“You don’t want to be making mediocre stuff”

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Ira Glass

Photo by Nancy Updike

“Failure is a big part of success. If you’re not failing all the time, you’re not creating a situation where you can get really lucky. Maybe once every six week, you’re going to stumble on somebody so compelling and so great, it’s going to make the other five weeks worth it. You don’t want to be making mediocre stuff. The only reason why you want to do this, is because it’s going to be so memorable, it’s special.” — Ira Glass, host and executive producer of This American Life, speaking on the building blocks of great storytelling

For those of us who command creative control, yes indeed.

Ira Glass on Storytelling – Part 1
Ira Glass on Storytelling – Part 2 (embedded below)
Ira Glass on Storytelling – Part 3
Ira Glass on Storytelling – Part 4

For others, look to people like writer/director Joe Carnahan (Narc, Smokin’ Aces). Last year, I wrote about how he kills his conceptual posters. He noted, “[a]s most film advertising art directors and designers will tell you, sometimes their best poster design work never sees the light of day beyond their own portfolios.”

(Speaking of posters, where are all the film posters from the cinematic works of FWD:labs artists? There’s a shortage of print in our design directory.)

Being a regular listener of NPR via KCRW 89.9FM, This American Life has been linked here before, when I covered a month-in-the-life of running FWD:labs. Coming on the first of May, 2008, the Showtime series of This American Life will be screened in movie theaters. The young librarian behind the Desk of Judy Dark has a fun take on the news: “The cost, finding parking, dealing with the annoying Cellphone McChatsalot who inevitably sits in front of me or the equally annoying Make Yerself Comfy Man who sits behind me and puts his stinky, Teva-clad feet against the back of my chair… yeah. Thanks but no thanks.”

(via Signal vs. Noise, who picked up our story on filmmakers using Basecamp)


Aaron Proctor
Founder, FWD:labs
Director of Photography site

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