Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

Main Street Madoff

“For the love of money is the roots of all sorts of evil.”
1 Timothy 6:10

“Great broker! Would recommend them. They’ve started TV Advertising which I think is always a sign of confidence from a broker looking for new wealth to manage.”
Online user review for PFGBest April 16, 2012
(Less than three months before that company filed for bankruptcy)

On this repost Saturday it seems fitting to revisit a post that’s only a year and a half old but follows nicely my recent posts on the movies The Wolf of Wall Street, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Wall Street. Because while Wall Street has had its share of scoundrels, just because a broker is in a quintessential small town like the one in It’s a Wonderful Life doesn’t mean he can’t be a scoundrel too.  Remember even Bedford Falls in It’s a Wonderful Life had Henry F. Potter—”The richest and meanest man in the county!” (Mr. Potter even made it to #6 on AFI list of villains—that’s 18 slots ahead of Gordan Gekko.)

Well, back in Cedar Falls, Iowa just last year they had a fellow who some newspapers dubbed “The Midwest Madoff.” But I actually think that title originally went to Tim Durham who defrauded 5,000 investors for more than $200 million. Last year he was sentenced in Indianapolis to 50 years in prison. Up in Minnesota’s Twin Cities, Tom Petters orchestrated what CNN/Money called “a $3.65 billion Ponzi scheme — one of the largest in U.S. history second only to Bernie Madoff.” Back in 2010 he was also sentenced to a 50 year prison sentence.

That’s why I prefer the Main Street Madoff title for this fellow in Iowa. (Technically his offices weren’t on Main Street, but he did own a restaurant on Main Street. It was a good one, too. )

It’s not every day that Cedar Falls, Iowa makes the front page of The Wall Street Journal—but sadly, July 11, 2012 was one of those days. When Russ Wasendorf Sr., the founder and chairman of PFGBest, a locally based international futures trading business, attempted suicide on that day and the FBI began a fraud investigation into $215 million in customer money allegedly missing, it had a way of attracting national news.

Back in February of 2012, I did a video shoot inside the company’s building and all looked right in the world. In fact, the 50,000 square foot state of the art building of the business—now shut down and under scrutiny—is one of the nicest in Iowa. European in design, eco-friendly, and three stories of glass fill the offices with natural light.

During the shoot I briefly met Wasendorf and the word that I ‘d use to describe his outward appearance would be “successful.” He supported local charities and in 2009 pledged $2 million to the University of Northern Iowa. He also opened a terrific Italian restaurant on Main Street and brought his chef here from Chicago.

And though I’d only seen Wasendorf a handful of times since he moved here,  the Sunday afternoon before his suicide attempt I saw him walking out of his restaurant just as I was driving by. I even had the thought, “That dude’s got it made.” About 8 hours later he drove to his company’s headquarters and drank a bottle of vodka and at some point hooked up a hose from the tail pipe of the car to its interior. Later that morning he was found unconscious and a suicide note was found.

“I have committed fraud. For this I feel constant and intense guilt. I am very remorseful that my greatest transgressions have been to my fellow man. Through a scheme of using false bank statements I have been able to embezzle millions of dollars from customer accounts at Peregrine Financial Group, Inc.”
Part of Wasendorf’s suicide note

The fact that he got married in Las Vegas nine days before his attempted suicide added more bizarreness to the situation. An annulment was filed for, the restaurant closed, contents of the offices auctioned off, and even Wasendorf son who worked for him—but was not a part of the embezzlement— said of his father, “As far as I am concerned, he died that day.”

Earlier this year Wasendorf was sentenced to 50 years in prison for defrauding thousands of innocent investors out of a $215,000,000 over a 20 year period. Bloomberg News quoted the acting U.S. Attorney’s statement, “The lengthy prison sentence imposed today is just punishment for a con man who built a business on smoke and mirrors.”

All of this fraud has got me thinking about a poem written over 100 years ago by a poet raised in Gardiner, Maine, educated at Harvard, and well versed in the works of Shakespeare, small town life and “the American dream gone awry.”

Richard Cory
By Edwin Arlington Robinson
(Poem written in 1887)

Whenever Richard Cory went down to town,
We people on the payment looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean favored, and imperially slim.

And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
“Good-morning,” and he glittered when he walked.

And he was rich—yes, richer than a king—
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.

So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head.
Related posts:
Related articles:
The Wall Street Journal/Online—July 11, 2012, In Two Communities, Esteem Turns to Shock as Details Become Known
Cedar Valley Business/Online—July 11, 2012, Peregrine files for bankruptcy, feds seek to freeze assets
P.S. Oddly enough, someone has done a mash-up of a Simon & Garfunkel version of Richard Cory and the movie The Shawshank Redemption.

Update 7/13/12: Peregrine CEO Arrested

Scott W. Smith

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“He was born Rolihlahla Mandela on July 18, 1918, in Mvezo, a tiny village of cows, corn and mud huts in the rolling hills of the Transkei, a former British protectorate in the south.”
NY Times Obituary for Nelson Mandela

“What else is there to do when you are alone for days in the dull monotony of a narrow jail cell other than write long letters, think strange thoughts, and pray long prayers?”
Martin Luther King Jr.
Letter From Birmingham (1963)

The former leper colony Robben Island  is located in Cape Town, South Africa and covers only two square miles on this great big planet. But I’m into unlikely places—and the people from there— that help nudge the world.

Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) was an extraordinary man in the truest sense. Extra-ordinary. A troublemaker and an agent fighting for justice and human dignity. And like all extraordinary people from Martin Luther King Jr to Martin Luther, the reformers always have trail of supporters and haters. But the trails they leave behind are more important than even their own remarkable lives.

Mandela died this week and while he never wrote a screenplay (that I know of) while imprisoned 18 years on Robben Island for fighting apartheid, his thoughts and writings that were formed there in a 8-foot by 7-foot concrete cell that had a bucket for a toilet. Ideals that eventually led him to becoming to the first Black President of South Africa.

“The cell is an ideal place to learn to know yourself, to search realistically and regularly the process of your own mind and feelings. In judging our progress as individuals we tend to concentrate on external factors such as one’s social position, influence and popularity, wealth and standard of education. These are, of course, important in measuring one’s success in material matters and it is perfectly understandable if many people exert themselves mainly to achieve all these. But internal factors may be even more crucial in assessing one’s development as a human being.”
Nelson Mandela

Mandela is the center of several documentaries and a couple of feature films including the recently released Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. (Screenplay by William Nicholson based on Mandela’s autobiography.)

In 2006 I went to Cape Town, South Africa as cameraman on a documentary. I was looking forward to seeing South Africa up close. My work in production over the years has given me many wonderful opportunities to see both great beauty and human hardship. But I was not prepared for seeing the shanty town—miles and miles of poverty with plywood, metal and cardboard homes— we drove by soon after we left the airport. Cape Town I was told at that time was one of the murder capitals of the world and Johannesburg, South Africa ranked near the top in kidnappings and carjackings. I’m not sure what crime statistics are in South Africa these days but did find a 2010 report that titled Why South Africa is so violent and what should we be doing about it? so I’m guessing there are still many problems there.

“Life is still not good. It has changed for some people, not for others. Some people still have no jobs. People are hungry.”
Siphiwe Mthembu, Mpumalanga
BBC New Online, South Africa: Life Today

Real, meaningful, and lasting change takes time—and a lot of it. Driven through parts of the deep south recently? There are still a few issues there. But go back and read Martin Luther King Jr. Letter from Birmingham Jail and know that in the last 40 years there has been positive change in the south and the entire United States. I don’t know that King changed the world—but he certainly helped nudge it in the right direction.

“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones in the right order, you might nudge the world a little or make a poem that children will speak for you when you are dead.” 
Oscar-winning screenwriter Tom Stoppard (Shakespeare in Love)
Above quote spoken by character Henry in The Real Thing: A Play

Children of future generations will speak of Mandela and read his words long after he’s dead, because he too nudged the world a little.

A funeral will be held for Mandela in his birth village Mvezo on December 15, 2013.

Related Post:

Martin Luther King Jr. & Screenwriting (Tip #7)
Martin Luther King Jr. Special

Related links:
Robben Island Museum
Photos of Mandela’s prison at Time magazine
Nelson Mandela Foundation

Scott W. Smith

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“I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.”
Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire
Written by Tennessee Williams

New York actress Tory Flack in front of the house Grant Wood used for his painting "American Gothic." Eldon, Iowa (2009)

New York actress Tory Flack in front of the house Grant Wood used for his painting “American Gothic.” Eldon, Iowa (2009)

Yesterday we went global big, today we’re going local small. Well, at least small scale in the big city. In one of the many posts I did on playwright Tennessee Williams this month I mentioned that his worked continues to gain in popularity since his death in 1983. So I wanted to tell you about an opportunity you have to support Bedlam Ensemble in their Kickstarter campaign for The Tennessee Williams Project.

They have three days remaining to raise an additional $1,000 to meet their goal and I’d love to have a few Screenwriting from Iowa angels help push them toward their goal of presenting “A unique twist on the one-act plays of Tennessee Williams” directed by Daniella Caggiano.

Bedlam Ensemble didn’t contact me, but I do have a connection with them. About five years ago I worked with one of the Bedlam actors, Tory Flack. First on a video project I produced for an economic development group and then on a short film I wrote and directed. Tory graduated with a theater degree from the University of Iowa—the same college where Tennessee Williams himself earned his college degree.

I took the above photo of Tory in front of the house in Eldon, Iowa Grant Wood used in his painting “American Gothic”—one of the most recognizable paintings in the history of art. It was zero degrees when I took that photo. Consider giving to The Tennessee Williams Project just because Tory not only gave her lines when it was zero degrees—but could smile as well. Here’s an updated photo of Tory by Chicago photographer Johnny Knight. (Throw Johnny a little kindness if you need some photography work done in Chicago, and consider Tory for that film you’re casting.)


Tory’s a very talented actress and I’m glad she’s found her way to New York where her acting gigs include the Brooklyn Shakespeare Festival. So while I’m not familiar with the Bedlam Ensemble, my hunch is Tory has connected with some like-minded actors. I saw the Bedlam Kickstarter campaign on a  Facebook post last night. Bedlam Ensemble is in its fourth season and according to their Kickstarter page:

“We chose to present the one act plays of Tennessee Williams because of their beautifully poetic language, striking characters, and the great potential for ensemble work. However, these wonderful plays are not in the public canon, which means we have to pay for the right to perform them. Your support will help us pay for those rights, as well as the cost of renting The Gene Frankel Theatre—an appropriate venue since Gene Frankel in fact knew Tennessee Williams. We also need to cover the expense of putting together the lights, costumes,set, and sound design that bring the world of the play to life; and the funds for advertising our show to the world so we can get the word out and have the best possible audience.”

Lastly, I heard an interview with Tennessee Williams last week (probably from the ’60s or ’70s) where he talked about the importance of smaller regional theaters around the country as being very important for the development of writers. So seek out and support groups like Bedlam Ensemble. And if you have some plays, contact Bedlam’s literary manager Daniella Caggiano (dcaggiano@gm.slc.edu) about submitting your script.

P.S. Performance is scehduled for January 15th-26th 2014 at the Gene Frankel Theatre in NYC.

Related posts:
Postcard #65 (Tennessee Williams) Tennessee is buried in St. Louis.
Postcard #66 (Sewanee) Where Williams’ willed his literary works.
The Catastrophe of Success (Part 1)
The Catastrophe of Success (Part 2)
Don’t Quit Your Day Jon (2.0) One of the great characters in theater came from a job Williams hated.
Postcard #64 (Columbus, MS) Where Tennessee Williams was born.

Scott W. Smith

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“Security is kind of a death, I think, and it can come in a storm of royalty checks beside a kidney-shaped pool in Beverly Hills or anywhere at all that is removed from the conditions that made you an artist, if that’s what you are or were or intend to be. Ask anyone who has experienced the kind of success I am talking about—What good is it? Perhaps to get an honest answer you will have to give him a shot of truth serum but the word he will finally groan is unprintable in genteel publications.”
Tennessee Williams
The Catastrophe of Success

Between 1944 and 1961 Tennessee Williams had a run of plays on Broadway that included The Glass Menagerie,  A Streetcar Named Desire, Summer and Smoke, The Rose Tattoo, Camino Real, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Sweet Bird of Youth, and Night of the Iguana. He won two Pulitzer Prizes, a Tony Award and many of his plays were made into films.

But the Williams’ plays first produced from 1962 though his death in 1983 are little remembered or performed today. The limited runs and poor reviews of plays from his last two decades weighed heavy on Williams.

“[Tennessee Williams] feigned disinterest in reviews, but he was deeply disturbed by them. Unfavorable ones could devastate him. Favorable ones might corrupt him. The most successful serious playwright of his time, he did not write for success but, as one friend said, as a ‘biological necessity.’”
Mel Gussow
NY Times 1983, Tennessee Williams Is Dead

Some have claimed that critics lead to the destructive path Williams took, and others argue that his drinking/alcoholism, cigarettes, and drug use led to the decline of his writing. Still others point to Tennessee mourning the death in 1963 of his one-time gay partner of 14 years leading to his debilitating depression.

But whatever the reason his popularity declined and  in 1969 his brother intervened and had Tennessee committed into a psychiatric hospital for a few months. Though it strained their relationship, it probably saved Tennessee’s life. Tennessee continued to write the rest of his life, but other than his play Small Craft Warning in 1972 he struggled to find an audience. In 1977 he was quoted in the NY Times saying he was, “widely regarded as the ghost of a writer.” He did experience an upsurge toward the end of his life as is major plays were performed in revival and as a new and young audience discovered his work. (And that continues to this day.)

Like the cause of his decline, Tennessee’s death involves a little speculation; the NY Times first said officials claimed the 71-year-old playwright died of natural causes, the original medical examiner’s report said Williams’ choked to death on a medicine bottle cap, others say the drug and alcohol that Williams consumed over his later decades was a form of suicide, and his brother claimed that Tennessee was killed by someone because he wouldn’t change his will.

Whatever the reason, Williams was found dead on February 25, 1983.

But if you step back from his life and career, and just look at the 10 or 15 year period where he wrote some of the most amazing plays in the history of American theater you have to marvel at the output. Fueled by family demons, a poet’s heart, and strong coffee, Williams and his passion to write came along at just the right time to shine. Just as attendance in American movies was declining and television was still in its infancy, American theater was serious business.  (Remember Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman premiered on Broadway in 1949 and ran for 742 performances.)

So let’s go back to November 30, 1947 and look at  The Catastrophe of Success. The essay Williams wrote toward the start of his career after The Glass Menagerie shot him into the spotlight, but just four days before A Streetcar Named Desire opened on Broadway. This is how he concluded his essay:

“Then what is good? The obsessive interest in human affairs, plus a certain amount of compassion and moral conviction, that first made the experience of living something that must be translated into pigment or music or bodily movement or poetry or prose or anything that’s dynamic and expressive—that’s what’s good for you if you’re at all serious in your aims. William Saroyan wrote a great play on this theme, that purity of heart is the one success worth having. ‘In the time of your life—live!’ That time is short and doesn’t return again. It is slipping away while I write this and while you read it, and the monosyllable of the clock is Loss, loss, loss, unless you devote your heart to its opposition.”
Tennessee Williams

Related posts:
“The Catastrophe of Success” (Part 2)
Tennessee Williams’ Start
Writing Quote #45 (Tennessee Williams)

Scott W. Smith

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“With fourteen plays and a novella adapted for the screen, no other dramatist has equaled Tennessee Williams’ record for having plays produced in Hollywood.”
Naomi Greenberg-Slovin
How Hollywood Got Shocked by Tennessee Williams

“I am widely regarded as the ghost of a writer, a ghost still visible, excessively solid of flesh and perhaps too ambulatory, but a writer remembered mostly for works which were staged between 1944 and 1961.”
Tennessee Williams
The New York Times, 
May 8, 1977

When the playwright Tennessee Williams found Broadway success with the The Glass Menagerie in 1944 and  A Streetcar Named Desire three years later he found himself at the pinnacle of success that few writers experience. Wouldn’t you love to go back to 1947 just for a moment and ask Mr. Williams what it was like to go through more a decade as a struggling writer to the top of the mountain? Well thanks to the Internet and Williams being a wordsmith we can discover what was going through his mind.

Four days before the opening of A Streetcar Named Desire (a play for which he would later be awarded the Pulitzer Prize) an essay he wrote was published in the New York Times called A Streetcar Named Success.  He would later retitle the essay A Catastrophe of Success and have it published at the end of the New Direction version of The Glass Menagerie.

I first read that essay as part of an acting workshop in my early twenties which I think is an ideal time to encounter Williams’ thoughts. I hope you do take the world by storm with your writings. And if you do, at least Williams will have given you a warning.

“I was snatched out of virtual oblivion and thrust into sudden prominence, and from the precarious tenancy of furnished rooms about the country I was removed to a suite in a first-class Manhattan hotel. My experience was not unique. Success has often come that abruptly into the lives of Americans. The Cinderella story is our favorite national myth, the cornerstone of the film industry if not the Democracy itself. I have seen it enacted on the screen so often that I was now inclined to yawn at it, not with disbelief but with an attitude of Who Cares!”
Tennessee Williams

Williams did not become a writer to become rich and famous, but that’s what happened. He appeared to be uncomfortable with the trappings. Of the way people treated him, and how he treated people.

“A well of cynicism rose in me. Conversations all sounded as if they had been recorded years ago and were being played back on a turn table. Sincerity and kindliness seemed to have gone out of my friends voices. I suspected them of hypocrisy. I stopped calling them, stopped seeing them. I was impatient of what I too to be inane flattery. I got so sick of hearing people say, ‘I loved your play!’ that I could not say thank you any more.”
Tennessee Williams

I’ve read that Olympic athletes after winning a gold medal that they have trained their entire life sometimes fall into a state of depression. Jon Krakauer touches on this theme in his book Into Thin Air writing about mountain climbers after they reach Mt. Everest. Williams was famous for writing every day—sometimes in eight hour stretches. I imagine along with his new-found fame there was much mental and physical exhaustion that he was experiencing (along with a family history of depression).

His cure? After having eye surgery, he “checked out of the handsome suite at the first class hotel, packed my papers and a few incidental belongings and left for Mexico, an elemental country where you can quickly forget the false dignities and conceits imposed by success.” And in Mexico he began work on a new play called The Poker Night.

When that play was completed it was called A Streetcar Named Desire and would star a new actor named Marlon Brando in the Broadway play and the Hollywood film.  It’s hard to fathom that one writer could write The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire back to back. Much less a writer in his 30s who was relatively unknown before that.

Streetcar would put Williams even further into the spotlight and for the next 15 years he would continue to meet the high expectations of audiences and critics. But around age 50 the catastrophe of success would wraps its claws around Williams and not release him until it consumed his life. We’ll look at the final act of his life in part 2.

Scott W. Smith 

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“I wear glasses and braces. I do all my clothes shopping at Walmart and second-hand stores. I spend more time on algebra than I do on my hair.”
15 year old Maya Van Wagenen


Yeah, teenager Maya Van Wagenen may still live with her parents in rural Georgia, but she doesn’t need to shop at second-hand stores anymore. (Unless she likes the style in that early Madonna kind of way.) A few months ago she signed a two-book deal with Penguin books reportedly for around $300,000. Sure you have to pay taxes on that, but yesterday Deadline reported  that “Van Wagenen has become the youngest non-actor to ever make a feature deal at DreamWorks.”

Her first book Popular: Vintage Wisdom for Modern Geek is set to be released in April 2004. From what I could find online the story takes places in Brownsville. Texas where Van Wagenen used to live and revolves around a high school girl who decides to use a 1950′s book Betty Cornell’s Teen-Age Popularity Guide to win friends at her school.  I had never heard of Van Wagenen or Cornell before yesterday, but I saw the movie instantly in my head. And the movie poster can pull a line directly from the book cover; “The secrets of how you can be prettier and more popular.”

So much room for satire, commentary, and insight—and potentially entertaining every step of the way. Perhaps a dash of The Breakfast Club, Easy A, and Blast from the Past. And talk about a built in audience—what percentage of high school girls today do you think want to be popular, pretty, and smart?

My guess is we’ll all be learning more about both Van Wegenen and Cornell in the near future.  Couldn’t find much out about Van Wagenen, but she won 1st place in flash fiction for a story called The Princess on Route 4B that was a competition connected with Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia.

From what I could gather online, Cornell was a junior model in the ’40s and had her first book published in 1951 offering advice on everything from boys and dress to hair and diet.

“If you don’t know what foods are fattening, ask your chubby friends, because they will know.”
Betty Cornell
(Found on a blog called Embarrassing Treasures)

By today’s standards I’m sure there are some things Cornell wrote more than 50 years ago that seem insensitive and politically incorrect, but I can also see why Steven Spielberg’s long time assistant, Kristie Macosko Krieger,  was attracted to and will be producing the movie. According to the Deadline report Amy B. Harris (Sex in the City) will be writing the screenplay.

Talent comes from everywhere. Congrats to Van Wagenen. And best wishes on your writing today.

P.S. How many manner, etiquette, and beauty books from the 19th and 20th century will find their way into movies in the next couple of years? What’s old is new again. (And all the better if the source material is in the public domain—anything published before 1923).

Scott W. Smith 

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Saul Bellow & Unlikely Places

“When I was traveling the Midwest by car, bus and train, I regularly visited small-town libraries and found that readers in Keokuk, Iowa, or Benton Harbor, Mich., were checking out Proust and Joyce and even Svevo and Andrei Biely. D. H. Lawrence was also a favorite. And sometimes I remember that God was willing to spare Sodom for sake of the 10 of the righteous. Not that Keokuk was anything like wicked Sodom, or that Proust’s Charlus would have been tempted to settle in Benton Harbor, Mich. I seem to have had a persistent democratic desire to find evidence of high culture in the most unlikely places.”
Pulitzer Prize & Nobel Prize-winning writer Saul Bellow (Humboldt’s Gift)
Hidden Within Technology’s Empire, a Republic of Letter
The New York Times
October 11, 1999

P.S. This blog is about a sense of place as much as it is about screenwriting. And I love stories about big success that originates from small places. There is no greater example in cinematic history of the writer/director born in Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada who is the only filmmaker to make a film that has made $2 billion dollars. And James Cameron’s actually done that twice, Avaitar and Titanic. As I point out in the post Filmmaking Quote #7 (James Cameron), part of his success is being raised in a town of just 2,000 people and having to ride a school bus for two hours a day to and from school. Two hours he spent reading books. For what it’s worth, Saul Bellow was also born in Canada—Lachine, Quebec.

Related Posts:

Mark Twain (His first paid job as a writer was for a newspaper in Keokuk, Iowa.)
The Juno-Iowa Connection (The University of Iowa in Iowa City—where Tennessee Williams,  Diablo Cody and many other writers attended— is an hour and a half drive directly north of Keokuk.)
Screenwriting Quote #2 (Skip Press) “If you live in Keokuk, Iowa, and write a screenplay…”
Postcard #33 (Quincy, Iowa) About half a hour directly south of Keokuk.
Screenwriting from Michigan (Yeah, Michigan has helped shape some pretty good writers.)
Kalamafrickin’zoo’s Talent Pool  (Kalamazoo is less than an hour drive from Benton Harbor, MI)

Scott W. Smith

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“Impact. Energy. Emotion.”

“Impact. Energy. Emotion. If you remember that all the time, you’re golden.”
Photographer Mike Corrado
creativeLIVE workshop Rock and Roll Photography

The only thing that sucks about creativeLIVE’s Photo Week of over 100 hours of free online creative workshops going on this week is, if you’re like me, you want to watch them all. But I just flew back home Sunday night with over 100 gig of footage from a shoot that I have to whittle down to three 30 seconds spots by next week so I dip into the workshops when I can. Sometimes it’s just 5-10 minutes of a rebroadcast that they run through the night into the next morning, like I did with the above quote from Mike Corrado,

And while Corrado’s trifecta of Impact, Energy, and emotion was in reference to concert photography, I think it translates well to the world of screenwriting and filmmaking.

Related Post:
40 Days of Emotions
Goal: Elicit Emotions (Tip #77)
Emotional Transportation Biz (Tip #68)
Emotional Roller Coasters
Emotional Climaxes
Pity, Fear, Catharsis (Tip #69)

Related link to Mike Corrado (who also happens to be  Manager of Nikon Professional Services): Concert Photography Tips 

P.S. Even if you’re not a photographer, there is a lot of creative cross-pollinating going on at creativeLIVE so check them out—it’s free when they’re live. And, of course, if you want to buy the Photo Week of 100 hours of workshops to watch them whenever you want $299 is a great deal. But most importantly, create your own work, develop personal projects, and continue to focus your vision.

Scott W. Smith

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“Do Something”

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim September 11, 2013, as Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance.
Presidential Proclamation


While flying in the United States on any September 11 is probably the safest day to fly, I chose to fly to my next production on September 10. I took the above photo yesterday shortly taking off on a flight between Philadelphia and Minneapolis, so there was a good chance this was in the vicinity of Shanksville, PA where Flight 93 crashed on September 11, 2001 when passengers and crew stopped a terrorist attack on the nation’s capital.

This afternoon I stopped in the Mall of America and saw the memorial below in memory of Thomas E. Burrnett, Jr. who was n Flight 93, and remembering the 2,971 people that were killed that day in the terrorist attacks. And the last photo is what I saw in and morning and in the afternoon at an overpass near Stillwater, Minnesota.

My guess is those people standing and waving American flags were there all day. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton ordered “all United States flags and Minnesota flags be flown at half-staff at all state and federal buildings in the State of Minnesota, from sunrise until sunset, on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013. as a mark of respect for the victims of this tragedy.”


Scott W. Smith

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