Archive for the ‘Productivity’ Category

Self-Reliant Film Store

Monday, November 20th, 2006

I get a fair number of emails asking me to recommend this or that book, or asking what films constitute a “Self-Reliant Film canon” and so on. So I thought that I’d add a modest Amazon store so that I can simply point people towards books I recommend, movies I like (or want to see), and so on.

You can access the store by clicking the link below and, after this post loses prominence, you can always access the store by clicking on the SRF Store in the menu bar at the top of the site, just under the banner.

Purchasing through the store will help offset the costs of server space, etc. so if you do purchase something, thanks a bunch!

Finally, if this feels crassly commercial, please note that the header of the SRF store says “Stuff to Buy or Borrow.” Knowing what you need and don’t need to buy are good principles of self-reliance. If you got some of these things from your local library or a friend I’m sure Thoreau and Emerson would be proud.

Click here to enter the SRF Store.

I’ll be doing holiday stuff over the next week. When I return I’ll be doing some posts related to a new film project of mine. Happy Thanksgiving!

Screenwriting Software

Tuesday, October 10th, 2006

Lately I’ve been working on some rewrites of a short script, and I find myself dividing my time between two different screenwriting applications. I’m not sure if I’m transitioning from the old (Final Draft) to the new (Celtx), or if I’m just trying to choose between the lesser of two frustrating applications. This post is intended as a kind of sketch of what I’ve been encountering over the last few days in hopes that some readers might contribute some comments on how what they’re choosing to use (and why).

Final Draft
I’ve been using Final Draft 6 since it was released years ago — like ’99 or 2000. For the most part, after several updates and bug fixes (version 6.0.6.0 anyone?) over the years, it’s pretty stable. In the end, it does what it’s supposed to — it makes writing and rewriting scripts in “proper screenplay form” as simple as it is to type a regular text document in something like Microsoft Word. What more could you ask for? Well, a few things:

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Twyla Tharp: Getting Things Done (with Boxes)

Monday, June 12th, 2006

As I said in my last post, I’m generally suspicious of motivational speakers, self-help books, and so on. In fact, going near that section of the bookstore alone just gives me the willies.

Still, a year down the road, I’m glad I took a look at David Allen’s productivity phenomenon Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity even if I have reservations about the some of its jargon and, at times, (needless?) complexities.

Enter Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit (co-written with Mark Reiter).

I ran across Tharp’s book in the arts, not productivity, section of the bookstore. A good sign. (Certainly if you find yourself reading productivity book after productivity book you’re missing the point.) Browsed a few pages. Plunked down the cash for it and, upon taking it home, found that The Creative Habit is, yep, one of those books. Happily, it’s a little different, too.

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Some notes on Getting Things Done

Friday, June 9th, 2006

This is part 1 of a two-part series discussing productivty books — for artists and not.

Last year, after reading about it via Merlin Mann’s 43 Folders website and his Life Hacking column in Make Magazine, I decided to explore David Allen’s Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.

Even with my aversion to self-help literature and motivational speakers, Getting Things Done — or GTD, as it’s called by its disciples — was alluring. The attraction for me could be found in the book’s subtitle. Productivity? Sounds great — I’d like to be more productive. Stress free productivity? Wow – sign me up.

It’s been about a year since I read the book, so I thought I’d do some reflecting on what worked, what didn’t, and why. Maybe it will be useful for you. If not, move along.

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