How to succeed in the media business (and in life!)

This is great advice for those in the creative and media business world. From award-winning, advertising writer David Morgenstern:

1) Return every call and e-mail quickly. Show up on time, even if you’re the only one there. Dress like you deserve your salary. Believe me, that will put you ahead of a surprising number of people.

2) Write thank-you notes. Remember birthdays. Remember the assistants, and the secretaries, the coordinators, and the mailroom folks. This is a people business. And people never forget how they are treated.

3) Every day, you are placing a brick in the tower of your reputation. Remember, everything you do, big and small, either adds or subtracts from your reputation.

4) Watch what you say in elevators, in restrooms, on airplanes and in casual conversation. She could be the client’s wife. He could be the boss’s brother. She could be your competitor’s accountant.

5) Don’t care who solves it. Just get it solved.

6) Learn how to tell a story: Every client presentation, every report, every commercial-it’s all about stories. Stories are how human beings make sense of the world. If you want to succeed in this business, be able to tell stories in ways that capture your audience’s attention.

7) When emotions are running high, make sure yours are running low. Life is unfair, so learn to lose with dignity. And, learn to win with dignity. That means no excuses. No crybabies. No bragging. No trashing. Learn how to move on.

8) Proofread. Spell-check.

9) Good enough, isn’t. There is going to be someone out there who will sleep less and work harder, will give up their weekend, and give it one more shot. That is the person that I bet on to win.

10) Think different. Be brave. The world is full of people with conventional ideas who go along with the crowd. It’s the mavericks and the dreamers who move things forward. When you hear an idea that makes you nervous, makes you sweat, occasionally gather your courage, take a stand, take a risk, suck it up and go out on a limb. Hey, you might even be right.


Checking out Wistia for embedded videos in blogs

I stumbled across this new video sharing site called Wistia, and I’m curious to see what makes them different.  I already abandoned YouTube earlier this year, and Vimeo has been a great tool to switch to.  I’m curious if Wistia has any better features that what I’m used to now.

Below is an embedded video I did.  Going to see what the difference is.

I’ll update this post with some feedback after checking it out.

UPDATE: My first reaction is, “Dang, it’s expensive.”  Here’s how Vimeo and Wistia compare:

  • Vimeo has a free basic account and a “Pro” paid account $10 per month.
  • Wistia doesn’t have a free account, and their basic account is $40 per month.

At those prices, Wistia’s basic account needs to be 400% better than Vimeo’s Pro account (and infinitely better than Vimeo’s basic account).

Wistia feels a bit more like a service for companies and site designers, not a video sharing services for the masses, especially for video hobbyists.


This is our second corporate video shot with the Canon 7D. It was for Embrace Home Loans. We shot it in Aberdeen, Mississippi.

I’m very pleased with this camera. Each shoot helps me grow more comfortable with the camera, and how it works in the field.


  • Raw footage
  • Not colored
  • No audio clean or mix yet

Production Details:

  • Canon 7D
  • Lenses 50mm f1.4, 85mm f1.8, Tamron 17-50 f2.8
  • Audio Tascam DR-100
  • Edited in Final Cut (ProRes LT)

We finally finished our first corporate video using the Canon 7D as our high definition acquisition camera. I’m really impressed at what this camera can do. It’s phenomenal in low light, and the depth of field is sick! I’m really please with this camera, and what it can do.

There are a few quirks you have to work through, compared to my standard issue HVX-200, like manual exposure settings, audio sync, no zebras, transcoding to ProRes LT, and other little things. But once the workflow is laid out and practiced a few times, you can do some amazing things with this camera.

The lens that comes with the camera is okay, not too fast (f/4 I think). I upgraded to some nicer, faster lenses:

  • Canon 50mm, f/1.4
  • Canon 85mm, f/1.8
  • Tamron 17-50mm, f/2.8

These lenses are very fast, and can shoot in really low light. Beautiful stuff!

Here’s our first of three customer videos for Embrace Home Loans that we shot in Racine, Wisconsin:


We’re days away from posting our first Canon 7D corporate piece.  I’m pretty excited about it.  It has definitely been an amazing experience. I’ve already learned so much, even on our second shoot.

This new generation of DSLR cameras with HD video are definitely a game-changer for producers, just like DV was a few years ago.

I came across another stunningly beautiful video shot on the 7D.  Great stuff.