Tag Archives: Geoff Talbot

No Bullshit – Keep it clean and simple…

24 Mar

Keep things clean and simple.

Don’t be diluted or muddied by the agenda’s of others. Don’t try second guess yourself creatively. Try not to commit adultery, keep yourself sacred and keep your motives pure… this way you will have much more space in your life to listen and to create.

So much money, human resource and time is spent cleaning up a dirty house and making it presentable again.

Acting with integrity and creating art out of a truthful place, can seriously streamline both your career and your life. Loyalty follows integrity, and by living and creating this kind of life, you can use the internet to gather a faithful group of friends who will support you, treasure you and share your work with the world.

You don’t need a marketing department anymore… you just need a group of loyal and committed friends.

Read more of this article at below

Much time and energy in entertainment is spent putting a “marketing spin” on things. This could be simply positioning a film to appeal to a particular type of market, or it could reach further into the darker realm of covering up the crimes, or diluting the indulgences of the marketable artists. It’s easy and way more life-giving if we all speak, create and live our lives as who we really, truthfully are. Huge marketing departments can now have their cover (lies) blown by a text message, a face-book photo or a simple tweet.

Social media scares a lot of corporates because it appears to put a huge amount of power into the hands of the ordinary chap on the street. he has a voice, and if what he says is interesting enough, it could pull down a president. Social media however, is here to stay, it’s not going anywhere.

Giving people power, levels the playing field and in my opinion it is creating a new equilibrium… where a good film, a good song, a great piece of art will stand on its own two legs, without the need for a conglomerate marketing push. The studios are afraid.

If you can create a piece of art that connects directly to the human heart, then why would you take it anywhere else than straight to the social networks. Here, you the artist can engage and converse directly with your audience, it’s safe and free, in every sense of the word. There is no “money person” getting in the way, no “distribution problem.” Your audience now has the power, not the people in suits in an office on Sunset Blvd.

Talking with your audience is a far better and more sustainable way of continuing to create really good art. It keeps the artist at the coal face, face to face with their audience members, the ordinary people on the streets, the characters in their screenplays, the people who truthfully appreciate your art. There’s not some reviewer in a newspaper sharing their jilted creative opinion, these people (your audience) commune directly with you, they share their actual opinions, their stories, these are the ones you create for, the people whom you love.

If you wish too, you can create a manageable, human, integrity based system for sharing your work and gathering a large group of supportive friends on the social networks. The good news is… you don’t need a label and a million dollars anymore. The bad news is… you need to have a strategy that is personally fitted and designed specifically for you. This strategy is not designed to reflect your art, like your art, this strategy is designed to holistically reflect and spring forth from the center of who you truthfully are.

I am an artist and I am only in interested in promoting the work/lives of artist who genuinely reflect this ethos of integrity. Not because I believe solely in the value of integrity but because the system (our integrity based marketing model) will fall apart if the artists involved act in an overtly hypocritical or dishonest manner. People aren’t fools.

We are already working with individuals/companies/artists in this area, but I am interested in taking more clients. If you are a genuine artist, looking to establish themselves in an honest way then contact me at geoffreytalbot@gmail.com to arrange a consultation.

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Naked Bullshit

10 Mar

How much of me do you want to see? How much of yourself do you wish to reveal? I’m not talking about our physical bodies, I’m simply asking you how much of your soul are you willing to reveal to the world?

Our culture often makes the grave mistake of confusing ‘openness” with integrity & honesty. You can tell every soul you meet every sordid detail of your entire life and have zero integrity. Confession does not by necessity equate to honesty; for if I were to confess to you that I hardly ever tell the truth… that confession would not make an honest man it would simply define me as openly dishonest.

When it comes to the internet and how much you share on the social networks, as you gather friends and share yourself with your audience I would advise that you to be both open and honest… the open part is easy (it’s just talking), the honest part is hard.

The full article can be read below.

Say no more

But you don’t share everything all at once…you still get to choose:

Remember that our goal for sharing our art/life on the internet is to gather “friends” not just followers or fans. The realm of friendship on the social networks is both different and the same as it is in everyday life. So although the medium is very different, the building of the relationship is still very much the same… Talking with a new friend on the social networks is kind of like going on a first date… let me tell you an actual story…

My First Date…

I met this very pretty lady in a store in America and we got talking, she seemed lovely so we exchanged phone numbers and decided to go on a date.

I was excited about meeting with her, she seemed “mysterious and interesting” in our brief moments of flirting. Little did I know she would not be brief, mysterious or interesting when we had coffee on that fateful smoking hot Los Angeles day…

She talked faster than a bullet train and she was as open as Madonna in her coffee table spread. I believe I uttered 3 or 4 sentences over the entire hour and half as this lovely woman emptied out her entire soul.

She started out by describing each of her addictions in sordid detail, from there we moved on to talk about her therapy sessions and thereafter… an easy segue into an abusive childhood. I believe that we finished up with a fascinating excursion into all her career anxieties (actress). This very pretty lady was extremely open and honest… but was she interesting?

Well, even though I knew everything… I did go on a second date. I guess I was a male fool and she was really very pretty. Why do I tell you this story?

People are thirsty for real relationships. But relational strength is related primarily to depth and depth is related to resilience and resilience is a function of shared experience and time. Hence for strong relationships (loyalty) to be built there is a requirement for a “shared journey.”

Going Together

A Shared Journey:

I was never against dating a girl who had addictions, it’s a good thing to go to therapy, and abuse is a tragic thing in any persons life. In my mind we all have addictions, we all need therapy and we all suffer abuse in one way or another. I wasn’t judging this incredible woman. She had lived a very dramatic life… but I should have found that interesting. I guess I wanted to discover who she was myself, there was no mystery there, no need to unwrap and explore.

Hence being wildly provocative on the social networks may get you a lot of immediate attention, but bad attention may not be good attention because it does not inspire loyalty. Eventually and quickly your newly found friends will disappear if there is nothing fresh to discover. There may have been a third date but there certainly wasn’t a fourth…

Hence being open isn’t about vomiting up the past, or present because there is nothing living there; no sense of forward journey together. It’s all about the past and it’s all about you. All I can do is listen and we aren’t very good friends yet... BORING…

Come on in

An Open House:

Imagine if I decided to show you my house because I’m selling it.  Instead of letting you come inside and wander through at your leisure… I grab you by the hand and I drag you in. I pull you into the living room and first I show the stains down the front of the couch, I breathlessly rant about how Billy dropped the bottle of red wine when he was drunk and he shouldn’t have been drunk because he was only fourteen and he’s the only fourteen year old in the history of LA doing AA. I then grab photos of the mantelpiece and rush through a tirade of dramatic stories about distant relatives. Then I haul you into the kitchen, where the dog is barking, and the stinky dishes haven’t been washed and the trash needs to be taken out and I complain that I’ve always wanted a bigger kitchen because we don’t have enough room for all our stuff. Into the bedroom we go, and I lustfully and in hushed breathless undertones tell you tales of our sordid marital passion upon that broken down old four post bed… Into the on-suite we go with further tales of marital passion, mildew on the shower and a toilet seat that I leave up because quite frankly it’s my prerogative!

Do you want to buy my house or do you wanna just get the hell out of there?

It just works better if you give people the time and space to discover. It works better if you clean things up a little, it’s their space too. They need time to invest, they need time to imagine, they need time to discover what it’s like to be you… what it would be like to live in your house.  There is a time for revealing deep truths, that deep sources of pain and brokenness from which you create your artistic masterpieces. But that time will present itself at the right time, when the relationship is strong.

Being open isn’t about dragging people into the quagmire of your life, it’s about opening the door, inviting them in and sitting down in a chair and sharing life together. It’s about sitting down in a chair in their house too. Their story will be good for your art.

Go on a Adventure together

Go on an Adventure Together:

In truth, when you ask someone to follow you, to believe in you, to spread your message, to sell your work, you are asking them to embark with you on a great adventure. An artist’s adventure is impossible without his/here audience, without his fans, without his faithful friends. They have to believe in you before the rest of the world does, it’s an adventure of Faith and Trust. They need to know you are trustworthy, they need to know you are talented, they need to know you are loyal, they need to know you care.

Trust is built through listening, through sharing, through revealing and through not revealing. Trust is built through the overcoming of obstacles. Faith is built through failure and the story of your good character, which does not give up and continues to try again.

On the other hand

On the Other Hand:

At the other end of the spectrum is the private and mysterious soul who virtually never shares a “drop” of who they really are. Many people fear being known and so are very afraid of the social networks. Most of this is fear based and in my opinion selfish… especially if you wish to be supported, especially if you want people to buy your music, look at your painting or read your blog. You’re not sharing… your selling.

Speaking of not sharing and remain locked up, tight-lipped and quiet…? That reminds me of another first date, but that my friends is a story for another day.

Purity is simplicity

24 Feb

“The greatest things are the simplest things, and simplicity by its very nature is uncontaminated, singular in its structure, pure and unadulterated. Refinement and purification are labors of great love for the artist committed to raw perfection.

This process of pure simplification cannot begin with the work of your hands, for if the heart of the artist is not pure and simple, then the work of their hands (however magnificent) will be largely truthful only in its contradiction. Learning to be simple and remaining in an uncluttered space is a lifelong journey.

It’s so easy to become tired, cynical, angry, greedy or proud, for life throws many arrows and can offer some of us great goblets of gold; and in our confusion, we lose the simplicity of being and the joy of creating.

In the simplest most pure state, the artist cannot be separated from their art, for one is merely a deep reflection of the other. Art is no longer the object, for art is the artist and the artist is the art.”

The above article featured in my daily seven sentence blog. I wish to expound upon it here, as it is I believe central to the core ethos of authentically using the internet to market an artist or piece of art. Traditionally, a marketer would use the term brand building, but the word “brand” brings to my mind connotations of fickleness, being sold something, and a certain polished deceitfulness. It seems, rather ironically that the word “brand” itself has become an oversold and contaminated commodity, that now has a branding issue itself.  Please note that I have no formal training in these areas, I am just throwing around ideas and concepts that make sense to me.

The internet is full of marketers and social networkers… all trying to sell you something and all pretending that they are not. The trouble with the “selling” is that most people are looking to browse rather than to buy, and we rather enjoy browsing without the interruption or pressure a salesperson.

The internet has empowered the consumer, fan or audience member is a very healthy way, they have a lot of choice, a number of places to express their views, a number of ways to disconnect or escape. You can’t grab them and hold on to them anymore (nor should you want to). People are smarter and harder to con now… because they are connected, they have the wisdom of the masses.

So instead of “creating a brand” and instead of “selling something” I’m going to suggest something that is far less generic and far more unique. This is the first crucial point I wish to make on how you may authentically use the internet to “market your art.”Let’s not create a brand (you already have a name) let’s not try and sell a product, let’s simply tell a story.

Let’s tell your story

Let’s not look at your story, just as a retrospective study of who you are and where you come from. That’s about as interesting as looking at a strangers photos or watching their wedding video. It’s just simply not interesting if you don’t know “who the people are.” But it’s not just the knowing that makes a person interesting, it’s also the not knowing who you are. Hence it the journey/discovery into knowing another that makes a person or thing  interesting.

For Example: The strongest fans of an artist or a film are generally the people that “discover” the artist first. These fans have the bragging rights, they liked you before you were successful, before you became popular they chose you, they recognized your talent, they loved your unique voice. In general terms, their love for you is pure (or possibly creepy) because they fell in love you and your art, not your popularity. The sense of discovery is huge, and it gives a fan (lets call them friends from now on) a huge feeling of worth and belonging…

Traditional Selling does not allow for Personal Discovery. It doesn’t make a commodity out of the product, it instead makes a commodity out of both the artist and the friends of the artists. A fan these days can be bought, sold and manipulated any which way but loose. It’s a very dehumanizing system, but fortunately because the system involves humans; people on a search for something more (friendship), it is a system that is dying. Do I hear the people say Hallelujah?

So my second point and certainly the most pure way to market your art is to allow yourself to be discovered, rather than sold. What state you are found in when are discovered by your new friends is also of vital importance, they must discover you in your most authentic state. The music you play, the stories you write, the work you create must accurate reflect who you are. Bullshit leaves a terrible stain. And these people who discover you, they are your friends, and friends deserve loyalty, authenticity and respect. Hence the third important point I wish to convey is that create a loyal fan base you must be authentic.

Remember that instead of marketing, branding or selling you as an artist we are looking at simply telling your story. Yours is not a story that has ever been told, it is a story that is being told; you are the piece of art, you are a melody being written, a piece of clay being sculpted, a canvas being stretched, in essence you are a work in progress… It is bullshit when you pretend otherwise. For example: you have not made it yet, if you have not made it yet. It’s tempting for reasons of ego to inflate your success… but whilst exaggeration may give you a temporary surge in popularity it will always hurt you in the long run. Once bitten twice shy, a friend who has been duped is unlikely to become your friend again.

Secondly you are skipping some very exciting elements in your story, trying to make it,  is very interesting, failing and trying again is awe inspiring to your few loyal friends. Pretending to already be discovered decreases the buy in of the “possible new friend”s who would have liked to discover you themselves. Tell your story authentically and you will gain friends for life, friends who will champion your cause and tell others all about you and your artistic work.

Thirdly and this is huge, the greatest work comes out of this place of story authenticity, your work will resonate with truth, sink deep into your story and let your music, writing or art truly reflect who you are. There is perhaps no greater example of this than “Billy Joel’s Piano Man song,” after his first record failed dismally, Billy  was forced to sing in an executive club lounge in Los Angeles and there, digging deeply into his own feelings of failure and lost dreams he wrote a song that changed his career forever.

What if your life is not that interesting? What if your story does not seem that unique? These are fair questions to ask. If your story is not that interesting then it shouldn’t be told, not the way you are telling it, not the way you are living it anyway. You’re simply not taking enough risks, either with your life or with your art. Am I telling you that you need to take risks? Absolutely, yes I am. Why? Am I encouraging you to be irresponsible? No, I’m not. So the fourth point I am making is simply this… take a risk…be the person you were designed to be.”

Artistic expression is by its very nature risky, it’s an exploration into an authentic truth. It’s never just entertainment, that is something else. Although artistic truth told in an entertaining way is always far more enjoyable than “entertainment for entertainment’s sake” itself.  It resonates more because it’s truthful. To be authentic is to take a big risk and to take a big risk is to be truly authentic.

What is it you truly care about? Who are you really? What would you change about the world around you? What is wrong with you, that thing, that character trait that you truly dislike? What is it you are really looking for? To take a risk is to explore the far flung reaches and depths inside your soul and to create from that place of vulnerability, revealing not hiding the truth about yourself and the world around you.  The story is in you, there is something to fight for, there are  obstacles to be overcome… create from that place. You are no different than your friends (fans), I promise you… it will resonate.

Start with what you know. If you don’t have a story to tell? If that annoys you, if that frustrates you… write that baby, tell that story. If you are afraid of taking risks then write a song that rages against the passivity inside your timid soul. You’re not unusual, you don’t need to be ashamed. Tell your story, find it, explore.

The fifth thing I wish to say on the matter of telling your story is simply this, root your story in something far greater than yourself. This idea maybe surprising to you, please let me explain. Your story actually isn’t that interesting… not if is primarily about you, and your success and you ‘making it as an artist.” It’s a very narrow story, centered around one very lonely and ambitious character. I’m not really interested in that story. What interests me, what really interests me, is what happens to you when you forget yourself, when you pick up a sword and fight someone else’s battle. Suddenly you stop being that” self seeking artistic waif” and you become my hero. There is something ordained, beautiful, pure and simple about a human being living and giving in their most selflessly abandoned state.

When your heart and all your creativity are lent to the poor, the marginalized, the abused, the broken, the condemned, the sick, the lonely and the hurting, suddenly you find yourself in a much greater story, authentically alive, really giving, really singing; doing the things that you were designed to do. That story is irresistible. To be artistic is to be completely yourself, and to be completely yourself is the purest, simplest, most sustainable thing you could ever hope to do.

To summarize these are the five main takeaway points…

  • Tell your Story
  • Be Discovered rather than Sold
  • Be Authentic in all things.
  • Take a risk – be the person you were called to be.
  • Abandon yourself to something greater than yourself.

Feel free to comment or share with friends.

For yourself or for your audience?

18 Oct

Should an artist create primarily for themselves or for their own audience? This is an important question for song writers, screenwriters and authors. Perhaps this question translates across into other endeavors including businesses and churches etc.

It can appear selfish to create primarily for yourself and it can seem like a giant leap to assume that you know exactly what the audience (your market) needs or wants. Maybe it is the posture of the “creatives heart” that defines the significance of the work?

The artist must delve into their own life, honestly exploring his/her impulses and attitudes, but at the same time their desire must be to communicate “themselves” to their audience, whom they would do well to consider as their “friends” rather than their market.

The days of mass marketing assumptions in creativity are swiftly coming to an end… but that is just my opinion.

When we are creating we need to ask ourselves pertinent questions. The human mind likes to choose, it likes to maintain a solid point of view, but truth is nearly always found in the tension of paradox, let me explain. You could create “work” solely for you audience or you could create solely for yourself… but why make either of those choices? Why not do both?

Deeply personal creative work, is essential if you, the artist wish to create a work that resonates inside other human beings. If you are not moved by your own work… how could you possibly expect others to be moved by it? If you don’t find your own jokes funny, why would you expect other people to laugh at them? Deeply personal work connects with others because it is based around the common truth, that at a very primal level the artist although perhaps more aware of himself is no different to you or I. Thus we the audience feel understood and a connection is formed. There is no place for arrogance or superiority in true creativity… just a sober understanding that we are all the same.

Deeply personal work that is so internalized that it ostracizes other people, serves only the artist themselves and thus falls into the realm of selfishness. This lives and breathes in a world of self-indulgence and misery, making the horrid assumption that you/we the artist are inherently so fascinating that other people will be drawn into our own private little world… And fall into your world the audience may… but it is a horrid little world from which they may never escape.

Deeply personal work should invite and evoke your audience to look inside themselves, to see that they in turn resonate with you and with others. This type of connection is viral and life changing as it fulfills a basic human need… to be known and to be understood. Conversely these are the types of films, the types of songs, the types of story that spread around the world without the need for mass marketing. And unlike the trendy, popular things of this world, which are here one day and gone the next; these live on in our consciousness forever. The greatness in these stories never dies… because you can’t kill truth, not even with lies.

We create to SHARE… and in that word “sharing” you will find all you ever need to know.

7 Reasons to Invest in Lucky & Rich

10 Aug

Lucky & Rich is a funny, irreverent, poignant romantic thriller, its universal themes of forgiveness and regret will touch viewers from all walks of life, and every strata of society right around the globe.

Less funding is now available for what was a booming independent film market, fewer Independent Films are being made and so demand is increasing.

Commercial and Academy Award success also adds weight to what we are saying here; this year, Crazy Heart, Precious and Hurt Locker were highly successful award winning independent films that studios didn’t want to fund. The previous year, The Wrestler and Slum Dog Millionaire went to head for best picture, both independent films. Audiences everywhere are thirsty for international films with strong messages.

Because we have an Innovative Marketing and Distribution Plan that will significantly increase the returns on investment, the Internet and the Social Networks now allow the filmmaker to build an audience online before they sell the film to Distributors.

The Investor is investing in both a Feature Film (Lucky & Rich) & a Television Documentary (Street Dog Songs), this spreads the risk and doubles the likelihood of a significant return.

You have the opportunity to be involved in a significant story with the ability to touch our core relationships, you will feel good about being involved.

In Summary, Lucky & Rich story telling complex is a low film risk, high concept, optimistic and challenging film that will stand out from the crowd. It provides the investor with the opportunity to make both a financial and personally rewarding return on investment.

Note: For a Complete Investment Prospectus please contact me at geoff@evokepictures.com

Play the social networking game…

6 Nov

Some “experts” will tell you that the essential ingredient to “marketing yourself” or your art on the social networks is “strategy.” They will tell you that you must have a plan and this plan must be “predictably unpredictable.” In other words you must, do and say things on the social networks that cause people to constantly “follow you” because they are excited about what you may or may do next.

Strategy is important but it far from the most important ingredient. There is something that trumps strategy a million times over, and it’s called “integrity.”As artists if we have we have integrity, if we adhere 100% to our creativity, if we surrender wholly to our creativity and then live to share this with others… I guarantee that you will be “predictably unpredictable” and 100% exciting to follow online.

It’s funny how we often look for shortcuts. A move away from integrity is almost always an attempt to shortcut the process. It is nearly always unstable as it has very rocky foundations. Watch this video of Sharon Osbourne below…

Do you ever get the impression that people have to be constantly shocking to stay in the press; to maintain their celebrity status? None of this is new… it’s PR spin that has been occurring in the entertainment industry for years. It’s one of the reasons artists have publicists right? Not just to smooth things over when they exhibit a clear lack of integrity but to also use “controversy” to appear in magazine publications and to of course above all else “make money.”

Rather than living a creative and resourceful life that is dynamically imaginative and interesting to follow, we attempt to shortcut the process by staging shocking “mini controversies” that appeal to people because of our voyeuristic nature.

What has this got to do with marketing yourself on the social networks?

Well it’s the same thing just a different medium. What was once in the tabloids, now exists on blogs, twitter, Facebook and MySpace. It is possible for everyone to have their little slice of fame. Rather than living and creating a vitally interesting artistic life, it appears as though it is easier to simply stage events and create the illusion of one.

Imagine going to all the effort of learning what it means to love somebody. You stage things, put on romantic dinners, buy gifts, learn how to kiss, you write in your diary “must spend quality time” with that special someone. You do all this to create the impression (or the illusion) that you love this person. Have you not missed the point?

If you started with love… would all these things not happen spontaneously and organically anyway? Would it not be a much simpler and easier way to live?

So why would you start with a “strategy” and make every effort to appear to be creative, artistic and interesting on the social networks? Is not much simpler to start with yourself… the artist… a living piece of art, and to live this artistic life with much creativity and integrity?

Then the rest is easy… all you have to do is use the social networks to share this life with your audience.

This weeks award goes to…

5 Nov

Today’s blog is dedicated to our “Independent Artist of the WeeK” singer/song writer Ashlee Morton. Check out her incredible voice and wonderfully spun lyrics on Ashlee’s Myspace and sit back and relax into the afternoon.

Ashlee

Ashlee Morton

Independent artists like Ashlee live for days like today… after months of hardwork(working two jobs) and much sacrifice her music has finally come alive. I so love her first track… “Don’t grow cold”, her voice is haunting and it sounds like it comes from heaven. It could so easily be a cover for a film soundtrack… race you to it.

Awhile ago Ashlee confided in me that she sometimes considered giving up music (it’s a hard and frustrating road at times) and taking up nursing… so glad she stayed in the studio. What do you think? Which song do you want to see go Platinum?