This is a post we like to make every year. Here’s to a great 2015.
Every New Year, I make the standard list of resolutions. They often involve exercising more and eating less. But this year more than ever, we’re on a search for Quality. And to me, quality means connecting with things and people that resonate, fulfill their purpose, and last.
Here’s a few ways I think we can all add quality to our stories in 2015:
> Find the Romantic Hook: Romance is the deepest connection – the way we find joy in the smallest things. While it’s the most powerful of all the hooks, it’s also often the first to be let go under the grind of the day to day. Don’t let your love for the work be buried under the incessant list of ‘things to do’. Fight hard and don’t let it go, above all else.
> Listen to Better Soundtracks: Every piece of media we consume affects how we feel. Don’t waste much time on content that doesn’t reinforce who you want to be. Instead, find your soundtrack that inspires you to solve bigger and better problems. Then make it happen.
> Find a Better Cast: Surrounding yourself with people that don’t dream the same way you do is a killer. Cut their scenes as much as possible, and hang with people who want to share the same crazy life you do. That’s the best way to reach new heights. And the most fun. But you have to dare to let people go. That can be hard.
> Produce Quality Content: Every email, every tweet, every Facebook post and video, is part of your brand and reflects who you are. Your content is what fills your own personal TV channel, and if you want people to watch, you have to focus on quality. No, it may never be perfect, but it should add value and make people’s lives better when possible. Progress, not perfection.
> Ignore the Critics: Producing (rather than just consuming) is risky business. You’re going to have to eventually throw stuff out there for people to see. Inevitably, you’ll get feedback that is negative, snarky, and mean. But maybe you’ll also get some good feedback. Use it to fuel the engine. Some of the best advice I ever got: Don’t get dragged down by people who never had the guts to it in the first place. Or as Aristotle said, “If you want to avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.”
The Big Questions and the Big Answers do matter. We all need to live more in that space. By stealing some of these resolutions, maybe we can all do well and put a ‘dent in the universe’. Be who you are.
Your thoughts for 2015? Let us know.
Photo: On the set of Caleb Young’s feature film trailer ‘Ghostwoods’.
Author: Chris Donaldson
Chris Donaldson is Executive Producer at HCFmedia. Can film making change the world? The Short Answer: Yes.