The Lab; Portnoy Media Group Blog

Seth Godin: Keep Making a Ruckus



I love this talk from Seth Godin and Scott Belsky. I liked it so much, I wanted more. So I grabbed Seth’s latest Leap First: Creating Work That Matters. (I totally dig it)

Key thoughts: A designer might be making work that’s pretty but an artist makes connection and there’s no map. Do work that’s scary, will offend some and goes against the grain.


From 99u:

In this wide-ranging question and answer session, bestselling author Seth Godin advocates us to be bold. Whether it’s a toxic work culture or stagnation in your craft, Godin urges us all to recapture the child-like delight in taking a risk.

“You may know how to use fancy design tools, but if there isn’t that leap that leads to connection, it doesn’t matter….you’re not making art,” says Godin. “We didn’t build stuff because we need more beautifully laid out menus. We did it because people want to be touched, noticed, and connected.”



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.

Creative Process: David Magee


Screenwriter, David Magee (Life of Pi, Finding Neverland) takes viewers inside his creative process in an exploration of where ideas come from.


10,000 Copies!


As of July 2015, The Non-Porift Narrative has sold over 10,000 copies. I couldn’t be more thrilled. A big thank you to so many for picking up the book and making the choice to tell better stories.

The picture above was taken 3.5 years ago just before the release of the book. If was a rough, nine month process to get on paper what I wanted to say in the most concise way.

I owe great thanks to:

Josh Kaufman – for the push to write and the guidance to help me bring it home.

Jenelle D’Alessandro – You gave the project structure and gave me the first inkling of what it could look like.

Tiffany Johnson – So many drafts of reading and rereading and you did it all without a complaint. So grateful.

Sonja Kolstad – Part archeologist and part sculptor – you made this project infinitely better.


I relate so much to writers from Gloria Steinem to George R. R. Martin who say “Most writers don’t like writing; they like having written.” If you’re thinking about putting out a book, I recommend it. I think everyone has a good book in them and with the onset of self publishing – there’s nothing stopping you!


Thank you, thank you!

Save Us Batkid!


This is just one possibility for a non-profit willing to highlight the work they do.

I know, you’re thinking, “What non-profit wouldn’t do this?” Answer: most of them. It’s hard for nonprofits to get out of their own way. Make-A-Wish Foundation was not one of them. I’m sure there were discussions and lots of back and forth and preproduction and excitement before Batkid Day on November 15, 2013 but they figured it out.

Make-A-Wish brought in an experience filmmaking team of Director, Dana Nachman and Producer Ian Reinhard or maybe Ian and Dana pitched the idea. Regardless, they let/make it happen.

And now Make-A-Wish has a global phenomena that is now ultra scalable in a 90 minute retelling of their social media juggernaut. THIS IS HOW YOU WIN IN STORYTELLING!

Good Story + Brand Interaction + Documentation / Multi-media platforms = SO MUCH WINNING.

Do you want to see this? Me too.

Do I think it’s a huge commercial for Make-A-Wish Foundation as well as a feel good story? YES!

Do I think Make-A-Wish has a marketing funnel to have you sign up for emails, a set of autoresponders and to move you to support financially all that they are doing? DUH, YES!

Do I think Dana and Ian have a HUGE hit on their hands? BIG TIME. Already happening. Check out the film festival laurels, they’re making it happen.


So why doesn’t this happen more often?

Great question. Here’s the simple answer, it comes down to vision and resources. Most nonprofits are stuck putting out fires. They get so used to that process that they forget why they’re doing this in the first place. I totally sympathize but please for the sake of everything you hold dear, adjust your schedule to allow to see possibilities. However, some marketers have the ability to see what’s next and lack the funding. Look for partners, don’t do this alone. It’s not the job of an organization to know about film festivals, production budgets; so why not find a partner that knows that information? Plus, money always follows ideas. Make time for a great idea, figuring it out is the easy (easier) part.


What are the possibilities for your organization?

  • Make time in your weekly schedule for the unknown. I block off Friday afternoons for a “What if” session. It doesn’t matter when, it matters that you do it.
  • Check out 35 Days to Telling a Better Story – It’s a daily email I’ve created to help you in your creativity no matter your discipline. Fundamental principles on constantly creating great content. Sign up here.




Connecting Scenes, Connecting Story

I love this piece from Tony Zhou as he explains the difference in lists to connecting scenes and parts of stories….

Meanwhile back at the ranch…..

Don’t forget to use this to connect scenes and action.

Therefore: How other characters will react to that fact. It could be positive or negative.

But: Implies a change in direction.


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.


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.