Today, we bring you a veteran creative producer -- learning from his father who was a television executive back when the few networks reigned supreme, Lee Schneider has intense insights from his career in journalism, writing, documentary production, and entrepreneurship. You can find him at his Digital Fundraising School, and he's doing a GiveGetWin deal focused on key insights for creative producers on making high-quality content, building an audience, and earning a living from your art and passion.
How To Build An Audience, insights from Lee Schneider as told to Sebastian Marshall
I started in words even though I was writing for picture. I was a newspaper reporter and writer for TV shows… on TV, I wrote the introductions, intros, and outros.
I wrote for a newspaper in Texas and for A&E. This started teaching me the relationship between words and pictures. I went to writing for local television and Good Morning America. I learned how to write fast and how to write in a big noisy room, and how to write for picture. This is a key thing, the relationship between pictures and words. They get stronger as they relate, words and pictures, and sounds.
That led me to working for news magazines like Dateline NBC and a magazine for Fox, Frontpage. I was producing stories in the 8-10 minute range, and telling a story in that range of time is a very different animal than telling a story in 20 seconds like you would for a news broadcast. That led to longer form stuff; after Dateline NBC, I did Biography for A&E and started my own company doing hour-long documentaries for the Learning Channel, History Channel, and others.
I'm very excited by Miguel Hernandez's interview here -- it covers how he took a huge risk to kickstart his animation business, and how's kept his quality extremely high through systematization. Miguel is running a pretty exciting deal at GiveGetWin, "Document & Systematize Your Whole Business/Workflow" --
"On Conquering the World (the whole world)" by Miguel Hernandez, as told to Sebastian Marshall
I think a little is the makeup of who I am and how I grew up. My parents are awesome and I love them a lot but unfortunately they separated many years ago -- one of the reasons is because they're so different, and I picked stuff from both of them. My mother is a creative person, a painter her whole life, and a very spiritual person. My dad is a brilliant electrical engineer with an amazing analytical mind. They're like oil and water, they don't mix together (and that's why they're not together any more). But I got stuff from both of them. I picked up a lot of the creativity from my mother, and a lot of the square-headedness from my father.
It's allowed me to put it together to build a business that mixes both -- the creativity, and the ability to sit down and be very organized. It's a good combination for this type of business. We have to be very creative to tell compelling stories, and when I'm running the business, I need to be very detail-oriented.