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Kevin Owyang
92 followers -
I’m a creative strategist with strong business chops. I ran a $3.0 B book of business and I’m an award winning film director.
I’m a creative strategist with strong business chops. I ran a $3.0 B book of business and I’m an award winning film director.

92 followers
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As a person of faith, the most important thing to me is that I'm on the path God has called me.   I know, to a lot of people, that sounds a little woo-woo.  Probably because over history people have used Jesus as a reason to do things that are really about themselves and not very spiritual at all. So for the purpose of understanding who I am, especially if you're not a Christian, I simply mean there's something else that motivates me other than what's good for me and what makes the most money.

It also means there are times that I don't understand how all the pieces of all the things I feel called to, fit together.  And sometimes I wonder if I'm crazy!   But then there are special moments when things fit together.  I wrote about one of those here.  https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-bernies-campaign-designed-him-fire-up-millennials-kevin-owyang

It's about a commercial video (that I shared on this post) and the design choices I made.  And it's about my realizing that volunteering for Bernie Sanders helped me understand the instinctive creative decisions I had made when faced with telling my client's story in the best way on a super-tight budget.
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Sometimes the best chances to showcase your creativity and design-savvy, come from situations you create.  A client recently asked me to pursue a project with a very open, yet nebulous mandate.   Yet by applying empathy and leveraging ideas from inclusive design, I was able to enter into a unique creative collaboration with them -- one where I was able to push beyond my previous limitations and generate something that was beyond what we imagined possible.

That was reward enough.  But when I wrote about what I learned, I discovered there was a huge following for the unique way in which I apply design thinking.  Over 500 people have liked it on LinkedIn, and over 100 have shared it.  

If you want, you can read what I  had to say here:
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-inclusive-design-fuels-creative-collaboration-kevin-owyang
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Some new ideas I'm experimenting with... what do you think?
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10 Secrets to Crowdfunding Success from Indiegogo...
Inidiegogo ran a cool webinar on successful CrowdFunding.  And it had some great tips for entrepreneurs and filmmakers, even thought  it was targeted to non-profits looking to raise money for #GivingTuesday.  

Here's 10 MUST DO's:
1. A pitch video helps you raise 4x more.
2. Keep your pitch video under 3 minutes.  
3. Your pitch video SHOULD: a) stick to who, what, when, where, why, how b) include a call to action, and c) express gratitude
4. Your pitch TEXT should a) include photo of your product/service b) be optimized to use real estate above the fold c) have infographics and stats.  The more you tell, the more you sell!
5. People expect perks for their support!
6. Structure your outreach in layers.  Define your Inner Circle: family, friends, and other passionate supporters.   Define your funding GOAL such that your Inner Circle will fund 30% of the goal in the first 48 hours.  Only once you reach 30%, blast your campaign to everyone else.
7. Setting a high goal DOES NOT EQUATE to success! Stick with the 30% rule (above).  
8. Email brings 20% more funding than any other source.
9. 22% of funding comes through social media. BUT if you don't have a community on social media, don't promote there.
10. Campaigns with updates raise 286% more funds.  Update 2-3 times per week.  What do you update them on?  New perks, ask for feedback, create competition.  But NEVER spam!

Watch the full webinar here https://vimeo.com/108388769 
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When I entered Seattle's 48 Hour Film Project this year, we came together not having worked together on a project like this before.   One of our main concerns, from the start, was quickly creating a compelling story.  And we wanted to avoid the film-race nightmares that so many of us have endured... things like writers not agreeing, one personality dominating and not letting the creativity of the group flourish, writers coming up with something that only sounds good to themselves but really is crap, etc.  

So I spent time over wines and beers with the writing team, and we came up with 7 ground rules (since then I've made it 8),  one week before the 48 Hours even began.    So what were our rules for writing a successful 48 Hour Film Project?

1. Use a simple plot (i.e. easily explained in one sentence)
2. In the first 30 seconds, present a mystery (i.e. a question, an unsettled situation, a challenge, etc.)
3. Make sure your mystery involves conflict.
4. Have a logical yet pleasantly unexpected ending.
5. Shoot for 3 pages of dialog, but have no more than  4 (i.e. leave time for visual storytelling)
6. If trying to be comedic, rely on situations and actions NOT dialog.
7. Have 3+ facts about each character's backstory that motivates how they behave in relation to the other characters and situations (i.e.  to provide motivation for actors and depth to dialog)
8. Move the story quickly and trust the audience to keep up (i.e. endeavor for visual clues to reduce dialog-heavy exposition)

Did it work?  I'll tell you this much, in an event known for sleepless nights and missed deadlines, we got ahead of schedule, spent some time sunning on the deck, and turned in a smashing film!   

Like any set of "rules", they're meant to be broken.  So if you have an all star cast of improv actors who worked together before, you can toss #6.    What will you toss? What will you add?

Finally, my overarching rule is to have one goal: to create an experience that everyone will want to do again, without question.   If that meant we're successful, that cool.  But most important is to make sure we can do something even better next time, for the 48 or for something else.  What do you think?

btw - if you're curious, this is the film we created for the 2014 Seattle 48 Hour Film Festival. http://avolusis.com/planned-obsolescence  
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If you've ever made a creative work, then you know that feeling once you finish.... the second guessing & self-criticism about how things could have been done better.  

But slowly you realize how much others spend to make the good stuff. And you see, that what you did is really quite good for what you spent. 

I love this trailer, because it's about the Tetons, a place close to my heart https://vimeo.com/84815694

Here's how much they're budgeting for a 5 minute film:

Original score: $6,000/film
Color correction: $5,000/5-min. film 
Sound mastering: $2,000/5-min. film  

We did "mooo" for under $2,000 for a 10 minute film, less than 10% of their budget.   And we also had actors.

We learned a lot in "mooo" (http://speetzfire.com./mooo ).  How to write better, shoot better, and create a better overall experience.   But most importantly, I'm happy with our team did.
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Every geek needs these words to get ahead.
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There are 766 film projects on Kickstarter.  But why donate to a independent film  (indiefilm) maker? And why does independent indiefilm matter? 

Fresh new shows that surprise and entertain don't sprout from nowhere and land on HBO. They get invented by writers, filmmakers, and actors harvesting a new wave of creativity. Indiefilm is where edgy stories get tested with new ways to tell them. It's where the chemistry of great new shows gets formulated.

In the 80's & 90's Seattle was Hollywood North.  But today, money for video flows to Los Angeles producers.  That's rough on Seattle indie filmmakers, who survive by doing side work in advertising and corporate video (source: Office of Film & Music).   Seattle has the talent, but not enough to meet demand. 

Funding indiefilms helps Seattle showcase its creativity, invites talent to come flourish in its vibrant indiefilm scene, helps Seattle meet the demands of advertisers, and provides more side work for Seattle's writers, actors, & filmmakers.  Your donation is a hand-up, not a handout, for creative people who collaborate on indiefilm projects on Kickstarter. 
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Just launched my first kickstarter... and would love the constructive criticism... we took a lot of risks on the video =)
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Hey +Ken Winnick , sharing a post on google+ is very much like how you share on facebook... you can get the link to the post by clicking on the date/time of the post (see yellow in photo) hope that helps!
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