Robots teach us about being human

I saw Chappie last weekend, which despite a lot of the negative reviews I found a pretty solid “mainstream” movie. It was flawed, and absolutely fell prey to normal big budget rocket, robot, and explosion juvenile male beats, but still, a movie about consciousness! – and not only that, a movie about the development of consciousness!

Noticing how much I was enjoying that aspect of the film, it really dawned on me how awesome and important robots are as a storytelling device in this moment in time, as they work as brilliant cinematic and narrative devices to teaching 2 incredibly cool concepts:

  1. Consciousness develops over time
  2. Consciousness is more than your body

There’s something magical about being robots being used as proxies to demonstrate and teach these two radically human things, in some ways more effectively than in stories with actual humans.

Consciousness develops over time

Piaget, Graves, Kegan, Stein, Maslow, Gilligan, Wilber (a personal favorite) – there has been, and continues to be an abundance of writing and research around the idea that consciousness itself is an evolving process and that it grows more complex and with a greater capacity for perspective taking over time.

Intuitively, I think most of us think of this as particularly being true when it comes to children. A child comes into the world non verbal, fused with the mother, and then over time an identity begins to emerge – via language, speech, writing, and a capacity to understand it’s own identity. Show a child a magic trick at 5 and it really IS magic. Show them again at a later age and while they might not know how it’s done, they do know it’s a trick.

The thing is, consciousness CONTINUES to evolve past childhood, all the way through adult life. While the research isn’t exactly clear what causes continued development into adulthood (environment, personal growth, tragedy, all of the above, etc) – the above researchers and writers can make a pretty damn good case that it DOES happen.

What’s this got to do with robots and movies? Well, one of the KEY ingredients in the evolution of consciousness is TIME, and time is a tricky thing to show onscreen. For me, part of what made Boyhood so magical and unique was the actual time that went into making it – a movie that is almost entirely about the evolving self of the lead character, Mason.

The thing is, just that slice of life took 12 years to make! The alternative onscreen is often using different actors, age enhancing makeup, etc, – which can definitely work but usually end up feeling a bit cheesy or inconsistent to me.

Enter the Robots

Now, here’s what makes robots such a great storytelling device for demonstrating the evolution of consciousness:

  1. Their “bodies” don’t need to age the same way people’s do – no makeup/actor swapping/12 years needed
  2. They can evolve faster than human in more compressed cinematic time

Not having to show a robot age, or worry about how it’s “externals” have changed allows the story to really focus on and highlight the internal changes.

Chappie, Johnny Five of Short Circuit, Frankenstein (an organic robot I’d argue), the T-100 in T2: Judgement Day, Data from Star Trek - One of the great pleasures of any story involving the birth of an “artificially created” consciousness is getting to see it LEARN on screen on in the pages of a story. It’s not the outsides that are changing, but the insides. Learning to become “more human”, learning to development an independent sense of identity – this is the great fun of experiencing stories about artificial intelligence.

For cinema specifically, AI/Robots work REALLY well for showing “learning” and growth because of how fast they can do it – a story can takes place over mere DAYS yet we can see an AI go from infantile to adolescent to adulthood in its consciousness, as is the case in Chappie. So the benefits are two fold – same body, and faster learning – both of which make it easier to tell a story onscreen.

Consciousness is more than your body

The concept of the soul is nothing new, and something I could argue most people in modern culture are aware of well before adolescence. However, it gets sticky and confusing (partly because we don’t actually know) how consciousness and the soul work. That said, there is an entire history of data across all major lineages of spiritual practice that pretty cross culturally and universally agree – there is something to “us” that exists beyond our bodies, and beyond our small concepts of self. In humans our interiors and exteriors co-evolve at the same time – but again with robots we can drop the exterior part and just focus on the interiors. When we can take the “exterior” doesn’t matter part for granted, suddenly it becomes much easier in stories to explore the how the “isness” of a character isn’t from their body, but from their consciousness – and in the robotic world that consciousness can move from body to body in a much simpler to understand fashion.

While this idea of soul/consciousness is probably nothing new to long term or serious practitioners, I think it’s just awesome to see it being explored in mainstream tales like Chappie – and for the right person possibly not exposed to it in their own life – what a groundbreaking concept!

We Are the Robots

Ironically, what’s so great about writing about ROBOTS is that it’s really just an opportunity to write about our humanness – which I’d argue is really the root of all great science fiction.

My life has personally been transformed and deepened from learning about the development of consciousness – and thus it’s something I’m totally committed to expressing in the work I put out in the world. Robots, and the exploration of artificial intelligence, are two of the key ways in which those concepts are currently descending into and manifesting in current culture – so fellow writers, please keep birthing new Chappie’s into the world!


5 Years in LA

5 years ago today I rolled into Los Angeles in the mighty Truckzilla. A full life in Boulder in my rear view mirror, a fuller life in LA ahead of me on the horizon. I was resistant to moving here for a long time, partially because I’d been spoiled by the idyllic little paradises of Santa Cruz and Boulder (and hate driving), and partially because I knew that in this town, I’d have no excuses left.

Everything I want to do, everything I want to become, it’s here in LA. Walking over the stars in hollywood on a misty night last November, I remember falling in love with all of the people around me. Bros, skaters, plastics, hipsters, film geeks, burnouts, nerds like me, “these are my people” I thought. I’m not really hippie, but not really mainstream. I’m LA. It’s a mad dirty city infused with mountains and open space. It shouldn’t work, but it generally does.

It’s the most diverse town I’ve ever lived in – there’s is absolutely no “right” way to live here. It’s also the most challenging town I’ve ever lived in. Anything is possible here, but next to nothing “just happens” here. Serendipity here is a result of commitment. More than anywhere else I’ve lived, it requires strong intention to do anything, meet with friends for a drink, break into the business, going for a hike, whatever. That same energy, however, it also what makes it a town of dreamers. So many folks are going for “it”, whatever their it is: artist, healer, teacher, actor, musician, filmmaker. Not everyone will make it, but all are sure as hell trying.

It’s been a difficult transition since moving here. Nothing has happened as quickly as I’d have liked. I’m consistently feeling the places in myself where I still have so much growth to do. That said, 5 years in seeds are blossoming. Since moving here, I’ve finally made my first film I can call my own, stepped into a leadership position in the community dear to me, loved and been loved by another like I’d never been before, and become utterly clear on my purpose in life. While film will be the delivery format, my passion and purposes run deeper than that:

I’m here to help others feel more deeply while seeing new perspectives on themselves, our culture, and the universe.

Monday I deliver a very rough outline of my first real screenplay to my Men’s Group. My voice is emerging, and unsurprisingly all the things I find myself writing about are all the places of growth and gold in my own life. Writing, growing, and living are starting to feel one and the same for me.

I look forward to typing the words “it’s done” here by the end of this year. All it takes now is showing up, and having faith in the rest.

See you at the multiplex.


Favorite Films of 2014

2014 was an interesting year for the cinema. Ticket sales were the lowest they’ve been in years, so as usual folks are again predicting the death of cinema. Yet, at the same time, Warner Bros and Universal had fantastic years so take it all with a grain of salt. My hunch is we’ll see a ticket sales resurge in 2015 solely because of Avengers 2 and a the holiday timed release of a new Star Wars.

So, to continue my tradition from last year, here’s my favorite flicks of 2014:


I was smiling pretty much the entire time I watched this movie. Manages to do the seemingly impossible, transmitted both the experiences only possible in film, while also conveying the power and energy of live theater. Top tier acting all around, and an incredible production that strung together countless long takes so there’s only one real “cut” in the movie. Form and Function relentlessly support each other in this film, from casting, to the production style, to the music, etc. Didn’t love the ending, but enjoyed the ride along the way.

Under the Skin

The film I’m most excited to see again, definitely the most distinct experience I had in the cinema this year, and the one that most strongly put me in a state that stuck with me long after leaving the theater. Abstract, weird, and challenging, I love how much this film earned it’s last scenes from my point of view. A brilliant example of how a film’s structure, shooting style, and editing can all combine to transmit the state experience of the main character.


Linklater is one of my favorite directors, and the one most directly that has learned to use time itself as a character in his films. I’d been reading about this for years and it was probably my most anticipated movie of the year. A remarkable achievement that was filmed over 12 years. Some parts of it work better than others, but overall I found it remarkably affecting and incredibly restrained. Linklater keeps the story simple, and doesn’t stretch his characters beyond what’s developmentally appropriate for them at the time. A perfect prequel to the Before Series, you can roughly go straight from this right into Before Sunrise and just pretend Jesse is Mason a few years later. Love it.

Edge of Tomorrow

A terrible title that didn’t exactly do gangbusters at the box office, but one of the only summer movies that wasn’t purely a sequel. While adapted from a book, it was the closest thing to an original summer movie we had this year. Tom Cruise gets a lot of hate, and he may be a little wacky, but he sure shows up for his roles. Possibly the first movie about video games (though not adapted from a video game) that doesn’t suck, it’s the action version of Groundhog Day and I found it tremendously fun. If all summer movies were this great, we’d be in good shape. Absolutely genius editing, never lingering on a sequence too long and brilliantly cutting forward in “time” at all the right moments. A wonderful lesson in how “genius” is often just lots of practice.

Gone Girl

Didn’t read the book, but loved the movie. Finger is a great director working at the absolute top of his game. A wonderfully constructed, shot, performed, and directed movie. It’s easy to overlook how brilliantly the film manages to change our “sympathies” for various characters as the movie progresses. Another great merging of form and function, the film’s critique of how malleable public opinion can easily be controlled by mass media, the film itself does a brilliant job of manipulating our sympathies as an audience the same way. Great soundtrack by Trent Reznor too.

Honorable Mentions:

Life Itself

Heartbreaking documentary covering the last days of Roger Ebert’s life, and one that strongly conveys how deeply passionate about cinema and culture in general he was.


Wanted it to be my favorite movie of the year, but ended up just being too clunky. Loved what it was about, but not how it was about it. Some truly painful dialogue, and far too much theme being spoken aloud. However, when it worked, it was big bold filmmaking at it’s finest. The docking sequence alone is a thing of beauty to behold in IMAX, a perfect example of when the film was working and the action of the film was representative of theme: the fate of all life coming down to one simple connection / act of procreation. However, despite a few other really strong moments like that overall it felt simply too “clinical” for me.

La Dolce Vita

Old movie, but saw it on the big screen for the first time and was definitely one of my favorite cinema experiences of the year.


Not a movie I’m likely to ever watch again, and certainly not a movie that was super realistic, but no matter. This was a film so certain of it’s tone and authorship that I found it to just sizzle and sparkle on screen. Intense, dark, and fun.

Guardians of the Galaxy

As fresh a “comic book” movie as we’re likely to get for a while, I it was a nice light romp that blended star wars and Indiana Jones in just the right ways. Light popcorn fare about the ‘fate’ of the galaxy for sure, but I had a lot of fun watching it and appreciated it’s “earth jokes” a bunch.

Stuff I didn’t get to see that may placed…

Whiplash, The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything, American Sniper, Inherent Vice

Biggest Disappointments


A movie about the singularity and uploading human consciousness? Count me in! Except it didn’t work at all for me. Didn’t care about the characters, nothing made sense in the plot, and it looked like it was shot in New Mexico for tax credits. Bummer.


SHARE at Los Angeles Lift-Off Film Festival

Fantastic news!

Laurels LALift-Off International Film Festival has selected my short film SHARE to be part of their prestigious line up of true independent cinema at this years Los Angeles Lift-Off 2014! It’s the first project I’ve written and directed myself, and it’s incredibly exciting to finally be getting it out in front of audiences.

Selected out of 700+ global entrants, my film will screen at the prestigious Los Angeles Lift-Off Film Festival, an indie event held annually in Venice Beach, California on September 4th, 2014. The screening forms part of the wider Lift-Off International Film Festivals, which have live indie screenings in four transatlantic cities held quarterly throughout the year.
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Gender Swap by The Machine to Be Another

The Coming Age of Technodelics

Last week Facebook bought Oculus VR, the company that’s been developing what many think is finally going to be the headset that brings VR mainstream. Oculus was already in a pretty exciting place, having raised $2,437,429 on kickstarter in 2012 and having secured John Carmack of id software fame as CTO. Facebook’s acquisition means they basically have unlimited resources behind them now. On top of that, Sony recently joined in the VR circus by announcing their own Project Morpheus headset for the PS4. Nearly two decades after the first wave of VR entered mainstream culture, phase two has clearly begun. Continue reading


Everything has changed, absolutely nothing’s changed (Pearl Jam + Time = Magic)

Everything has changed, absolutely nothing’s changed

That’s not the correct line from Pearl Jam’s “Corduroy”, but for years I always thought it was and have settled on it being correct for me.

I actually don’t listen to Pearl Jam albums that much. During off season, months will usually pass in which I don’t put on a single record. In the back of my mind, I know how good they are and that they’ll always be there. So I start to take them for granted, and slowly start to forget. Continue reading

before midnight

Before Midnight (Cinema + Time = Magic)

I had the pleasure of seeing Before Midnight earlier this week and absolutely loved it. I was a bit late to the series, not seeing Before Sunrise until 2005 just as the sequel Before Sunset was being released. I quickly fell in love with the films (particularly the second one) and needless to say was eagerly anticipating the latest installment.

I’m happy to say that it did not disappoint, though it wasn’t quite what I had expected. I’ll spoil nothing after the amazing and utterly perfect cliffhanger that ended Before Sunset, which played off two of the greatest lines of dialogue ever uttered in film. Needless to say Celine and Jesse are both alive and we get the joy of again spending some time with them together, and the culmination of that time ties back in very moving ways to the two films that came before. While just a short slice of their lives, the film gives a perfect crystalization of where they’re each at and what’s been happening for them – I instantly felt like I knew exactly what the last 9 years had been like in their worlds. The perfect ebb and flow of their conversations that started in Before Sunrise and was perfected in Before Sunset continues in Midnight, as beat to beat there’s always what’s being said and what’s actually being felt, which rarely but occasionally do line up.

My screening was followed by a fantastic Q&A with co-writer and director Richard Linklater, who’s been one of my favorite filmmakers for quite some time. The most fascinating thing I learned from his discussion was that basically none of the entire trilogy involved improv. In fact, they rather slavishly worked from scripts down to the specific word and gesture, which is no small feat considering the amount of long takes and full conversations that make up the films.

What strikes me most about the series is how it’s actually very specific while being absolutely universal at the same time. Every line of dialogue is in some shape or fashion born from the life experiences of the writers or people they knew, which in my mind has a lot to do with why things often feel so real. Oddly enough, it’s the very specificity of the moments, and the real feelings of vulnerability, trust, love, doubt, and love they explore that end up creating situations utterly universal in how they portray the various up and downs of relationship and the passing of time and growing old. Continue reading


My new short film SHARE

Excited to share that my short film SHARE is live on Kickstarter! Really proud of the script and excited to make it happen!

Here’s how you can help:

  1. Donate! – No amount is too small and I will be forever grateful to you for helping to jumpstart my career to the next level
  2. Share the campaign on your social networks and anyone offline you think might find the project interesting
  3. I’m looking for any kind of PRESS I can get – so if you know anyone that blogs, podcasts, or writes please send them my way. No interview is too small and I’ll talk about the film, technology, crowdfunding, whatever!
  4. Stay tuned, every day or so throughout the campaign I’ll be posting a short interview I’ve done with various luminaries from my life asking them, Would You Share? at the film’s website:
AW Awards

Love Sex God: Awakening World & Spirit of Evolution

One of the projects I’ve been focusing a lot on the last 3 years has been Sebastian Siegel’s Love Sex God documentary series. I co-produced, edited, and shot the first installment, Awakening World. It’s lighthearted and thought provoking short documentary about some of life’s deepest questions: Love, intimacy, heaven, hell, and purpose. It’s been playing the festival circuit recently and been received quite well where it has shown, so much so we’re now crowdfunding the resources to make the 2nd film in the series, Spirit of Evolution.  Spirit of Evolution will cover religion, god, spirituality, and how our beliefs can often change and evolve over time.  Get a DVD copy of the first film by supporting the 2nd one below!

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The Hobbit: 24FPS vs 48FPS & Other Problems…

I saw The Hobbit this morning in 3D HFR in order to give Peter Jackson the benefit of the doubt and see it as he most intended it to be seen. Do I regret seeing it like that? No. Would I recommend it? No.

There’s a lot of problems with this film, only one of which is the HFR. Narratively, it’s a bit of a mess. I was wary when Peter Jackson announced his two films were becoming three. For LOTR, it made sense, three books, three movies! But to take the single book of the Hobbit and make it into three films? Absurd, I thought. And I was right. While Jackson is drawing on appendices and other writings of Tolkien to flesh out the three film arc, the simple problem remains that the material just isn’t really there, and not just lengthwise. The Hobbit is far more of a children’s book, and narratively the stakes just aren’t as high. Now, my biggest problem is how Jackson looks to be dealing with that. Instead of making a lighter hearted movie, he quickly attempts to start bringing in some of the stakes from the LOTR trilogy into this trilogy. It sort of works, but mostly doesn’t. The Hobbit just isn’t the same beast. Bilbo goes on his journey mostly by choice, and so he can have an adventure! Frodo, on the other hand, goes on his because there’s basically no one else that can do it! It’s against his will in fact, which is much more dramatic.  Trying to elevate the narrative of The Hobbit to the epic status of LOTR was a mistake.

Now, excessive problems aside, here’s the problem with the 3d and HFR in my mind. Off the bat, I’m neither a particularly against nor for 3d. Seeing AVATAR in 3D was one of my favorite cinematic experiences of all time, and I thoroughly enjoyed the 3D in Life of PI this year. But would I have been crushed if I hadn’t seen either movie like that? No, and the why of that has much to do with my feelings towards HFR.

In my mind the process of going to the movies is forgetting yourself, and identifying with the characters on screen. It’s a process of entering that world, not tjat world entering ours. The HFR 48 FPS of The Hobbit did not make it easier for me to go into middle earth. It felt more like middle earth coming into my life. The same applies to the 3d. If it’s failing to suck me “into” the world, it has become a barrier to me entering into the screen world. I felt that both the 3D and HFR in this case ended up being the latter: barriers to entry, never letting me forget that I was watching a movie. And without the forgetting, it’s much harder to be identifying.

That being said, I know my perspective is HEAVILY culturally influenced. EVERYONE that has grown up in the US since the advent of television has been culturally conditioned to associate 24FPS 35mm film with high quality, and 60i video to be television (more real in some senses). There’s nothing particularly special about 24 FPS other than it’s roughly the rate at which Persistence of Vision in the human eye works “well enough”.

So there’s a few things going on that make The Hobbit troublesome. First off, high frames rates immediately make us think of Soap Operas. The first hour of the Hobbit will be JARRING to you if you see it in HFR. The second hour and a half are much better, as Jackson has noted in interviews. Your brain will adjust to a great extent. But still, everything is BUTTERY smooth, which is just very different from the more dreamy motion of 24.

Now, on top of the 3D and HFR, there’s also the fact that these films were all shot 100% digital on RED Epic Cinema cameras. The LOTR, while in the end a digitally effects laden film, was still shot on traditional 35mm. The Hobbit has NONE of the subtle film grain of 35, and as good as RED Epics are, the highlights just look like terrible blown out video at 48 FPS.  Then on top of that all, to get 48 FPS the shutter angle of the camera has to be different, and shorter.  So there’s no blur on motion, the whole thing is like Saving Private Ryan which doesn’t benefit a FANTASY movie in my mind.  Fantasy isn’t supposed to be real, that’s why it’s fantasy.

So in the Hobbit we have CRYSTAL clear images moving with twice the smoothness of traditional film. There’s literally TWICE as much information coming into your eyeball every second, and the clarity of that information is sharp beyond 35mm, which in the end is the biggest problem.

While I have no facts to back it up, I’d be willing to bet that if you analyzed a human brain while it watches 24fps that it would be very different from one watching 48fps.  I think it’s because of the “just enough” nature of 24fps. Since there’s more blanks to be filled, I have a hunch that the brain actually has to do more “work” than when watching higher frame rates.  It’s more actively engaged even though film going is a passive process. During the action sequences, 48 FPS is actually too much information in my opinion. It’s a LOT of data to sort, so instead of my brain having to work harder, it just gets overwhelmed. Then, on top of that, there’s the 3d which is completely unnatural for the human eye (focusing on a single plane while tricking it into thinking there’s depth).  End result is that I never felt like I was in middle earth.

In summary, for me  the Hobbit in 3D HFR 48 attempts to bring the shire into my world, not me into the world of middle earth.  Go see it in 24fps non 3D.


Nikon D700 HDR

The Perfect Camera is Finally Coming! Things will NEVER be the same

Forget DSLRs. Forget RED. Forget Alexa. Forget IMAX. The perfect camera is finally coming: under $10k, 16 bit, 4:4:4, RAW, 18 stops of latitude, a larger than full frame sensor, light-field technology for perfect focus, and up to 1200 FPS of over-cranking. More perfect than film, in fact, it’s more perfect than the human EYE, the ultimate image capture and acquisition tool.

It’s revolutionary. It’s cinematic. It’s the great democratizer of an industry. And of course, it’s not yet real.

But it will be.

Link bait aside, it seems like everyday a new camera is announced and a bunch of people begin arguing online about how it is or isn’t perfect. That is all fine and great, I’m addicted to the whole process myself. I love seeing technology evolve. I love seeing film evolve. So what’s up with this bullshit post?

There’s no doubt that the day is coming when we will have image acquisition tools that really do capture everything perfectly.  True “raw” in the sense that focus, resolution, color, and fidelity will be so finely captured, and with such complete flexibility that never again will we miss another scene because focus was off, never again will we have to use generators and miles of rigging to light a scene, never again will we make sacrifices in acquisition at the cost of the story.

Like it or not, it’s coming.  Crews will get smaller and the technical barriers to capturing stunning imagery will disappear.  And even well before that we’ll be at the point of good enough: the mp3 of filming will emerge and serve 99% of our needs (hell, you could even argue we’re already there in some respects).

And it’s not just in film that’s it’s going to happen, but in many many industries and sectors.  The perfect photo realistic game engine.  The home television or VR glasses that render at resolutions greater than the human eye can see, the car that drives itself and never needs maintenance.  The industrial age is passing, and will continue to slowly taper off and ultimately change everything.

Art. The Economy.  The Environment.  No aspect of reality will be left untouched.  The disappearance of manufacturing jobs in the last decades was only the beginning and it’s going to get much worse, and frankly, that’s scary.  30 years ago if you invented the ultimate toy and everyone wanted it, you had to DO more work to make more of that thing.  No more.  Next weekend I could crank out the next great game on the iphone and that 30 hours of work can be instantly and forever replicated without me putting in another second of my time, energy, or anything physical. I don’t have to build more factories, ship more stuff, or hire more people.  1’s and 0’s are easy to replicate.  (an exaggeration but you get the point)

Yet, as with anything, it’ll be at a tradeoff.  For decades cinema’s barrier to entry has been huge: massive crews, expensive gear, time consuming post production.

Boom.  That’s all going away.  It’s going to be easier than ever, in the technical sense, to make movies.  And the second that external “things” cease to be the barrier to entry, INTERIOR “things” suddenly skyrocket in value. Creativity, Integrity, and more than ever the ability to tell compelling stories that reflect a diversity of values that folks connect with.

Seth Godin put all this a bit more succinctly in a post earlier today:

When everyone has access to the same tools

…then having a tool isn’t much of an advantage.

The industrial age, the age of scarcity, depended in part on the advantages that came with owning tools others didn’t own.

Time for a new advantage. It might be your network, the connections that trust you. And it might be your expertise. But most of all, I’m betting it’s your attitude.

This is obviously spot on for the film industry, and for any industry that involves technology or a scarcity of knowledge. Jobs that once existed because only a few people had access to certain physical means of production are going to just keep vanishing. Staples will begin printing 3d objects next year. Need a follow focus? Print it. It breaks? Go make another. There’s already a whole world of torrenting going on for 3d printing designs and plans.

The point is, gear, and the means of production for most art are going to be “good enough” and “cheap enough” that almost anyone will be able to create world class content VERY soon outside of the traditional structures and systems that have already been built up. Now obviously there will always be amateurs and pros, huge companies and underdogs, and billion dollar marketing budgets vs single youtube channels, but things are changing.

The Attention oriented network economy is upon us. In the perfect (and yes still unlikely in many ways) world outlined above, INTERIORS become infinitely more valuable than EXTERIORS. If me and every person with a bit of spare cash can suddenly have the means to create stunning audio or visual content, it ENTIRELY shifts the premium from the EXTERNAL STUFF, the gear and production tools, to the INTERNAL stuff: the values, creativity, and ability of a group to work together to make something beautiful.

The days of being an asshole that no one wants to work with just because you know how to use some super exclusive piece of gear, or own some ridiculously expensive piece of equipment are ending. Learning is getting easier. No matter what you know how to do, there’s going to be someone else out there that can probably do it better than you and for less money to boot. Being the type of healthy, integrated, and creative person that people WANT to work with: because you communicate well, work hard, and have values that people respond to and want more of is only going to become more and more important.

STORY becomes the complete and utter king again. And what is story other that the ability to share a meaningful expression of what it means to be human. How can your next action movie mesmerize me in a way that I’ve never been before? So far we’ve been relying visuals to show us things we’ve never seen before. But soon that won’t even be enough. It’s going to take more. A new perspective on the world, a completely authentic emotion, a layer of reality never before witnessed. Frankly, I’m excited. We’re getting really close to having figured out how to do the “form” part of my favorite arts (cinema and video games), and when that’s off the table the pivot to “content” is one I’m hoping I’m in the right time and place for.

I’ve personally struggled since moving to LA and trying to “break into” the film industry. Many times I’ve questioned my wisdom in not heading out here straight out of college and working my way up a production ladder. There’s a LOT of technical “stuff” I just don’t know how to do, and certainly not as well as others.

Lately, however, as I shift more into creation mode, I’m starting to appreciate the fact that I took my 20’s to go “figure myself out” and do work to grow up a bit as a human being. The more I step into writing and directing, the more I’m finding having even a modicum of understanding about how we as humans behave is a tremendously useful.

My podcast, blogging here, writing screenplays, shooting short scenes, building a self owned sustainable business: everything I’ve been doing this year has hopefully been helping to the lay the foundations for not having to worry about the forms or systems of creation, but simply getting to focus on creating content that audiences find compelling.  Which is great because once I get that perfect camera I’ll finally have all the tools I need to tell an awesome story!