Film Courage: In your first book ‘Make Your Story Really Stinkin’ Big’ you have a Chapter 10: Some Sage Advice, sort of the ending chapter. What’s some sage advice you can share [now] from the book?
Houston Howard, Author/Lead Instructor of Transmedia Design: So the biggest thing I would tell people that are either trying to break in or already in and they’re trying to figure out how to stay afloat is to think outside the paradigm, outside of the path that we’re all given the same door that everybody’s supposed to go through, the same way that we’re supposed to do things, start thinking outside those boxes because when you can think outside those boxes, there is more opportunities than you realize to actually differentiate yourself in the marketplace and continue to do the thing you love the most which is tell stories and which is to create things that people can participate in and be affected by.
And so for me, it’s the mindset of having a mindset of disruption, having a mindset of innovation, having a mindset of an entrepreneur who builds a consumer brand rather than how a producer builds an entertainment brand.
If anybody builds an entertainment brand the way an entrepreneur builds a consumer brand, you build it differently because there’s different principles at play. But for some reason people live in this little Hollywood and they think free market economics doesn’t impact anything. We’re just all about story and as long as I just write good scripts, then I’m good. And sadly for 95% of writers out here, even working writers, just being great at your individual craft isn’t enough and unless you’re are like one of the top A-list, Number One in the town or the top ten writers in the town. Everybody is trying to figure out how do I stop going from paycheck-to-paycheck. Because even if you’re like A-list, you’re still going paycheck-to-paycheck. There’s all those periods of uncertainty, there’s always periods where the new up-and-comers are in there and things start to wind down a little bit, you’ve got to get in there and hustle. There may be big-paychecks-to-big-paychecks, but there’s the stress and the pressure that is just around this industry that if you don’t start thinking out of the paradigm, it will wear you down after awhile.
And so the biggest advice I could get is to just get out there and look at all the tools that you have at your disposal and figure out how to use all of them in the best way. How to look at models that have been there for a 100 years and say how do I…(Watch the video on Youtube here).
Special thanks to The LA Film School for allowing us to film this video interview on their campus.
BUY THE BOOK – MAKE YOUR STORY REALLY STINKIN’ BIG
BUY THE BOOK – YOU’RE GONNA NEED A BIGGER STORY
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