“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ― Sun Tzu

Communicate Well, Be Loyal, Give Respect and Be Giving…

Another chilly morning rescued by hot coffee as I write down my collection of thoughts for the week. I’ve had a few projects that I’ve been forced to be the voice of reason on and others that suffer simply from lack of communication. That said, the work pushes forward. It is a very busy time with six films making their way to market. Collaboration comes from talented mutually respectful individuals who focus their efforts to create something that may not have happened if not for the collaboration. I’ve spoken with two directors that are sharing this communication issue with partners. Some people really just want to be a celebrity even if it is fleeting. The 15 minutes of fame and then they are gone. Others have a real calling and will continue to share their artistic journey with their fans and audiences. Fame follows the work and that is just that – WORK. The final result transcends the hardships but many lose interest when they realize how hard you actually work in our industry. That is often without the security of the 9 to 5.

Some of these same people are seldom to communicate unless they need something – often when I call someone it is because I’ve turned over a stone and found an opportunity that could benefit a person or project. I’ve been told this is rare and I can recall only a handful of situations whereas someone called offering opportunity. More often it is a favor asked. If I called someone and said, “I’ve got this role” RING! A callback within the hour or by days end. If I say I’ve got a few questions or whatnot the days/weeks can click by. Funny thing is that they only hurt themselves with their actions because as I stated often I am calling to offer something not ask. Also I evaluate working relationships by actions. I know that every  one of these film projects are a large undertaking whereas communication is vital. If the venture lacks this it will be short-lived and not reach its full potential. Now not everyone is cut out for the hard producer work that goes into these ventures. It is not just a vanity credit. Just like some folks are not wired to handle the stress of such projects. I just happen to be a person who thrives on the energy of teamwork and organization to complete goals. So be it in your business or personal know that communication is the key.

Also people have to control their own feelings of inferiority, insecurity or any other negative feelings and not let it control them or their actions. I’ve chosen to be loyal and work for the benefit of a tribe of artists versus the “just me” approach to our industry. I think that baffles some people who for decades keep waiting for that time when I’m just going to give someone a screw job. It has never happen and never will. Errors and mistakes have been made but never with ill-will or intention in my heart. I love when good fortune smiles upon people. But I see selfishness around me all the time both inside and outside our business. Sometimes someone’s overreaction to situations gives great insight to that person’s internal struggles with themselves. Anger often hides guilt or self-blame and is a sign of deeper issues. I’ve realized over the years I can only lead by example and I maintain a baseline of expected respect. Good communication as noted above is an action that says, I respect you. You can see how these things go hand in hand.

This is my B-Day month and it always puts me in a reflective place. I’m proud of all the stories I’ve helped tell and the many more that will be told. I’ve watched as some move a little farther away from the tribal fire to explore their own path. I also have seen the new warriors drawn to the fire, coming to join the battle.  With a tribe of artists it has to be ALL IN or NOT. Sounds Yoda-like but there is truth in all that.  There are many fence sitters out there that want to benefit from a group or organization. They are just waiting to see what boat to jump into.  They often take actions to benefit the self over the benefit of the many because it serves them. How I journey is just as important as the final destination and I will not step on others to get where I’m going. The grass often appears greener elsewhere but upon close inspection it is just the sunlight playing tricks.

In Summary…

Communicate Well, Be Loyal, Give Respect and Be Giving…

OK. Enough of the trials and tribulations of working within group dynamics. It’s a huge balance of egos, artistic vision and materials but when it all comes together it is a major achievement to be proud of. I’ve got much to be proud of.

June 13th is a big day with a distribution screening on one coast (Darkest Night) and another event screening that night. (7 Stones) I’m also in talks on licensing additional rights on several of the new film products and also with the existing library films. I’ve heard a festival showing is coming soon for “Benjamin” and also hear new artwork for “Deadly Renovations” is coming for the forthcoming domestic release. I’m also hearing another theatrical for “Locked in a Room” could be around the corner. I believe in Bay City but I will know more soon. “Outside the Wire” doc screenings are planned and in planning – so needless to say I have been BUSY!

I might be announcing a couple of new acting projects very soon. I was sent a few scripts/roles to review and now I’m in talks on the business. One could have me filming in my state of Michigan and one far away in France. Crazy business that we work in but I have to say I love it.

A few new projects are moving into development, others continue moving down that development trek. So the future is in planning as we speak. I encourage you to take control of your future. To take control of your self and actions. If you give you will receive so be the creative artist you were meant to be. Go seed your garden, nurture it and prepare to reap what you have sown.

Have a great weekend!

DJ

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