Why collaboration lies at the heart of modern media

It might sound obvious to say that successful media work depends on networking and communication, but what a lot of people miss is how much this is true behind the scenes. Even technical specialists who never go in front of a camera or participate in project development depend on it. Whether you work in print, broadcast or online, in a busy studio or out of a home office, nine-tenths of the work you do is generally going to involve collaborations – and that’s just at an individual level. A quick glance at the credits on films and TV programs will show you that it also happens between companies.

Most projects need multiple talents

Take something simple such as an interview conducted in the street. Theoretically, all you need is one person with a camera and a basic directional microphone, plus the interview subject, but it’s hard to guarantee getting professional-quality footage that way. If one person is looking after the camera while another takes care of the sound, then the interviewer is free to concentrate on steering the conversation. Each of those involved can be a specialist with the skill level necessary to get optimum results. Scale up to filming a dramatic production and many more people will be needed, including a director (possibly with assistants) to coordinate them and assorted people (from runners to caterers) to look after them. This is the reality of most modern media work. At a production level, it often involves bringing multiple organizations together in order to ensure that the right talent is involved.

Talent has to combine with expertise

Once talent has been taken into consideration, there’s also the matter of expertise. In some areas, it’s not enough to be skilled – to get good results, whether as a journalist of a creative professional, it’s necessary to have specific expertise. Some people have built their careers around filling that gap – consider Nick Palazzo, who specializes in sports media, providing a point of connection between program-makers and event organizers, athletes and their managers. This type of collaboration enables project coordination to run much more smoothly. For every expert you hear participating in a radio debate, there are five more behind the scenes providing context and background information.

Working together cuts costs

As technology continues to advance, the cost of entry-level gear for freelancers is falling, but top-of-the-range equipment gets ever more expensive. Most independent productions now hire gear or collaborate in order to pool what they have and make savings. Large studios tend to have their own equipment but have additional overheads related to their premises, security, insurance and so on, whether or not they’re active. This means that whenever there’s a gap in their schedule, and they’re not using their facilities to produce their own content, it benefits them to collaborate with production companies that can pay for the use of the space. Many popular locations also have media collaboration strategies to support this kind of arrangement.

Funding depends on trust

When trying to get together the money to cover the costs of a production, reputation is everything. Sometimes, a single individual or company’s reputation isn’t enough, but partnering with another company can make all the difference. In other cases, such partnerships provide access to bankable stars, and in still others, one company has everything it needs to put a project together, but the other has valuable contacts among potential funders. Collaboration can also open up access to different sources of local and national funding in order to get struggling projects off the ground. Often, partnerships built on this basis prove to be enduring and generate multiple projects.

Collaboration maximizes promotional opportunities

The more individuals or companies involved in the project, the more people there are available to promote the finished work – sometimes to very different groups of people. It’s important to coordinate this so that everybody respects the agreed marketing schedule and stays on message, but it can be very valuable, especially on smaller productions where there’s no big-budget publicity or in cases when collaboration means access to different big names with large, well-established followings. Doing all promotional work in-house is now fairly rare even for big companies, so collaborations with specialized media marketing companies are commonplace.

As in any industry, bringing in too many people has the potential to lead to disaster. It’s essential to make sure that everyone is on the same page and that there are no competing interests. With this in mind, however, collaboration in media is generally the easiest and most effective way to bring projects to fruition, from one-off radio plays to long-running television current affairs series. It’s a way of working that enhances creative energy and tends to bring out the best in all concerned.

Film Review: “Where She Lies”

  • WHERE SHE LIES
  • Documentary
  • Directed by: Zach Marion
  • Not Rated
  • Running time:  1 hr 41 mins
  • Gravitas Ventures

As an adult who was adopted as a baby I’m always keen when a film that tackles the subject comes around.  They are usually feel good stories that leave you smiling and happy when they end.  That being said, “Where She Lies” took me on an emotional rollercoaster I am still recovering from.

Meet Peggy Phillips.  In 1961, at the age of 19, the unmarried Peggy found herself pregnant.  The father of the child was a married man who had told Peggy he was separated from his wife.  Anticipating the family embarrassment that such a situation would bring in this time period, she is sent to live with her aunt.  Her obstetrician urges her to give the baby up for adoption, as it will always be labeled a “bastard,” while her father tells her that if she keeps the baby she will always be known as a whore.  He gives her an ultimatum – she can come home after the birth but only without the child.  The problem seems to solve itself when Peggy is informed that the child, a girl, died shortly after birth.  But did she?

A puzzle that has you scrambling to put the pieces together right up until the end, “Where She Lies” is not only one of the best documentaries I have seen this year, but one of the best films as well.  Intrigued by reading a story about Peggy and her daughter, director Marion contacts her and informs her that he would like to help her solve the mystery and film the efforts.  What mystery, you ask?  It seems that, on her deathbed, Peggy’s mother informed her that her baby didn’t die.  Instead she was adopted by a doctor and his wife who lived near the aunt she stayed with when she was pregnant.  Peggy discovers the doctor and his wife DID adopt a baby girl 6 months to the day after Peggy gave birth.  The daughter has become a habitual criminal, spending the past 30 years in and out of prison.  But is SHE the daughter of Peggy Phillips?

Peggy Phillips celebrates her birthday with director Zach Marion

In putting together the pieces of this puzzle – director Marion illustrates his film and chapter breaks with scattered jigsaw puzzle pieces – the filmmaker leaves no stone unturned, interviewing everyone from the cousin who swears the baby was alive and in good shape to the widow of the man that impregnated Peggy.  Everyone has their own opinion and somehow they all make sense.  Until they don’t.

Again, as a child of adoption I pay close attention to how the children are portrayed.  I found it incredulous that the convict daughter blames her being adopted for her drug issues, saying that all adopted children crave their real mother and unconditional love.  Bullshit!  I never for one moment doubted my adopted parents’ love.  When I attempted to find my birth family – with my adopted parents’ knowledge and approval – I did so not out of a sense of something missing but more out of curiosity, especially as I was getting to an age where the doctors would constantly ask me if there was a history of “insert a disease here” in my family.  I was 45 when I found them – I just turned 60 – and thought I love them all – I found 6 brothers and 4 sisters – I don’t love my adopted parents any less. 

“Where She Lies” is now available on all major Video On Demand platforms.

DEE SNIDER Releases Video For “Lies Are A Business”!

[photo by Stephanie Cabral]

New Shows in South America, USA and Europe Announced!

DEE SNIDER just released his sixth video off his latest album “For The Love Of Metal.” Snider on the Song: “The socio-political message of ‘Lies Are a Business‘ is more important at this moment in time than ever before. The movement toward more controlling, all-powerful governments continues to grow and the current nightmarish situation in Venezuela is emblematic of the direction our world is sadly heading in. The incredible video for this song by award winning director Leo Liberti of Liberta Filmes truly captures my message with powerful metaphoric imagery while taking nothing away from the metallic power of the song!” 
Watch the video for “Lies Are A Business” HERE!

For The Love Of Metal” was produced by Hatebreed vocalist Jamey Jasta and features contributions from Howard Jones (ex-Killswitch Engage), Mark Morton (Lamb Of God), Alissa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy), Joel Grind and Nick Bellmore (Toxic Holocaust) and Charlie Bellmore (Kingdom Of Sorrow). 

Order “For The Love Of Metal” HERE!

DEE SNIDER on the release:“I’m thrilled by the reaction of both critics and fans to this album and I’m looking forward to working on the next round with Jamey and his truly great team.”

Jamey Jasta comments:“I’m so happy and proud to have been a part of this project, Dee Snider is an American original, there is no other voice like his on earth, his power and passion really shine through on this album. Metal brings us all together and with Dee still at the forefront, it’s a great time to be a fan of heavy music!”

Howard Jones states:“To be given the chance to write for AND sing with Dee Snider, one of the men responsible for shaping heavy music as it is today, is an absolute honor. The voice, the mind, the swagger…the man is one of a kind.”

Alissa White-Gluz comments:“I am honored and humbled to sing alongside such a truly unique and talented soul. I love that Dee Snider has continued to shock people for decades just by being himself. I can’t wait for everyone to hear our duet! It was no easy task matching up to Dee’s level of vocal prowess but I was happy to accept the challenge and I’m in love with the results!”

Tracklisting:

1. Lies Are A Business

2. Tomorrow’s No Concern

3. I am The Hurricane

4. American Made

5. Roll Over You

6. I’m Ready

7. Running Mazes

8. Mask

9. Become The Storm

10. The Hardest Way

11. Dead Hearts (Love Thy Enemy)

12. For The Love of Metal

Touring:

19.03.19 PE – Barranco Arena / Barranco, Pasco Region

21.03.19 BR – Ópera de Arame / Curitiba, PR

23.03.19 BR – Grupo Tom Brasil

24.03.19 CL – Club Chocolate Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan Region

26.03.19 AR – Teatro Vorterix Colegiales, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires

31.05.19 MT – Aria Complex San Gwann Tal-Għargħar, Central Region

02.06.19 CZ – Metalfest Open Air Plzeň, Plzeň Region

13.06.19 MX – Festival Motociclista Aguascalientes Aguascalientes City, Aguascalientes

26.06.19 SE – Live på Liseberg Gothenburg, Västra Götaland

28.06.19 SE – Stadsfesten i Skellefteå, Västerbotten

04.07.19 SE – Helgeåfestivalen time to rock Knislinge Folkets Park & F-yra Knislinge, Skåne

06.07.19 IT – Rock The Castle Castello Scaligero Villafranca di Verona, Veneto

07.07.19 ES – Leyendas del Rock 2019 Leyendas del Rock Villena, Comunidad Valenciana

13.07.19 NO – Norway Rock Festival

30.08.19 CH – Riverside Open Air Aarburg Aarburg, Aargau

09.08.19 ES – Leyendas del Rock, Comunidad Valenciana

11.08.19 UK – Bloodstock

25.08.19 BE – Golden Age Rock Festival, Leige

31.08.19 CH – Riverside Aarburg Aarburg, Aargau, Switzerland

02.09.19 US – Motorcycle Festival, West Virginia

06.11.19 UK – Hard Rock Hell

For More Info on DEE SNIDER go to: http://www.deesnider.com/

Film Review: “It’s So Easy And Other Lies”

“It’s So Easy And Other Lies”
Starring: Duff McKagan
Director: Christopher Duddy
XLrator Media
Runtime: 86 minutes

Our score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Based on the New York Times best-selling memoir and featuring exclusive archival footage “It’s So Easy And Other Lies” is an authorized music documentary of Duff McKagan- founding member and bass player for Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver and other bands. The film chronicles Duff’s meteoric rise to fame and fortune, his near fatal struggles with alcohol and drug addiction, and his remarkable life transformation.

One half performance footage from Duff’s book reading at The Moore Theater in Seattle, WA and one half documentary consisting of archival footage and new interviews with former/current band members and friends. “It’s So Easy And Other Lies” is a unique spin on your standard biographical documentary. I really enjoyed the clips of Duff reading passages from his book backed by a band performing melodic renditions of such classic GN’R songs as “Rocket Queen” and “Paradise City” as it was a really cool addition which makes the film stand out from other films in the genre that I have seen recently. With interview from Duff, Slash, Mike McCready and others acting as segues to the performance material you really get a nice balance of music and dialogue.

Though I found some of the editing to be a little awkward at times as the performance footage tends to start and stop without the viewer really knowing where we are at in Duff’s story. At times it’s as though large portions of Duff’s story are either not expanded upon or just plain left out as is the case with some of the earlier days of Guns N’ Roses. Because of this gap and a few others it made things seem as though Duff one minute is a struggling young musician and the next he’s in the biggest band in the world. Obviously when a book is transformed to film parts are going to be left out or trimmed down but this seemed to be a really large piece of Duff’s story that sort of just got skirt around. That aside whether you are a fan of Duff and his countless successful projects or not “It’s So Easy And Other Lies” is an enjoyable film that keeps the viewers attention throughout its entire run time however, If you want a more in-depth experience I recommend picking up a copy of the book first and then check out the film.