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About brands, players and startups -- and their stories
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It's all about the story
Mary Trigiani

Look at me.
I'm the captain now.


The line from "Captain Phillips" not only was uttered by a first-time actor, it was an ad-lib.  And Barkhad Abdi now possesses an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor.  

While the film comes from a major studio, it's a story of the impact of original thinking and open-mindedness.  Original thinking because director Paul Greengrass made it a strategy to cast novices.  Open-minded because Greengrass didn't shut down the take after an actor had veered off script.

Independence is a word sweeping over Hollywood and getting the spotlight during this industry awards season.  Six of the nine best picture nominees were produced outside the major studios.  After wrapping up my role behind the scenes [way behind the scenes, 3,000 miles away] in growing the online presence of "Big Stone Gap," an upcoming independent film, I can say independence is a good thing.  Not just financial support raised privately or at the grassroots but leadership inspired by the assembled talent.

In any industry, the right talent always take your project where you need it to go.  Faith in that talent can take you to new realizations and new ways of doing an old job.  And faith in yourself -- your choices for the team, your vision for a project, your ability to encourage others to own the vision, too -- will increase your chances for a visionary result.  Visionary in the eyes of all your stakeholders -- which in the movie industry's case, must now include the socially, digitally active community of ticket buyers.  

David Ogilvy, the founding genius of Ogilvy & Mather, said, "Senior men and women have no monopoly on great ideas.  Nor do Creative people.  Some of the best ideas come from account executives, researchers, and others.  Encourage this; you need all the ideas you can get."  

Consider it the confident knowledge that there is always a new way to create or to tell a story, giving every project the soul it needs to invite other souls to engage and enjoy.  

Here are two resources that will help you build the kind of structure that makes going off script possible, not just visionary.
A digital marketing blueprint by William Wallace
The ultimate guide to startup marketing from Onboardly 
 
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