doing it wrong?


The freedom to pursue what’s inside. The only artistic goal worth pursuing is freedom. Freedom over what I create, freedom over why and how I create it, freedom over whom I create it with and freedom over what I do with it once it’s created, that’s all I care about. Everything else flows from there. Macleod famously said tat the sovereignty we have over our work will inspire far more people than the actual content ever will. Jack is inspiring to me for that very reason. He’s free. Not just in the way he creates music, but in the way he creates the opportunity to make music. His songs rock, but what I admire most is that he started his own independent record label, even established its first physical location, which is a combination record store, performance venue, and headquarters for the company. That’s freedom. Jack literally and figurative built the house where his freedom resides. He has complete sovereignty over his work, supreme, independent authority over his creativity. And so, watching this documentary as a guitarist inspires me to find new ways to express myself through the instrument. But watching this movie as an artist inspires me to find new ways to be free and to own my world. To own my media, own my platform, own my career and ultimately own my life. Tastes like freedom to me. Are you conquering your work, or is your work conquering you?


Constraints are catapults. White’s musical philosophy is to limit himself in various ways to force creative approaches to recording and playing. Whether he writes only three chords for his song, has only two members in his band, or plays only one string on his guitar, the constraint is what sets him free. I’m reminded of my favorite art book, The Art of Looking Sideways. Famed visual designer Alan Fletcher wrote that the first move in any creative process is to introduce constraints. It’s enormously effective. In fact, it’s one of the reasons I’m jealous of traditional journalists. They have deadlines. They execute against temporal constraints. They don’t have the luxury of even thinking about writer’s block, because if they don’t hit their word count by the end of the week, they’re fired. The same goes for farmers. If don’t tend to their crops and animals and land every day, there is no harvest. That’s a constraint too. The point is, all creators and communicators of ideas need to introduce constraints somewhere in their process. Whether it’s an output quota, daily deadline or accountability email at the end of each week, constraints are catapults. In the production management world, factories and organizations do the same thing. They identify their limitation, decide how to exploit it, and then restructure everything in the system around it. Are you running from your limitations or leveraging them?


What did you learn?


* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter. 
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2014-2015.


Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Resistance comes in alluring packaging

I once coached a writer whose biggest challenge was creative procrastination. 

She was a master of artfully creating constant distractions instead of working. 

During our brain rental session, she showed me the list of her peer review team for her upcoming book. It was massive. At least twenty different editors intended to comment on her manuscript. Which seemed a bit excessive, considering for the scope of the book. 

So I probed deeper. And the irony was, she wasn’t even planning to listen to their feedback. She actually completely trusted her own voice as a writer. In fact, without her peer review team, she told me, her readers wouldn’t have noticed the difference anyway. 

However, by sending the manuscript out for three months of editing gave her another reason to procrastinate. 

Isn’t it astonishing the calories we are willing to burn in order to avoid the real work? 

We seem to spend half our time planning for things we could create if we didn’t spend half our time planning. And it’s not just planning, it everything on the day’s long list of distractions. 

It breaks my heart. 

I’m reminded of an interview I read with a startup founder, who said that releasing people from their dependency on email will free up the time and mental space needed to move the species forward. 

Amen to that. 

Every time I hear someone talking about getting their inbox to zero, I just want to scream at them and say, all the time you spent answering email, you could have been doing the one thing people really love about you. 

What excuses do you make to justify your procrastination?


* * * *

Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter. 
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-201.6


Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Are you making your mission more than a statement?

What happens when we know who we are? 

Everything

That’s the upside of identity. Knowledge isn’t just power, it’s the engine of profit. 

That’s why I’m so adamant amount branding. Because it’s not about what you sell, it’s about the story you tell. It’s about knowing who you are, who you aren’t, and making sure that you’re giving those values a voice through every touchpoint. 

I recently consulted with a small marketing team at a large consumer products company. They hired me to help their employees become more intentional about their personal brands. And so, I facilitated a strategic planning crusade to help them make their mission more that a statement. Together we created a rubric for operable behaviors at all levels of the organization. A collection of mantras against which they could execute their interactions. 

By the end of the workshop, the team had completely inspired themselves with their own ideas. They used the company culture artifact we developed together as springboard for putting behaviors behind values. What’s more, the rubric became an organizing principle for their recruiting, onboarding and training efforts with new team members. And from that day forward, each employee was able to live the brand called me, while still remaining grounded in the brand called we. 

What makes your mission more than a statement?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter. 
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-201.6


Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!