Weekly digest #24/#25: The fish never did jump in the boat

    jumping_fish_op_640x517Best line from last week: “The fish never did jump in the boat.”

    That was Jeffrey Goodman referring to an expression he had heard when seeking funding for his film The Last Lullaby. He rolled up his sleeves, and raised the money one phone call at a time. Jeffrey sat down with us and gave an insider view on what it takes to acquire rights to a story, and then bring to the big screen in a multi-part video conversation: Part 1 Part 2.

    We’ll release part 3 in a few days. Don’t miss that one… does Tom Sizemore need to audition, and how does his contract work?

    The summer is upon us here in Silicon Valley which means not only long sunny days and grassy hills turned yellow but also a slowdown in most Theatre schedules. However, there are some exciting upcoming events and performances that we will be covering.

    My parting thought this week is about social networking, the good and the bad.

    Over the last few weeks, I’ve witnessed the extraordinary power of social networking. They can mobilize people, and reduce time and place restrictions. Everything is accelerated.

    However, social networks are not a panacea for the common human condition. A virtual room of 200 people carries all the same challenges of its in-person counterpart. All of us bring different values, experiences and expectations. Organization must still happen, but in a digital fashion using discussion groups, forums, and blogs  — all online forms of communication that ultimately mirror the behavioral norms of those using them.

    To be effective in a social network, a group of individuals must also go through the tried and true process of: forming, storming, norming, and (hopefully) performing.

    Finally, if good news or information travels fast because of social networking, then bad news or misinformation travels twice as fast, especially when wrapped in hyperbole, extremism and emotion. Why? I suspect it’s partly shock value. But also because of once again that human condition.

    In confusing times, information must be scrutinized. Emotional layers need to be mitigated with a hard analysis of facts, financials and business plans. The source of any information must also be assessed, along with its motives, credibility and expertise.

    Jeffrey Goodman said the two most important things any filmmaker needs are a good attorney and a good accountant. This is straight up good business sense for just about industry or deal.

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