Tuesday 29 January 2013

Tuesday's Song

This piece of music has come to encapsulate everything I feel about World War 2. That's strange in itself because, I have absolutely no idea what I feel about it. But I do feel, to the point where I just want to cry.

Over sixty million people were killed, which was over 2.5% of the world population, can you imagine? Just think of all the wonderful people you've never met, because they were never born, because of this devastating war. 

In school we were taught in a simple way: England were victors, Nazis were bad, and Europe saw lots of fighting.

But there's so much more to it. 

Like, my Grandparents. The role they played. Heroes to me in every sense of the word. 

But there were heroes on the other side, too. That's what I realise whenever I see a war film now. I've lost the sense of "Hey, we won!" and am left thinking, holy shit, a huge chunk of humanity was wiped off the face of the Earth. 

War still rages. Genocide exists. And you realise as you get older that who you think are the good guys are very rarely the good guys. 

And I don't even know what I'm saying. 

I just know that this piece of music captures how I feel about war. Sadness, and heroism, and senselessness, and mourning. And so many other things. 

This piece makes me think of people I know. People I knew. People I never came across. The billions of humans who were effected by this giant tragedy of a war, and its repercussions that still play out in the world today. 

But there is something beautiful about this piece of music. And there's something beautiful about remembering all those who came before us. The angels who fought for good, and those who perished because of evil ideas. 

It's crucial we remember. It's crucial we feel. It's crucial we love. 

Care to share?

Monday 28 January 2013

Monday's Song


We're great at making things complicated. We get into endless conversations and disagreements about our over-caffeinated modern lives.

But at the end of the day, it still comes down to this: find that one person and make them happy.

We've lost sight of that. My generation, we don't know what we're doing. We hide behind computer screens, send cryptic text messages, and get endlessly mixed up in casual dating.

But of course, no-one really wants casual dating, or being non-exclusive or any of the crazy things we've come up with to protect ourselves. We're the most privileged generation in human history, and we handle it with narcissism, we fall in love with our possessions. There's an episode of 'Boston Legal' where a character falls in love with an iPhone. Six years ago, it seemed funny, now it just seems realistic.

Make someone happy. Such an alien concept to us. How often do we do it?

Sure, we do a good deed and then say, "Didn't you notice? Didn't you see the effort I put in?" I told you, we're narcissists. We do things for the validation.

But maybe it can be a lot more simple than that.

"It's so important to make someone happy. Make just one someone happy."

The song resonates because it cuts through the bullshit. Makes you realise you've gone five years without tending to the relationships in your life.

Is there someone you could make happy? Would you want to? Maybe the risks seem too high, but what is the alternative? What do you want your life to be about?

Care to share?

Thursday 17 January 2013

Training Yourself As An Artist

1. Practice makes perfect.

2. What I mean is, the more you practice, the more tools you have in your box. You become highly skilled and develop expertise.

3. But it can so easily lead to autopilot. You use your tools, the work is passable, but nobody truly connects.

4. All the great writers and directors, they had a golden moment, genuine magic was created. You can't force that moment just by picking up new tools.

5. So you must have life experience. Imagination is great on its own, but it's at its best when mixed with genuine insight.

6. Every great piece of art needs insight. That's what makes your favourite movies your favourite movies.

7. We can't have insight every day. I think when I started this blog, I had unique perspective, something different to say. I'm a better blogger now, I have so many tools -- but the fresh insights are harder to come by.

8. That's why you have to live more, and be open to influence and new ways of thinking.

9. You have to let go. When you define yourself by your profession all day long, you're a bore. Go for a walk around a lake with someone, and while you're there, completely drop the identity you've built for yourself as 'writer', 'actor', etc. They're just words, mental concepts. Above all, you're a human!

10. Eat healthy.

Care to share?

Question From A Reader, re: Film School

Kid, I need your help. I'm a young filmmaker - 15, actually. Of course, the question of film school is popping up, within my own mind and my parents. My parents believe producers and studios won't give a filmmaker millions of dollars to produce a film if they don't believe he can do it. They say a film school degree will show them I know how to produce a film, how to make them money. 

What's the truth?

Thank you for answering. It's a question that's been plaguing my mind for some time now. Cheers, 


It's all about your track record. If you make a movie for $300 and it wins some awards, someone will give you $2000. If you make that movie and manage to sell a heap of copies online and make $5000, then a producer will think "this kid is profitable!", and more money will come your way.

It's never a flowing stream. It's never easy. When it comes to film financing, and getting hired by studios, it's all about business. Whether you went to film school or spent your entire teens and early twenties fishing, they don't really care. They want to know -- can you make them money? 

At least, that's how it is when a lot of money is involved. 

With smaller, independent film producers, they often care more about art. They want to put something great into the world. And sure, you need a great track record, but not so much a financial one. It's more about your reel. How many people have you inspired? How many festivals have your films been in? How many people are clambering to work with you? 

I have been paid well to write, and paid reasonable amounts to direct -- although not at the big-budgets your questions imply. But I know many people who have done, some of whom are at the top of the pile in Hollywood. And you know the one thing nobody EVER asks them when they're being hired? "Where did you go to film school?"

Film school is a tool. It's a place to meet like-minded people. A place where you have permission to sit in a tiny room all day with a pretty girl watching French New Wave movies. Can it help? Of course! You have access to so much equipment and so many amazing people. But it doesn't guarantee a job. 

Despite what I say, many will no doubt have completely opposite opinions. Truth is, there are people who walk out of top Film Schools straight into big directing jobs. Just like there are random kids from Spain who win a competition and then are signed up immediately, having never been near a film school. 

As the old wisdom goes, there are no rules, and nobody knows anything. Figure out your path and follow it. Somewhere between everyone's advice, your parent's hopes and your own intuitions, you'll find the answer. I hope you come back here and share it! 

Care to share?

Monday 14 January 2013

Independence Within Hollywood: The Actors Who Are Paving Their Own Way

Channing Tatum could, quite easily, hop happily from '21 Jump Street' to '21 Jump Street 2', without having to do much else. Yet he starred in the subtly brilliant 'Son of No-one', which hardly anyone saw. And he produced and starred in '10 Years', an independent film full of hugely talented actors.

'10 Years' is an important film to look at, because it stars some of the best acting talent in America. And they all did it for virtually no money, because they were longing to do something meaningful, where they get to play.

Ari Graynor is my favourite actress of the moment. She steals your attention in everything she's in. 'Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist' being the perfect example. She was heartbreaking in '10 Years', hilarious in 'Whip It' and frustratingly difficult in 'Celeste & Jesse Forever'. And then she did 'For a Good Time, Call'.

It's her best and biggest role yet. Her comedic and dramatic talent is undeniable. But how often does she get the chance to truly shine? Perhaps not enough, which is why she produced 'For A Good Time, Call'. Increasingly, actors on the periphery of Hollywood blockbusters are doing their own thing as a way of making memorable and personal films.

For all the hype surrounding Rashida Jones --she was universally praised for her role in 'The Social Network', for example-- it's still ridiculously hard for talented women like her to find truly great roles in Hollywood. So what did she do? She wrote 'Celeste & Jesse Forever'. It's a film about staying friends with your ex, and she penned it with a guy she once dated, ouch! (Will McCormack) That's what it takes to create a great movie. Go deeply personal!

The film is full of insight, openness and honesty, in a way that most big-budget movies lack. The difficult thing for the studio films, is that they need to cater to everybody, whereas a great indie only has to appeal to somebody. Not everyone will relate to Celeste & Jesse, but those who do will connect in a more thorough way than they would with a bigger movie because it has more genuine insight. That's why these small films are so important.

Back to '10 Years', because it really is a fascinating film to unravel. It was by a first time director, Jamie Linden, who was previously known as a writer. The film stars Kate Mara and Brian Geraghty, who were in 'We Are Marshall' (which Linden wrote), and Channing Tatum who was in 'Dear John' (also written by Linden).  This proves the most important rule in independent filmmaking, it's about who you know - who you can get to do favours. 

Which doesn't mean you have to be related to Steven Spielberg to make it in the film industry. It means that the relationships you build are crucial. When Jake Pushinsky edited 'A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints', he'd never edited a movie before. But the job he did was great. He went on to edit two more films that starred Tatum, 'Son Of No-One' and 'Fighting'. So when Tatum produced '10 Years', guess who he called on to edit? And is also stars Rosario Dawson, who was also in 'Saints'.

That's a huge part of why the film works. It was a huge collaboration, on a tiny-budget. Packed full of friends and colleagues amassed from projects prior. And that's kind of what the film is about too, everything that happened in the past and where everyone ended up since.

With the ever advancing technology and bigger appetites of Hollywood directors, we're always in danger of losing the subtle and small. That's why projects like '10 Years' are so refreshing. We get to see humans being human. Luckily, young actors like Justin Long and Aubrey Plaza prioritise the indie films, and because of this, their careers are building artistic longevity. They're not in it purely for the money, for the box office. They're doing work they care about.

It's a mistake that so many upcoming actors make. They think it's about rising to the top. And the top, of course, meaning big studio movies. But Ari Graynor did a no-budget short as recently as two years ago. It looks cheap, not all of it works, but it's creative! And she got to play an interesting role. I've met actors --unsuccessful ones-- who say "I'm done with short films. I don't work cheaply anymore". But Graynor did 'No Deal' for virtually nothing, and the entire cast of '10 Years' worked for scale, and it included the likes of Rosario Dawson and Max Minghella!

It's great to see some of the best Hollywood talent taking matters into their own hands, by producing personal works that they're proud of.  There are great independent films in America, you just have to look for them, and the people making them.

Care to share?

FEEDBACK, RE: Illegal Streaming

Responses to "Illegal Streaming Is Shaping The Future Of Film Distribution"

JAINA, rightly wishes for common sense from the studios:

It's frustrating the stubbornness of the film industry to get up to date with how people want to watch film these days. Surely it's in their best interests to get their films seen by as many people as possible, in a way that's easy for them? 

The months in between US and UK film releases is painful. The likes of Django Unchained, Flight, Les Mis, Zero Dark Thirty - no wonder people turn to downloads.

TERI BROWN offers perspective: 

You're right that the studios are signing their own death certificates by continuing to do it that way when anyone who knows how to Google can find those movies available to view online. 

And her thoughts on a solution: 

I do like that some studios (and indies) have been releasing films on PPV at the same time as they are released in the theater. It costs more than the $1/night Red Box rental, but it's considerably less than seeing it in the theater and you don't have to wait. I think *that* is the future of movie distribution. 

ANONYMOUS chips in with some incredibly insightful thoughts that I wish I could get the Studios to read: 

Ditto on all accounts. 

To what Teri said about studio and indies being released on PPV, they should continue doing and also push it available for other countries.

The US iTunes "Indie" section has movies such as Struck By Lightning, Fitzgerald Family Christmas that have opened in US and also pre-theatrical releases such as John Dies At The End, Charles Swan and Freeloaders.

For this point, I'm too lazy to check if they are available in the UK store but they are not available at least in one of the Scandinavian countries.

What it comes down to is will I buy US itunes gift card from ebay and give my money to someone in China or wherever and buy the movies from US Itunes which is still illegal as I have a fake address and name in my US iTunes account as you cannot use different country store with your actual information and credit card or do I save my money and download them illegally from torrent sites.

In both cases, I'm doing illegal things. As opposed to those indies being released on this Scandinavian iTunes store and I could pay 5-17 € per movie (rent or buy, SD or HD). 

The positive changes are happening with television. Recently both Netflix and HBO streaming services were launched in Scandinavia (yes, that is right, Netflix is a shiny and new thing in the late 2012 Scandinavian world).

Today marks the first time we are able to watch a US show (even with local subtitles!) without downloading it within 24 hours it premiered in US. Banshee premiered yesterday in the States and people from Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark are able to watch it on Saturday (the episode was available afternoon) via HBO Nordic who have deals with Starz and Cinemax as well. The same will be for the new seasons of Girls and Enlightened that premiere on Sunday and will be available on Monday with local subtitles.

On the Netflix side of things, House of Cards is the 2nd show that we can enjoy fully legally right from the start.

Both instances, HBO Nordic shows and Netflix originals have something in common - quality and cable/subscription. Clearly it will take time when we are able to legally watch network shows but I have faith that day will come. What type of changes are needed for that to happen (distribution, economic, big US corporations possibly buying smaller companies in Europe and elsewhere etc), that's a whole new topic.

Care to share?

Friday 11 January 2013

Illegal Streaming Is Shaping The Future Of Film Distribution

Amazon.com are offering a new feature which allows you to to listen to any CD you've ever bought from them, via streaming.


"Variations on this have existed before, but they have often met resistance, if not litigation."

This is how modern distribution works. A few kids figure a way to bring music to the masses and the distributors panic and rush to court.

But years later, they follow the paradigm set by the youngsters. The youngsters who were catering to a future that the distributors were too reluctant and narrow-minded to see.

They thought Napster would literally kill music, but the evolution of distribution needed to happen. Any of you volunteering to give up your mp3s and iPods?

The same thing is happening with film right now. The distributors are trying to keep us in the dark ages. For example, the USA get cinema releases before the rest of the world, then gradually they come to places like the UK. Previously, there were various reasons for this, mostly to do with profit margins; but the key reason: the film prints! When you distributed movies the old way, the costs were huge!

Yesterday the Academy Award nominations came out. In the UK, we still haven't seen 'Zero Dark Thirty' or 'Lincoln', but there are perfect viewable copies online, available illegally.

It's about supply and demand. WE LOVE MOVIES AND WANT TO SEE THEM! People don't sit down and watch a film illegally because of criminal intent, it's because they want the joy of film for two hours. On Facebook, all my American friends and colleagues have seen 'Lincoln', they have strong opinions about it. I'm desperate to see it! Why are you making me wait? For every ticket buyer they win by holding a film back, they lose two more who will view it online. 

I wrote something like this before and a bunch of the comments criticised my viewpoint, saying I'm selfish and want my own way, basically that I'm just a greedy consumer. But that's not the point ----- the point is that distribution is still modelled on a structure that doesn't even exist anymore. Home Video is dying (in 2012 in the USA the rental market took $400million less than 2011). And disc sales are falling by 6% a year (that percentage will steeply rise in coming years). Videos spread online like wildfire in a way that the old formats never did and never will. 

Piracy via streaming is rife. Studios are trying to crack down and get sites closed. It's the same nonsense they tried with Napster, Limewire, Kazaa, iMesh, etc. These changes to distribution are happening for a reason.

You want us to spend two hours wages on a cinema ticket, and three hours worth on the popcorn. Then you want us to rent the DVD, then buy the DVD, then buy the Special Edition, then the Blu-Ray limited edition, then the bonus version and after that the anniversary disc.

But times are changing. The music industry thought YouTube would end music, but then they figured out how to monetize it. And Spotify seems revolutionary, yet Napster did it fifteen years ago!

We are actively partaking in the most exciting shift in distribution since the birth of cinema. Without question, we must pay for the art we consume; but the Studios and distributors need to get on board with the changes. The digital revolution puts power back in the hands of the people. You can no longer sell us formats that will quickly become obsolete. 

Yes, I love the cinema experience. Nearly everyone reading this does too. But the statistics and the rate of privacy prove that people want to stream from the comfort of their own home just as much, if not more. It's ridiculous to try and deny this simple fact. 

DISTRIBUTORS & FILM STUDIOS: Stop suing the innovators. In the future, all of our films will be streamed -- and, ironically, you'll be stealing all your ideas from the very people you took to court. 

Care to share?

Monday 7 January 2013

Tea For Sarah

Sarah lives on the other side of the world, so went don't get to spend much time together.

She asked me to make up a story about us going for tea. I wrote this today on the tube between Stratford and Waterloo.

He smashed the device against the wall. "Fuck the iPad!" he declared. "Fuck the iPad" he screamed again, into air, because he was not currently able to tweet it.

He bolted from the room and turned up at Sarah's door a moment later.

She opened the door. "We're going to walk the fields," he told her. "I have work to do," she lied. "I only have an hour."

He was all pumped up on something, whatever it was, maybe dislodged neurons firing all crazy by mistake. "We're going for four days," he said. "I'm bringing my laptop", she replied. "Fuck the laptop!", he screamed, as he pelted it deep into her living room wall.

They left for an adventure, wondering how they would explain it or market it or rationalize it to friends later. It would be two days before they realised all that stuff didn't matter. This was between them and Mother Earth as they darted across endless fields, debating the world and its rules until they realised eventually that it has no rules.

They stumbled across farmers, walkers and dreamers. They had lunch with George and Anne who were exactly like them but thirty years their senior. Lunch was finished and off they screamed into the falling night.

They tiptoed across a silent mountain somewhere out there in the grand outdoors of the world when he turned sweetly to Sarah and said, "I want a tea". Her imagination sparkled at the thought and their minds became one, with all their neurons pointed directly towards the vague sense of a town ahead where maybe there was a tea waiting.

They stumbled down the darkened edges of the world, desperately in search of the magical tea. It was 3am and nobody would usually be drinking tea but life in these random days was proving anything was possible.

They landed in a sleeping town of pre-war housing and unexplainable floating auras and felt the tea was in reach.

They looked for clues of lights and laughter but nothing was to be found. The waves of tiredness crashed into them just as daylight rose and the cafe at the end of the world opened.

Marian welcomed them with open arms like they were the first visitors ever and maybe they were. When they asked for tea in quiet desperation, Marian, the Queen of Nowhere, nodded knowingly and quietly slipped away into the basement where the magical tea surely waited.

He looked at Sarah, wondering what all this meant. She looked at him, wondering where the tea was. His eyes danced across the window view, relaxed and dreaming of moving in to the tiny brown house that sat stubbornly outside like the soul survivor of a day all gone.

"Two teas", said Marian, as if it was the simplest sentence in the world.

They looked at her and smiled. And still there was one more day of endless adventure before they'd climb back into life, which eventually they did, but it was always different after that.

Care to share?

Is GERALDINE CHAPLIN Talking About CHARLIE In 'The Impossible'?

I found Geraldine Chaplin's cameo in 'The Impossible' incredibly profound., and probably not for the reasons the filmmakers intended. 

Firstly, wow. She looked just like him. 

He left our world nearly 40 years ago, and he left our screens even further back than that. 

But here was Geraldine Chaplin in a disaster movie. And she's always, of course, had a similarity to her father. But in this scene, in her close up, it sent a chill down my spine. And then there was the dialogue. It's like he was with us, and she was talking about him. 

GERALDINE: Some of those stars, have been burnt out for a long long time. Did you know that? 

BOY: They're dead aren't they?

They're dead, but once they were so bright that their light is still travelling through space, we can still see them. 

How can you tell which ones are dead and which ones are not? 

Oh you can't, it's impossible. It's a beautiful mystery isn't it. 

And when she delivers that line, 'it's a beautiful mystery isn't it', she shakes her head and gets a little glimmer of light and wonder in her eyes which is so CHARLIE CHAPLIN. Wow. I sat there, in the midst of a movie which I didn't love - yet this moment, wow, it knocked my socks off. Charlie Chaplin, my biggest hero in the world; came alive once again, just for a moment, somehow, like some magical piece of alchemy --- Geraldine's face, the stars, the setting, the moment. 

Charlie came back for the tiniest moment, and it was wonderful.

Care to share?

Recent Movie Playbook: Thoughts on Stuff I've Seen

Just saw 'Pitch Perfect' and loved it. For two hours I was able to believe acappella singing is the centre of the universe.

A good film does that, draws you into its world. You shut down the majority of your brain and body and let the cinema magicians take you on a magic ride.

I didn't get that ride with 'The Impossible'. I somehow didn't read the opening credit which mentioned that it was a 'true story'. So I spent the whole film in a liberal-idiot-rage, wondering why we were telling somebody else's story with white English people? 

And then at the end, I realised it was a true story.

That being said, it was still way too white and western. English people, Americans and a couple of Germans. The only moment when the locals got involved was to drag Naomi Watts across the broken town in a helpful yet scary way, with the camera lingering on Naomi to show her fear as this strange person from a land unknown dragged her around.

Helen Hunt has always been one of my favourite actresses, so it's delightful to see her in 'The Sessions' where she plays a sexual surrogate who comes across an unusual case; a man with polio who spends his time in an iron lung to keep him alive.

The film does things at its own pace, slowly gliding you into the story, keeping you glued with strong performances and the slow burning entanglements of the characters. And it's quietly funny, too.

'Silver Linings Playbook': I loved the performances. When was the last time you saw De Niro this good? Sure, a large part of it is the material -- but let's credit the man himself. His performance was full of vulnerability, it was almost scary to see our beloved De Niro like this. That's why it's easier to sell out and keep making 'Meet The Parents', because when you do roles with real depth, you put your legacy on the line, because there's every chance you'll be terrible and people will see the fraud that you are.

But De Niro is no fraud, he's the best there is. And Jennifer Lawrence is utterly compelling. Bradley Cooper is the perfect modern leading man. He's at his peak, and his next few films are crucial. 

I had big hopes for 'Hitchcock', but it's average at best. The icons of cinema are so intriguing to us all; that's why they make films like 'Chaplin' and 'My Week With Marilyn'. When these films are good, they get us a little bit closer to our cinematic heroes, whereas 'Hitchcock' plods along without having much of a point of view. Dare I say it's all a wee bit bland. 

I loved 'Argo'. Riveting! Who'd have ever predicted that Ben Affleck would turn out to be such a great director. 'Gone Baby Gone', 'The Town' and now 'Argo'; all fantastic!

Still haven't seen 'Beasts of the Southern Wild', and I was meant to see 'Life Of Pi' a few days back but the girl I was going with cancelled. Chances are she'll probably recover from the flu and then drag me to see it, so I'll let you know what I think. 

Final Thoughts:

  •  Glad to see Helen Hunt with lots of upcoming projects. Seems she went quiet for a few years, I'm excited to see where her career takes her. 
  •  Although I wasn't overly taken with 'Hitchcock', there is one masterful scene when the cinema audience are watching the first screening of 'Psycho', and he's waiting just outside the auditorium. I won't say no more, because I want you to see it, because it's a magical moment. I have no idea if it really happened, I sure hope it did!
  •  Naomi Watts is a fantastic actress. 

  • Is 'Silver Linings Playbook' really Best Picture worthy? For me, the performances are an A*, but the film overall is not quite up to that level. 
  •  I'm taken with 'Pitch Perfect'. It was a blast! Just pure fun and silliness. My experience with it in the cinema was great! I was three rows from the front -- there were maybe twenty people in the cinema. Anyway, the things that I found hilarious were the exact things that three or four guys towards the back on the right hand side also found hilarious. Don't you love that, when only part of the audience loves the same stuff you do? It would be boring if we all laughed at the exact same moments. 

Care to share?

Thursday 3 January 2013

How Many Special People Change?

We were all Oasis fans back then. It's not because they were great -- at least not on a technical level. It's because 'Wonderwall' was on the radio, and Liam had attitude, and we needed a soundtrack to our endless summers.

Right now, it feels like 'Gangnam Style' is viral just because it's viral, like it happened in a vacuum. But one day we'll look back and we'll see how beautifully it fit in with the moment, the culture, the experiences we were collectively going through at the time -- we just can't see it yet.

And to be young and English in the 90's, Oasis were your band. And sure, maybe you were one of those who preferred Blur, or was adamant that Liam couldn't sing. But if you were like that, you missed the point, we didn't care that Liam couldn't sing. It was about more than that.

Go visit an English pub and throw 'Don't Look Back In Anger' on the jukebox, we'll sing along to every word. And we'll have a little tear in our eye; we'll feel alive again, because that song is who we were.

'Champagne Supernova' was gibberish. What were they singing about? Nobody knows, but we all related to it.

When you're a kid, you don't realise you're a kid. You don't realise the feelings will pass. You don't realise that the daily dramas are not the be all. You think that Jenny not returning your phone call is the end of the world, you think falling out with Bradley because he wouldn't lend you a fiver is the biggest disaster in history.

And then you grow up.

But years later, you hear the records again. And the fall-out with Bradley still cuts deep. And Jenny was the most beautiful girl who ever existed and would it have been so hard for her to give you the time of day?

When you're young and stupid, you think every moment matters, until someone straightens you out and tells you to focus on doing something with your life. 

So you do something with your life. 

But you feel a little dead inside, because so much is gone. One day you're at a restaurant or a pub or you're walking past and old record store, and you hear it---- you hear who you were, where you've come from. You hear the voices of the people you haven't heard from in fifteen years. It hits you that those days were everything. We were kids and we loved Oasis, not for any reason other than because we just did.

Care to share?

Tuesday 1 January 2013

10 Tips for 2013

1. When considering whether to collaborate with someone, ask yourself this question: Do they have talent?. If the answer is no, you have no business being on that project.

2. Work with problem solvers. People who are eager to cross the finishing line. If someone is always stressed and drowning in trouble, you have no business working with them.

3. Set a start date. Set a finish date. Stick to it. This applies to everything from the big things, like production dates and festival entries, to the little things, like updating your Résumé, and emailing potential employers.

4. Engage in social media. Don't be afraid of it. Be sure to actually communicate with people. If you like their statuses, reply to their tweets and comment on their YouTube videos, they'll do the same for you when you're releasing your project.
5. But also, find time to get away from the computers and phones. It's hard to have genuine insight and originality when you are constantly taking in tidbits of information. Step away.

6. The problem isn't that you can't find a job, it's that you haven't honed your talent enough. Get better at what you do.

7. Practice every day (apart from allocated days off).

8. Read.

9. Remember that it's creativity! Not everything will be perfect. Some of it will absolutely suck. It's a learning curve, and one you can't avoid, not if you want to succeed.

10. Enjoy yourself.

Care to share?