Write it right: How to make a powerful documentary film

The world is changing and so too are the ways to capture its realities. Media outlets provide an avenue for daily reminders of global events. Yet what about topics that require more in-depth analysis and exploration? Documentary films perfectly provide insight to compelling topics while presenting them in an easily digestible and visually arresting manner. Listed below are a few tips to consider in creating documentaries:

Stick to the core: This is especially true for beginning filmmakers. The lure of controversial issues – such as abortion, nuclear power, racism, etc. – should not limit filmmakers and distract them from what they want to talk about. The most powerful documentaries are those whose topics interest their directors. Consider the film an extension of one’s belief system; the audience can tell when a product is half-hearted.


Image Source: waytooindie.com

Be clear: Many modern documentaries are limited by political correctness. This is not to say that all documentaries need to be rogue. There are good stories that fall within societal sensibilities; yet directors need to be clear on what they want. If their goal is to expose another side of an issue – one that is definitely controversial – then they should have a no holds barred approach.


Image Source: thefilmstage.com

Listen to criticism: It can become a soul project. It is common for directors to become attached to their work, and with good reason. Still, personal aesthetics and goal-setting should not prevent directors from expanding their knowledge by listening to other people.

Remember that documentaries constitute a branch of filmmaking. They are not fictional pieces. They offer another view of the world. The nature of the documentary is a responsibility that must be taken very seriously.

Randy Wooten uses his spare time to make documentary films. For more information, subscribe to this blog.


Best Cities In The Us To Listen To Music

Living in the U.S. means getting plenty of opportunities to listen to music.  For music lovers who are deciding on where to travel to, or even reside in, some of the cities that house the best sounds are the following:

Image source: hamptons-magazine.com

Austin, Texas

Dubbed the “Live Music Capital of the World,” Austin is home to several big-name festivals, such as SXSW, ACL, Fun Fun Fun Fest, and others.  Even without these music fairs, numerous bars and restaurants offer top-notch live performances.  The city is also considered as one of the best stopover cities for touring bands.

New York City, New York

The city is where musicians dream of headlining their own shows.  NYC features iconic venues, namely, Madison Square Garden, Bowery Ballroom, Webster Hall, and many others.  The New York music scene has quite a rich history, too, and it is continuing to grow to this day.

New Orleans, Louisiana

NOLA is jazz city.  Ingrained in its culture is the music genre that there is such a thing as “jazz funerals” in the city.  However, it is not only jazz that can be heard ringing anywhere in the city, other music forms, including blues and reggae, are hits in The Big Easy.

Image source: msmnyc.edu

Nashville, Tennessee

Even as one has just arrived in the city, he can already get a taste of the “Nashville sound” as the Nashville International Airport sees around a hundred local bands play on the terminal’s four stages every year.

Randy Wooten is a philanthropist and musician.  Learn more of his work and passion by visiting this blog.

The winning tune: Characteristics of musicians who make it big in the industry

The music industry is a competitive field where artistic individuals struggle to make their own mark. As if getting a break isn’t already hard, making money out of it is harder. Not all musically talented people land a spot in the industry. The chosen few have done a set of things that made them successful in the field.


Image source: talentegg.ca

They educate themselves

Successful musicians educate themselves on recent trends in music. They know what’s in, and what they should do in order to get on (and stay on) top. They know which media will work best to sell their music, and they also educate themselves on the newest technologies that will help them produce memorable melodies.

They are patient and persistent

A career in the music industry does not happen in a snap. Before musicians can make it big in the industry, they need hours of practice. They also dedicate days, months, and even years of preparation for their debut. Some of them go on numerous auditions to land the job they want.

They are versatile

Successful musicians are not afraid to try on different hats until they have established their name in the industry. They are not choosy with projects that are given to them, and they do not keep their standards too high when it comes to client treatment.


Image source: pcworld.com

Randy Wooten is an independent producer, philanthropist, and musician. Learn more about his craft and other professional work by visiting this page.

For New Musicians: Three Attitudes You Need To Have

Image Source: Wikimedia.org

Image Source: Wikimedia.org

Everyone has dreams of making it big, especially in the music scene. It is estimated that more than half of budding musicians quit before their first year. What separates the successful from the rest are three key attitudes.

Sheer determination: There are hundreds, if not thousands, of new musicians that pop up every year. Being different and catching a music producer’s eye is difficult and challenging. Often it becomes more of a “gimmick” rather than actual talent. Technology has allowed musicians to promote their music independently freely, but there is growing competition as well. It is easy to get discouraged, but determination is essential if one wants to succeed.

Passion: Some musicians may find it hard to keep pushing on sheer determination alone. This is where passion comes in. True musicians do what they do because they love it. They do not think about the money (although it is an important consideration). It is about being passionate about something and doing whatever it takes to get it. The adage that money will come if love is there is overused but not any less true because of it.

Optimism and intuition: Those who make it in the industry are forward-thinkers. These are the ones who can detect trends and adapt their music to it. This does not mean changing one’s personal style, but understanding what works and what people want to hear. Sometimes, musicians can become the catalyst to a new global trend because of intuition and optimism.

Another good tip is to associate one’s self with positive musicians who have paved their way into the industry. They would have insightful tips that can help.

Randy Wooten is a musician and independent producer. He hopes to see more new talent in the industry. Learn more by following this Google+ page.

Heard Right: How Metal Music Increases Positive Emotions

A study was conducted on the effects of listening to metal music on emotions. It concluded that extreme music such as heavy metal promote positive emotions in people and allows them to process negative feelings such as anger. The conclusions coincide with another neurological study, which suggests that the type of music one listens to is reflective of a person’s mood. That is, while music has the potential to change a person’s mood, it can also be a reflection of what individual is feeling at the moment. Thus, an angry person listening to angry music finds catharsis.

Image Source: medicaldaily.com

Neurologists find that extreme music can be used as a healthy way to process emotions. The second study also found that when angry people listen to angry music, they show less levels of hostility, irritability, and stress. They also report feeling more inspired. The more soothing bands, according to the participants, were Metallica, System of a Down, and Meshuggah.

It needs to be noted that these studies only sampled a limited population. It still needs to be further elaborated before it can be generalized towards applications. Neurologists caution that other people could react negatively to angry music; the effect of extreme sounds in some cases shows the opposite of the study’s observations. The results are also dependent, neurologists believe, on the psychological inclinations of the person. Still, biological response to loud noises show that the brain uses it to balance intense feelings.

Image Source: businessinsider.com

Randy Wooten is a musician whose passion for music extends beyond playing. He wants people to truly understand the wonders and joys music can give the world. Learn more about him by viewing this LinkedIn page.

Passion And Paycheck: The Wisdom Behind Keeping a Day Job

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Most jaded employees think that their day job is a life-sucking routine that they have to go through daily just to make ends meet. Instead of starting their own business, creating artworks, making records, acting in plays, and pursuing other creative ambitions, many people are stuck doing tasks they’re not really fond of. Here’s the thing though; with the right perspective, a day job can push an individual nearer to his dream career.

Many individuals feel imprisoned in their desk jobs is because they feel like they’re going to do the same task for a long time. Such mindset can result in poor performance at work. However, if employees start thinking about their jobs as a means that will fuel and fund their passion projects, then they might give their work more value. Appreciating a day job more than just as a means to an end could open up a person to all the things he could bring to a current position. Who knows? There might be opportunities to demonstrate skills and talents during an office stint.

         Image source: Bplans.com

If a person doesn’t see himself being an office employee for a long time, he needs to set career goals and deadlines that will help him manage effectively his time and money until the opportunity comes to pursue his dream job full-time. Being unemployed not only harms a person’s self-esteem, it could also deprive one of resources needed to sustain his creative endeavors. Keeping track and accomplishing self-made goals will allow people to start doing what they really want to do even if they still don’t have the whole day for it. Prospering at a day job and a creative project is possible. All it takes are passion and effort. These two things can keep a person motivated in chasing success.

LA-based Randy Wooten is an independent producer and a musician who is actively performing and making music. He also has a penchant for helping out homeless people, using his talents and connections to organize benefit concerts at the Bread and Roses Café. Get to know more about Randy’s career and other projects by following this blog.