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14:33

MediaStorm’s Guide to Getting Good

Here’s the secret to getting good: practice, a lot.

It’s that simple and that difficult.

People tell me they want to produce work like MediaStorm. You can. Yes, we are fortunate to work with many incredibly talented photographers. But the storytelling techniques we use in our work are not revolutionary. They’re the same techniques described by Aristotle in his Poetics, 2000 years ago. What’s different is that we work our stories. We watch and re-watch literally dozens of times, replacing soundbites, removing the inauthentic, rearranging, restructuring, often for weeks at a time. Sometimes it feels endless but in the end, it works.

And it can for you, too.

When I produced Driftless by Danny Wilcox Frazier I worked more hours than I thought I could. But I did. And in the end, I became a better editor for it. And the same applies to you, if you put in the hours.

Malcom Gladwell once famously proclaimed that you need 10,000 hours of practice to become a superstar.

Start. Now.

I want to compose my own music. I’m not a musician. A teacher, in fact, once told me I had no rhythm. But I’ve been taking piano for the last six years with that goal in mind. I don’t know if I’ll get there but I know for sure that I won’t if I don’t try. So I practice every morning for twenty-minutes.

Regardless of your discipline, the rule remains: practice, a lot.

In 1986, I bought a copy of Talking Heads Stop Making Sense. As much as the music, what stuck with me all these years were the words that surrounded the CD insert like a frame. They said, and I’m paraphrasing, “If you are an artist it is work. If you are a painter it is work. If you are a writer it is work.”

If you are a multimedia producer it is work.

Sometimes I think that we forget that work does not have to be drudgery. If you love what you do, then work can be an act of love.

All right, enough preaching. Go practice.

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