Coffee with Creatives: Learn By Doing

chrisToday’s episode of Coffee with Creatives is with Writer/Director Chris Bell. Here at mdibiasio.com, we really like Writer/Directors named Bell.

Chris is a talented and hard-working filmmaker who I met on Twitter. In this episode, we talk at length about how important it is as a creative to:

  • Have a sense of purpose
  • Build a body of work
  • Treat your artistic endeavor as an inevitability
  • Stay true to your path, even when facing challenging odds

Chris’s first film, The Winds That Scatter, recently won Best International No Budget Feature Film at the Korea Indie and Expat Film Festival. It has also played at the Madrid International Film Festival and at the Northside Film Festival, where it premiered. You can find the film on Facebook here, and/or follow Chris on Twitter.

This episode is also available on iTunes.

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Coffee with Creatives: This is Who I Am

To learn more about Dior's work,  check out her site.

This bonus episode of Coffee with Creatives is with Dior Vargas, a mental health activist who I met on Twitter after stumbling upon the Kickstarter campaign for her People of Color and Mental Illness Photo Project.

As supporters of The Videoblogs already know, mental health is an important topic to me and to Rebecca. We reached out to Dior to offer some help with her project, and at the same time I asked her to come on the show.

The result was an inspiring (but realistic) talk on mental health in America, nationally, but also specifically in regards to communities that continue to be underrepresented in the media in regards to this topic.

Other aspects of the discussion include:

  • The universality of daily struggle
  • How to get help, if you’re suffering
  • Finding some measure of peace, by sourcing out how you can contribute to the world in a way that is also fulfilling to you
  • The importance of empathy in the fight for progress of all sorts
  • How people who aren’t suffering from mental illness can still help contribute to de-stigmatization and/or help their loved ones cope and thrive

Please note that we do also talk about suicide during this episode.

Thanks for listening. If you support Dior’s mission, I would encourage you to join Rebecca and me in supporting her campaign. If and when it’s over, you can also follow her on Twitter, or connect with her on Facebook, to keep up on how you might help in the future.

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Coffee With Creatives: Podcast Update!

Thanks for everyone who has “tuned in” to the Coffee with Creatives podcast so far. It’s been a lot of work putting episodes together but I’m having fun, the show seems to be growing, and I have some new bonus episodes and some exciting guests lined up for the coming weeks.

On a somewhat related note, I shot a quick video this morning with an important update:

Thanks for watching! Do you feel moved? If so, please head over here ASAP!

Coffee with Creatives is a bi-monthly podcast wherein I interview fellow creatives about their life and their work.

The goal is to engage in a personal, direct way, about practices, resources, and workflows that have helped them produce quality work (and to keep producing it). New episodes go live every other Thursday.

Multiverse Returns to Katra Film Series!

I'd like to tell you more about the film, but I'm drawing a blank.

I’d like to tell you more about the film, but I’m drawing a blank.

Rebecca and I are pleased to announce that Multiverse has been passed through to the second round of the 2015 Katra Film Series in NYC.

We’ll be screening the film again, at Katra, on the evening of 7/18. Head on over to Katra’s Facebook page for more info on the films playing and how to attend.

I plan to be there, and Rebecca will be in attendance as well. If you haven’t yet watched our creepy little film on a big screen, with a room full of other people — I recommend swinging by and trying the experience out. It’s uncomfortable! In a revealing way. I think.

Other great reasons for attending include:

  • To support your favorite neighborhood indie filmmakers (we’re now eligible to move on to the final round in January)
  • To watch other great shorts (films, not tiny pants)
  • We can high-five in person, or clink beer bottles, or share some hummus. They have hummus.

Hope to see you there! Let us know here, or on Facebook or Twitter, if you’re coming!

Coffee with Creatives: Be Who You Are

Comedian/Actor/Singer Rick Younger brings the funny (and some fake opera) to Coffee with Creatives.

Comedian/Actor/Singer Rick Younger brings the funny (and some fake opera) to Coffee with Creatives.

As he explains in this latest episode of Coffee With Creatives, Rick Younger identifies first and foremost as a Comedian.

But you may have also seen him in commercials, on The Today Show (as a panelist on Guys Tell All), or on stage in New York City — acting, telling stories, or singing.

Among other topics, Rick and I talked:

  • The importance of finding your own path and voice as a creative
  • The phone call from Tracy Morgan than helped Rick gain new insights into his writing and his act
  • How he and his wife have begun to share their experiences, as an interracial couple, to foster more dialogue (through art) about race
  • The awesomeness of working on a film set with the likes of Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton

I wanted to get this episode out a little earlier than planned, so that listeners in and around the NYC area, who dig what Rick has to say, have time to check out his upcoming show (aptly named The Rick Younger Show) on Friday, July 10th. I plan on being there, so join me and we’ll laugh at Rick and then later we can high-five.

Thanks to everyone who has been listening to the podcast so far. It’s been a fun and rewarding new enterprise. As a reminder, if you’re enjoying the show and want to show your support, you can become a monthly supporter on Patreon, can make a one-time donation via PayPal, or — and this is the best way — you can share a link to this page (or to your episode(s) of choice) via iTunes.

Until next time, Coffee Heads.

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Just Make Films: Coffee with Creatives “Bonus” Episode

diane3

I scare the quotes around “bonus” (did it again!) because my talk with Sundance award-winning filmmaker Diane Bell has already been released in text form.

I decided to re-release it as an extra podcast episode in case anyone missed it the first time around, wants to revisit some of Diane’s great advice, and/or feels like hearing my side of the conversation.

As I said when I published the text interview — I think Diane is great. If you haven’t yet listened to what she has to say, particularly about focusing on process (as opposed to results) and about not waiting around for permission or (certain forms of) outside validation to make films (or any art) — I would recommend you do so.

Thanks to everyone listening! If you’re getting something out of the interviews, please consider contributing to my Patreon campaign for the podcast.

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What I Liked This Week: Hustler Edition

No. Not the nudie mag. Not even the iconic film.

This week, I’m highlighting three resources I stumbled upon, or sought out, that helped me hustle. As in work. Hard. Quickly. Efficiently.

Fractured Atlas Space Finder

It took me all of five minutes to find a space and book it. That's how it should go.

It took me all of five minutes to find a space and book it. That’s how it should go.

I did not know this existed. It’s fantastic. From Fractured Atlas:

For artists, the process of finding work space can be frustrating and inefficient. Meanwhile, venues have limited resources to spend finding new renters. Earned revenue is critical for creative venues yet many rental spaces are tragically underutilized. Through the SpaceFinder program, Fractured Atlas is increasing visibility of rental options, helping artists find the space they need, and helping venues promote and rent their spaces.

What happened was that I needed a space to record my Coffee with Creatives interview with Rick Younger (Coming Soon).

When I meet people in the city, especially when they’re doing something kind like meeting me to talk, I like to try to find a place or a space that’s easily accessible to them and either halfway between where we’re both going afterwards or at least fairly close. This time around, I was in a bit of a rush to find a spot, and didn’t know of too many spaces, off-hand, that would be quiet enough to record a podcast. The Space Finder allowed me to find something, quickly. It’s a great resource and I appreciate that it exists.

Filmmakers, actors, performers should check it out.

A Different Kind of Meditation: An Analysis of Word of Mouth (WOM) Marketing

Up is down and down is up.

WOM starts with doing something different.

I believe I stumbled upon Lincoln Murphy’s great Medium piece on WOM via GrowthHackers.

Anyone interested in authentically building an audience, and then smartly and honestly growing that audience, would do well to read it. Murphy specializes in Software as a Service (SaaS) but rightly points out that his observations apply universally to most companies.

I’d take that further, and hitch it up to the “Filmmaker as Entrepreneur” argument, to include anyone whose work would and does benefit from WOM.

The biggest take-away, in my opinion — WOM starts with a great product. From there, it’s about talking to your audience, and asking them what they like and want. It’s about participating in a relationship — not simply selling.

I shared the post with Seed and Spark’s #FilmCurious crew, and people seemed to agree with me that all this is relevant to what we do. For me, that seems to prove Murphy’s point.

Speaking of the #FilmCurious…

Click the image to read a transcript of the chat

Click the image to read a transcript of the chat

This conversation couldn’t have been more appropriate for me. First, contributing towards a new and more equitable business model for indie film is my greatest obsession after contributing towards a greater dialogue about empathy and equality (through storytelling). In addition to that, after bringing The Videoblogs to Big Vision Empty Wallet’s (BVEW) 2015 Distribution Lab — I and the #VideoblogsFilm team are now working hard to iterate our business plan, finish the film, and get it out into the world.

Chat guests Jon Reiss and Adam Leipzig were very helpful, and gave a lot of great advice during the chat. As usual, the #FilmCurious crew also brought their own juice to the discussion. I brought fruit punch. It may have been spiked.

Good read. Get on it.

And have a good week.

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