Networking observations from a Creative – Part 1

January 31st, 2017

Networking observations from a Creative – Part 1

Why do we engage in social networking? Why do we continue to engage in social networking?

I guess my answer is another question. Is it worth it?

I am a composer, scriptwriter and filmmaker so I’ll be looking at the topic through a creative eye. I think it’s important to make this distinction as some social networking sites have a bias toward buyers and sellers of goods and services that would not be considered creative in any way. Oh, like pork rinds, mints for hotel pillows and musical toilet roll holders to name but a few.

Let me begin at the beginning. A number of years ago, the person who designed my website and business brand strongly suggested I get busy with social networking. Believing then and believing even more so today, I blew a “ social media is not social but anti-social “ raspberry her way. I held out for a few years and then relented to set-up a facebook page and a myspace account. Today, I have two business facebook pages, two business twitter accounts, linkedin, stage 32 and many more.

Yes, I caved under the social media schoolyard bully and relinquished all my lunch money.

So why do I do it and is it worth it?

In my opinion, the purpose of social networking is:

1-to connect with others and cultivate relationships

2-to promote your brand and creative projects you’re involved with

3-to offer help to said connections

You’ll notice that I never said, “ to get work “. I teach part-time at VFS and I always remind my students that connecting and cultivating relationships is way more important than flogging your demo reel around or trying to get rid of all your business cards in one go. Being solicited for a gig at a social occasion or on a networking site is way offside and an immediate yellow card. If, on the other hand, you make an effort to genuinely get to know me and you stay in touch – then I ‘m more apt to voluntarily set something up for you. Something I enjoy doing and have done many times.

So if you just want to social network to get work and make money, well good for you! Good for you, you greedy callous bastard sitting all by yourself on Saturday night, counting your mounds of filthy money and watching Housewives of Vancouver with your Mum! ( can you tell I’ve been reading John Cleese’s auto biography? )

So, back to 1,2,3.

Case Study #1 Stage 32

Just before the end of the year I embarked on a social networking experiment. I decided to re-connect with all the Directors and Producers that were already connections on Stage 32. This site is exclusively for creative’s in film and theatre and therefore you would think – right up my alley.

Now after my Monty Pythonesque rant about cold calling and connecting, let me make things perfectly clear. I did not mass email my contacts but sent them a personalized email asking them a specific question about a project they worked on or something new. Here’s an example:

Hi God:

Hope all is well with you.

I’m embarking on a quest to utilize stage 32 more often as the networking site it was designed for and to keep in touch with those creative’s, like you, who have kindly connected with me.

I see you’re creating the earth in 7 days, how’s it going?

Cheers,

Chris.

 

Now I ask you, who doesn’t like to be asked about a current project? Doesn’t it feel great? And doesn’t it make you glad that you took the time to sign up to the site and create a profile? Yes! Yes! And Yes!

So believe it or not, I sent a personalized email to 58 connections. Of that 58 only 15 replied making my success rate a whopping 8.7%. Of course, I don’t expect 58 people to reply to my invitation to re-connect. I’m sure some of them have very good excuses – stranded on Mt. Everest, hands cut off in horrible tennis accident, rather rough alien probing and so on. But to the 43 people who didn’t respond, I say this, “ what the hell are you doing on Stage 32? “ It’s not POF, I’m not going to ask you how recent your photos are or send you pictures of me, shirtless, in front of my monster truck showing off my skull tattoo. It’s a social networking site! Key word – Social! I’ve done all the work for you – you just have to respond and tell me about what you’re working on. Aren’t you excited about what you’re working on or doing? Don’t you think I might be able to help you with advice or connections or something else?

And for the 15 people who did respond and who, I might add, responded excitedly – thank you. We all had a jolly good chat and a catch up and I felt very inspired learning about what everyone was up to.

In no way am I slagging Stage 32. I quite like the site and have made some great connections and gone to some of the Vancouver meet-ups. And as I mentioned, it’s geared toward film and theatre. It also has a great forum which they call the lounge where you can ask for advice or post a relevant online article on just about anything in the film making process. I’ve used it many times and found it quite helpful. Unfortunately, there are a few people on the site who use the lounge as a tool for embellishing the size of their dicks, hijacking someone’s posting of a legitimate question and veering off topic just to say, “ look at me. Mum, Mum look at me – aren’t I clever? “

-end of part one. Please turn tape over for part 2 and press play. –

Composer Reel

January 16th, 2017

Chris Hind Composer Reel 2017
music_conductor
I think it extremely important to let you see how my music works with the visual images from the most recent films that I have scored.

My 2017 Composer Reel features clips from:

Unveiled – The Kohistan Video Scandal ” Directed by Brishkay Ahmed, ChitChat Productions
Kin ” Directed by Jaspreet Kaur, NetHorizons Productions
The Metamorphosis of a Vampire ” Directed by Chris Hind, Chris Hind Entertainment Productions
The Story of Burqa ” Directed by Brishkay Ahmed, ChitChat Productions
Where are the children of the Rainforest ” Directed by Chris Hind, Chris Hind Entertainment Productions

Composer Demo 2017 from Chris Hind on Vimeo.

 

Wonderfully Odd Film Scores

October 26th, 2016

Wonderfully Odd Film Scores
orchesra_film_scoring
I was fortunate enough to see 4 very good films at the Vancouver Film Festival which just finished here in Vancouver. What are the odds of me or anyone seeing four films that were either 4 or 5 stars out of 5? Astronomical I would think.
Today, I want to talk about 3 film composers that you may not have heard about. Their scores are haunting and not traditional in any sense and in fact break a lot of the rules which I always enjoy and encourage in others. After all, no sense in having rules, if you can’t break them. Rules were meant to be broken.
I’m also a bit tired of the big orchestra extravaganzas of Hans Zimmer and Howard Shore for example. Don’t get me wrong, I love them and their music but the ocean of music is more than just gentle surf in the sunset – it’s deep and it’s dark and unknown pleasures lurk in the shadows.
One of my favorite films of the festival was “ The Girl with all the Gifts “ which hasn’t been released domestically but I assure you it will and will kill at the box office. No worries, I’m not about to spoil it for you by giving away the ending when the “ girl “ gets a pony for her birthday. Kidding! It’s actually a kitten and a pony! More kidding!
Anyway, the score by Cristobal Tapia de Veer is delightful and as an underscore it accomplishes it’s task perfectly by supporting the visuals and not taking a staring role. Creepy and messed up – well those who know me will understand why I’m gushing. Here’s a sneak peak…

I highly recommend seeing the film. A unique new twist on a tired genre.

The next two scores are not from VIFF 2016 but are from films in the past couple of years.

“ Under the Skin “ scored by Mica Levi is a very odd sci fi film staring Scarlett Johansen. Terrific film and as would only be appropriate, the music burrows under your skin and undulates up your neck. Great score and the combination of electronics and acoustic instruments like viola is unnerving.

And last but not least “ Ex Machina “ scored by Portishead’s Geoff Barrow and composer Ben Salisbury. I really like this score because of the restraint used by the composers in terms of instrumentation and complexity of the music. That’s not to say that the music is not complex – it is in a gentle wash of sound way. The beauty of the music is how it sits in the film and how appropriate it is to the story and Ava.

Okay, that’s it! Get off your couch and get into a proper film theatre and see movies as they are meant to be seen and heard. And for God’s sake –don’t watch films on your phone!

Updates coming soon

July 18th, 2016

man-on-couch-watching-tv
Hello Everyone:

It’s been sometime since I posted anything new but fear not updates are coming very soon.

Well as soon as ” Duck Dynasty ” marathon is over!

 

Death is not the end.

January 12th, 2016

Death is not the end.

kurt Cobain memorial at Seattle center (4/10/1994)

kurt Cobain memorial at Seattle center (4/10/1994)

Death is not the end.

Quite an odd audio introduction to 2016 what with the death of Lemmy and the Thin White Duke. I enjoyed their time here on earth. Lemmy playing his bass like a rhythm guitar and not losing himself in the crassness of idolatry. I remember watching a doc about a Motorhead tour of Germany and thought it was great that he sat by himself on the tour bus and didn’t fraternize with his band mates. I probably would have done the same if given the opportunity. What I didn’t and don’t like is the moronic glorification of his alcoholism! Let’s face it, he was an alcoholic who decided to dive into a bottle rather than take care of himself and the issues that troubled him.
And David Bowie, well what more needs to be said! I have seen many live shows in my time and was fortunate enough to see the Heroes tour. An amazing 3-hour long musical delight!

And so my first blog of 2016 is focused upon death. There can be no life without death and really it’s not the end but another door opening. Don’t fret, I don’t have a terminal disease and this is my cryptic way of telling you I’m dying – I’m not.

But what’s all the fuss about a few dead rock stars?
Beats me! And I could end the blog right there. But I won’t because I’m interested in finding out why?

Perhaps Lemmy and David Bowie changed the world?

Lemmy? Well I’m sure his music made more than a few head bangers very happy and although not world changing – it’s still a good thing. Why I’m sure some of you reading this blog may have been conceived while your parents banged more than their heads listening to Ace of Spades. Psssst, the hint is that you were named Lemmy, Ace or some variation thereof. For example, Lemmina, Lemmona if you’re a woman or Lemmington if you’re a proper English gentleman.

David? Perhaps! His music made even more people happy and a greater musical chameleon never lived. One could say that he even crossed racial boundaries when he tested the waters with “ Golden Years “. However, if he did indeed do any world changing, it was in sexuality.
Bisexuality, androgyny and cross dressing – David Bowie wasn’t afraid of exploration or ridicule and the British press lapped it up – mongrels that they are – like a dropped ice cream cone on a hot summers day. And to his young sexually confused and repressed fans he must have seemed like the second coming – as he publicly flaunted their inner most and secret desires.

So perhaps the music or persona of David Bowie changed a few lives but he certainly didn’t change mine. And perhaps that’s the crux of this blog about why all the fuss over a few dead rock stars.
I keep hearing people say, “ heard about David Bowie? Sad isn’t it? “
Well no not in the least.
He was a person just like you and me. A non-perfect fallible person who had good days and bad days and his own obstacles and demons to deal with. He created some great music and that music will be around for as long as we want to listen to it.

Why shed a tear for someone you’ve never met and who didn’t know you? People need role models. I get that and I have people that I study and try and figure out just how they got to the place I want to get to. But I don’t idolize them. I don’t hold vigils with thousands of others when they blow themselves away with shotguns or slowly drink themselves to death or any other means of self-destruction. You want a great role model – look to the left and look to the right of you – whether you’re in a café, on the street or in the subway – they are all around you!

Admiration is a positive trait but idolatry certainly isn’t. I admire the music of David Bowie and Lemmy and shall continue to enjoy them for years to come. The fact that they are no longer on the earth plane masters not.

A few more rock stars are dead and that’s life!