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How to Build an Audience, With Lee Schneider

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.

Movies On My Mind.

On Where Pianos Roam

So I wait with suppressed impatience for some movies to open here in the Nashville area. Today, I went with my Mom to see the new movie "The Soloist" that opens in US theaters nationwide this weekend. Here's the preview .  .  . [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5GvsB3NfD0] I enjoyed this movie tremendously.  In fact, I think any musician in particular would enjoy this film.  My second favorite instrument happens to be the cello, and there's plenty of its gorgeous resonance to enjoy in this film.   Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx both do outstanding work in it.    In an artistic sense, this movie is sonically and visually beautiful, but I have to say that I was a little confused as to its intent. It seemed as if it was torn between being social commentary for homelessness, being a character study of a brilliant musician, or being a film about friendship.  What I often find when there's too much being said is that very little winds up being understood.  Perhaps if a more distinct and singular intent was pursued, this would have been a more solid film, but since this film is based on true life, perhaps the truth was just as conflicted and complicated to begin with. In any case, this film is worth seeing just for the pure artfulness of it all.  The music, cinematography, and acting are truly first-rate. Now, I'd like to show previews of movies I hope to see in the near future. First off, I admit to really really really wanting to see what will probably be this summer's biggest blockbuster film: Transformers 2:  Revenge of the Fallen (!!!) Ahhh Yeah!!  I am a very dorky Transformer fan.  It's the coolest movie franchise EVER!!!!  Here's the newest preview that was just released: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmgbbGJW6ZE] I can't wait!!!!  I have a lovely little collection of Transformer toys that I have yet to brag/blog about.  This is coming soon.  Needless to say, I am itching for a little bit of revenge. Finally, this last film that I want to mention is currently enjoying a limited release in select US cities.  It's not here in Nashville right now, but I sure as heck hope it gets here.  It's rottentomatoe rating is currently at 87% percent and rising.  This is unusually high for any film, let alone a foreign film about two little Korean girls .  .  . Here is the preview for a little film called "Treeless Mountain": [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9ermzhKx54] The reviews for this one are off the charts.  It paints a heartbreaking picture of child abandonment and resilience.  I HAVE TO SEE THIS FILM!! These movies are on my mind. I'd like to watch more films in theaters this year, but hopefully, only the good ones. We'll see. -gordo

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