The Lab; Portnoy Media Group Blog

Stefan Sagmeister: The power of time off

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I started my morning with this TED talk, thought you’d want to hear it too.


Sidenote: New podcast episode from CJ Casciotta and Sounds like a Movement. It’s an interview with Elle Luna and it’s what got me on the path to watch Stefan’s talk this morning.

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Check it out here.


Portnoy Media Group uses the influence of social networks to expand your organization's voice and tell your story. We connect people with your mission and enable your brand to be shared, discovered, and connected. Work with us as we empower your organization to dramatically extend your online presence and increase donations.

Setting Creative Goals in 2015


At the end of 2013, I realized I wasn’t producing enough. As a result I wasn’t thrilled with my creativity for the year. I get the most satisfaction from creating and then sharing. Instead I spent 2013 doing a lot of things that brought little satisfaction, so I knew that had to change.

People set goals, successful people have systems.

For 2014 I set up a system that would result in shipping a new project per week. Thinking thatI could reflect at the end of the year on 52 projects would be amazing. They could be cross discipline (Writing, directing, editing) but they had to be finished – one per week average. They could be for a client or for myself if business got slow. Whatever it takes to share something with a weekly average.

In the beginning of November I started adding up my totals to see how on target I was. Happily I was ahead of the curve but didn’t realize how much  – I finished 2014 with 65 projects completed.

I can’t tell you what a joy it was to hit the goal and then move past it. Such a a big personal achievement reset the bar for me and 2015 goals has to ratchet up as well.

Need help creating a system for your creativity this year? I can help with that. Shoot me an email and let’s get cracking! More info on coaching here.



Start 2015 With A Creative Bang!


“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” –Jim Rohn

Is your creativity stuck in a rut? Looking for a boost in the results department of your business this year?

Shoot me an email for coaching and we’ll talk weekly about where you are and how to get better.

Together we’ll:

  • Break down your systems and create new ones (if needed).
  • Collaborate on solutions.
  • Find your greatest value on your team.
  • Improve your communication & marketing.
  • Start that new project that you’ve dreamed of but were uncertain how to make it a reality.
  • Make you a better leader for your team.

This is ideal for:

  • The creative executive looking to maximize their work.
  • The first-time author looking to launch their first book.
  • The author looking to make a big splash with their next release.
  • The creative trying to maximize their workday for creative output.
  • The entrepreneur who feels stuck.
  • The non-profit professional looking to create a great campaign.

I’ve spent 20 years creating and evaluating complex systems for small companies and multi-million dollar juggernauts.

Let me bring that expertise to you and your business.

Email me today


End of the Year – Loyola Law School

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Here’s a piece we did with Loyola Law School. Give it a look.


Get Set for S.T.E.A.M.!

Foothill Christian School was looking for some help to get across a complex plan for updating and improving the integration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math or S.T.E.A.M.

We worked with their team to build a script and profile that would be entertaining but also easily understandable. The concept was to let our host walk us through what was happening at the same time interacting with their environment. We thought it would be great to do this though long takes. The final product is just 6 shots, 35 actors under the age of 12, and a whole lot of love.

Check out these behind the scenes shots taken by Adan Pena.

Foothill Christian also used Instagram, Twitter and facebook to help let their community know about the event and to tease what was coming up at their gala banquet.

PMG – Sizzle Reel


We’ve been moving and shaking, creating campaigns and stylizing stories that connect with audiences around the globe. I’d like to bring the same expertise to your next campaign, series or commercial. From music videos to short films, commercials to promotional campaigns – I love working with companies and organizations that want to connect and engage. Shoot me an email or call 626.487.9823 and let’s get started on elevating your project to the next level.

Laundry Love Santa Ana Turns 5!

The 3rd Thursday of the month a group of people get together and turn a laundromat into a community hangout where the laundry is FREE. Bravo to Scott Overpeck and his team.

Check out the video we produced for them.

“5 whole years. That is 60 events. That is 1050 pounds of laundry detergent. That is 1800 individuals and families given dignity, friendship and the opportunity to wash their clothes. That is 6000 loads of laundry. That is 6000 dryer sheets. That is $30,000 given by folks just like you. Learn more and get involved at


Joss Whedon, Jo3Bot and Gallery 1998

Great time at Gallery 1998 for the release of the Joss Whedon Show!

We talked with Joss, Seth Green and the artists about their favorite parts to the Whedon-verse.


Artist Profile – Joey Spiotto

jo3bot2Pop Culture maven Joey Spiotto (Jo3bot) is an artist and creator in Los Angeles. His first solo show debuts August 1, 2014 at Gallery 1988 East. He’s also on a panel for Tee Fury at San Diego Comic-Con this  Saturday at 6:30-7:30pm Rm.7AB, Join @JoeySpiotto,     & !!

Connect with Joey Online

And don’t forget to head to Gallery 1988 East next weekend for the premiere of Joey’s show!


These Dry Bones


Over the last several months I’ve been collaborating with Eric Shouse of the band Closer by One to create a visual palette that reinforces the themes in “These Dry Bones”. When I heard the song, it sounded to me that the big takeaway was the idea of longing or more specifically the desire to be close to a loved one.

Through a few iterations we put together the idea of a traveler heading through a post apocalyptic world trying to get back home. I borrowed ideas and shots from Book of Eli, Terminator, the Road and Mad Max.

Take a look and see for yourself.


I’m thrilled to launch this video and owe a lot of people some big thanks!


In Order of Appearance:
Female Voice Over – Natalie Sisson
The Man – Eric Shouse
Cannibal #1 – Evan Richmond
Cannibal #2 – Mark Dorman

Written, Directed and Produced by Dan Portnoy
Director of Photography – Nate Harrison
2nd Camera – Zach Peckinpah
Editing/VFX – Won Novalis
Wardrobe Consultant – Morgan Lee Kestner


Let me know what you think!