10Create a new composition called middle. 1Create a new composition, new black solid, and new text titled “Start,Start,Start”. 16Move forward 10 frames and close the eyeball. Move 10 frames forward and open the eye again. 24You can stylize using keyframes on the pupil position, strokes, fills, among other things. 5Set opacity to 0 at the beginning and end of the animation then set the opacity to 100 percent. 8Duplicate the dark magenta layer, place it above the text and give it an alpha track mask. 13Create a diamond shape over the “Start” pre-comp using the pen tool. Make sure you turn off the fill. 7Easy Ease all the keyframes. Use the graph editor to make a curved line. 4Move to the beginning of the composition and move the mask to begin on the far left. In this Premiumbeat exclusive tutorial we show you a technique for seamlessly transitioning from one comp to another in After Effects.Using a vector-based ‘eyeball’ transition I’ll demonstrate a technique for transitioning from one comp to another in AE. The tutorial covers a few simple After Effects fundamentals including:Creating an eyeball simulationShape editorsUsing exclude effectsWorking with alpha mattesWhile this tutorial is rather specific the techniques involved in making an animated eye transition can be used in a wide variety of motion graphic situations.More of a reader than a watcher? Follow along with the step-by-step tutorial below. Click any image for larger view. 22Set keyframes to scale the pupil down over time. 21Parent the shape layers to the null. 20Duplicate the ellipses and create an eyeball like the picture. 11Make a new null object that scales down from 100 to 50 over the course of a few frames. 14Use the convert vertex tool to round off the top and bottom vertices. 9Create an exact duplicate of the composition and change the text to “End End End”. 2Create a new dark magenta shape layer. Make a mask over the first “start”. Duplicate the mask twice and drag down to cover all the words. 12Parent the start composition to the null object. 18Parent the shape layer to the null object. 6Offset the keyframes. 17Add a rectangle to the shape layer, add an exclude intersection effect. 23Duplicate the eyeball and include only the inner pupil. Set the “start” layer to alpha matte so it only appears in the pupil. 3Set a keyframe on all the mask paths. Move the playhead forward 10 frames and position the mask path off of the letters. 19Create a new black solid and add it to the back. Create a new white ellipses shape layer and make the shape equal on the x and y scaling. 15Set a keyframe for the shapes path. Know of any other uses for this technique? Share in the comments below.
If you need a little entertainment in your Twitter feed add these video and filmmaking related accounts.Overloaded with technical tweets? Check out the Twitter feeds that any video editor will find funny.IMDb Parents’ GuideMaking sure you’ve got a few funny accounts in your Twitter feed is a great way to add a chuckle or two to your day, especially when it’s related to your day-in-day-out experience in the post production industry. Here are a few of my favorites with three of their best tweets.The IMDB Parents Guide, is actually very useful if you’re ever concerned about what the content of a film might be before you view it. But it also leads to some entertaining comments from unsuspecting parent contributors, the best of which are gathered together by @imdbparents. These short quips summarize the ‘best’ parts of popular films in 140 characters or less… Worst Editor EverMy favorite funny post production Twitter feed is still @theworsteditorever, who I have mentioned on this blog before. For post-related laughs, their feed is tough to beat. Render PleaseRender Please is actually more of a Tumblr GIF blog than a Twitter feed, but it’s well worth following on Twitter so you never miss a post from an Assistant Editor’s perspective. Plus you’ll have a slew of funny GIFs ready for any situation. Follow @renderplease Know of any other funny filmmaking or video editing Twitter feeds? Share in the comments below.
Who are you rooting for? Which of these directors deserves the Oscar? Share your thoughts in the comments below. This year’s nominees for Best Director brought their A-game and then some with the most visually arresting, engaging films in recent memory.Top image via Paramount Pictures.2017’s Oscar nominees for Best Director come from wildly different backgrounds, and they tell stories in completely different ways. Experts in their field, these artists have truly demonstrated what it means to have a vision. Each of this year’s nominated films overcame many different challenges on their way to the box office. Let’s take a look at their creators.Denis Villeneuve — ArrivalImages via Paramount Pictures.Some would say Quebec native Denis Villeneuve is long overdue for a Best Director nomination. Last year’s Sicario garnered worldwide acclaim — as did its predecessor, Prisoners. Villeneuve’s work ethic is admirable, to say the least. However, his recent successes span only a small portion of his career.Cosmos, Villeneuve’s first dip into feature territory, is an anthology film featuring five other directors, shot entirely in black and white, that landed a spot at the Cannes Film Festival in the Directors Fortnight category. It’s available in its entirety at YouTube here (check it out while you can).His first full-length feature, August 32nd on Earth, premiered at Cannes in 1998, then eventually came to the U.K., France, and Germany. Villeneuve’s directing career took off after the success of his second feature-length film, Maelstrom, in 2000. Villeneuve grabbed everyone’s attention when his film Incendies earned a nomination for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year, and he quickly became a director to watch.Until very recently, Villeneuve has had to work with relatively small budgets, even on large film projects. Yet, each film comes off in the end like an epic. He’s spoken in interviews about dealing with a small budget and the importance of preparation (with one of his usual DPs Roger Deakins), as well as knowing everything you want to get out of each shot before you begin production. This precision and cutthroat editing attitude has produced some truly stellar films.“When we work, every shot we are making, its important for Roger [Deakins] to understand if it is important in the movie and if it will stay in the movie … thats why when we are trying to shoot in a very economic way, each shot has its own importance and is crucial. Editing is a cruel process. Sometimes the shot doesn’t make it in the end.”Villeneuve recently spoke with DP/30 about his Oscar-nominated film Arrival and the magic of working with cinematographer Bradford Young. The two are a perfect match, and they created mysterious, hopeful, and engaging environments that are breaking new ground for Villeneuve both commercially and critically.Villeneuve has recently signed on to direct the latest adaptation of Dune. Given his recent foray into sci-fi, this is certainly not a surprise. For now, we’ll simply have to be content watching the Blade Runner 2049 trailer for the twentieth time. Villeneuve’s films are tense, heavy, and masterfully crafted, and they have successfully established him as the next great auteur.Mel Gibson — Hacksaw RidgeImages via Lionsgate.As far as Hollywood superstars go, Gibson topped the list for the majority of the early ’80s and ’90s in classic franchises like Mad Max and Lethal Weapon. Gibson has stated that working with directors like George Miller and Peter Weir were major influences on the type of director he would eventually become.His first at-bat, The Man Without a Face, demonstrated his ability to direct and act at the same time. His next project, Braveheart, launched him into the box office stratosphere and earned him Oscar glory. It was almost a decade after Braveheart before Gibson’s controversial return with 2004’s Passion of the Christ. When asked about taking the reins and assuming responsibility for dozens — if not hundreds — of people on set, Gibson had the following to say:When you step into that arena, you find pretty quickly that your daily task is to solve about a million problems a day — or maybe only 50-60 problems a day, it seems to be. You have to be very judicious in your choices, and you have to make choices, and you have to make them fast. You have to solve a lot of problems, like how do we get around this one, because they present themselves in battalions. As an artist, you’re supposed to shove the boundaries. You’re supposed to do stuff that’s out there, to do stuff that makes people uncomfortable. That’s your job.In a recent hour-long interview with DP/30, Gibson discussed the struggles of his latest effort, Hacksaw Ridge, an epic war movie that had a $30 million budget and a limited production window. They had to shoot all three battle sequences in nineteen days, so Gibson personally bought a couple Blackmagic Pocket cinema cameras.I said to the financiers, ‘We need a few more days!’ but they said ‘Nope. You have to make things work.’ It really puts you on your mettle to say, ‘I need to get the best bang for my buck. How do I do it?’ Even to the point where I went and bought two cameras, like little $1,500 Blackmagic digital cameras, and we were shoving them under rocks and up people’s shirts. There’s a lot of those shots in there because there’s stuff going off, and the cameras have been placed in interesting places, near explosives with guys flying over the top. It’s interesting what you come up with.Gibson embraces the unknown and accepts the challenges of limited resources. He demonstrates that even A-list Hollywood status can’t always guarantee good funding. Gibson claims to have multiple projects in the works, but only time will tell if these get off the ground anytime soon.Barry Jenkins — MoonlightImages via A24.Starting out in film school at Florida State University, Jenkins worked on short films and commercials. His debut feature in 2008, Medicine for Melancholy, had only a five-person crew, a fifteen-day shoot, and a $15,000 budget. Jenkins reflects on that project fondly, as the (relatively) low stakes afforded him the luxury of a production with little pressure.After the attention Medicine for Melancholy garnered, Jenkins became the announcer for film screenings at the Telluride Film Festival. Jenkins had attended the festival for years through a student program that allowed young filmmakers to attend Q&As with some of the industry’s biggest directors. Jenkins praises this opportunity to learn from long-admired directors like David Cronenberg and Lynne Ramsay.While introducing 12 Years a Slave in 2013, Jenkins met with distribution and production company Plan B, which would later go on to back Moonlight. Jenkins is a quintessential example of improving one’s craft by seizing every available opportunity and establishing good relationships in the film community.Recently Jenkins sat down for Apple’s Meet the Filmmaker series for a conversation about the making of Moonlight, working in the industry, and where the future will lead. When asked about the dynamic between himself, his DP, and the actors, Jenkins praised the openness and improvisation he experienced on the set:I trust the people around me, and they know every now and then I’m going to spring some sh*t on them, and they know they gotta be ready to jump with that spring. Its not an adaptation; its a collaboration, I think. I’m not beholden to what I have in my head because its usually going to be much better to get this thing out of these people in front of me.On top of the many accolades and praise that Moonlight has garnered in the past few months, one of the standout features of the film is its look and feel. Jenkins decided to shoot with the ARRI ALEXA XT Plus with his DP James Laxton:Tarell and I wanted to make this movie very lush. Our memories of our childhood are this very beautiful place. My first film, Medicine for Melancholy, it traffics in the absence of color or sort of the removal of color. Whereas I love when I watch that scene — the trees behind Mahershala are just popping, but that’s Miami you know. The colors just pop. The chlorophyll is very present.Jenkins had options to shoot the film in New Orleans or Atlanta, where he could expect favorable tax incentives, but Miami was always the only option for him. A filmmaker who recognizes the importance of time and place to this degree will always make wise decisions when it comes to choosing projects. His work speaks for itself, and I personally can’t wait to see which film he chooses to work on next.Damien Chazelle — La La LandImages via Lionsgate.Damien Chazelle is everywhere. As I write this, he just won the Directors Guild of America award and is the current front runner for the upcoming Oscars. Chazelle has been in producers’ sights since his breakout feature about two jazz musicians, Guy and Madeleine on an Park Bench, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2009. Chazelle filmed the majority of the project while he was at Harvard University with a borrowed 16mm film camera on an off-and-on shooting schedule for a couple of years. Chazelle stuck with these musical themes for his next passion project, Whiplash.Starting out as a short film (primarily shot to impress investors), the feature would premiere at Sundance, where it won the Grand Jury Dramatic Competition Award. It went on to win three Oscars for Best Supporting Actor, Best Editing, and Best Sound Mixing — as well as earning a Best Picture nomination. Chazelle sat down with DP/30 after Whiplash premiered at Toronto International Film Festival, and he discussed funding, writing from your experiences, and overcoming fear.After the wild success of Whiplash, Chazelle’s “passion project” La La Land went into production during the late summer of 2015. The film is unique in today’s cinematic world, given the nostalgic yet original aspects that set it apart from other musicals. Working with DP Linus Sandgren, Chazelle decided to shoot with a Panavision Panaflex Millennium XL2 on a 2.55:1 aspect ratio — just like 1954’s A Star Is Born.The film is a wonderful combination of comedy and drama that sustains a feeling of inspiration, which is exactly what Chazelle wanted. While discussing the necessity of maintaining a consistent tone throughout the musical, Chazelle noted the following:It’s harder to find the tone. Within any given week of shooting, we’d be doing Ryan and Emma sitting at a table fighting, and the next day they’re literally doing their hilltop duet dance, and they have to be the same people; it has to be the same movie, so they and I and everyone else in the cast and crew were always talking about [how] it has to be the same movie no matter what part of the movie we’re shooting — the camera has to move the same way, it has to respond to the actors the same way, the sense of color has to be the same. It couldn’t be a movie that was just sort of veering between two completely opposite pulls that never really coexisted.Musical themes aren’t the only motifs in Chazelle’s work, and his range has only broadened with La La Land. Though nothing has been announced, his next project will surely have critics and audiences lined up to see what he will accomplish next.Kenneth Lonergan — Manchester by the SeaImages via Amazon Studios.The voice behind many of your favorite movies has established himself as one of the next great directors with Manchester by the Sea. Starting out with screenplay credits on films like Gangs of New York, Analyze This, and You Can Count On Me (which he also directed), Lonergan developed his unique voice but had yet to stand out as a director. Primarily considered a screenwriter and a playwright, Lonergan holds that screenplays are meant to be filmed, meaning that, as standalone pieces of work, they are genuinely uninteresting. You Can Count On Me, which gained Lonergan a Best Screenplay Oscar nomination, gave him the opportunity to hone his skills behind the camera before his sophomore feature Margaret in 2011.In Lonergan’s dense screenplays, dialogue is everything, and he’s said multiple times in press junkets how important it is to give each character (no matter how small) their own voice. Bringing those performances to life was tricky:The idea is not to follow the script as though it’s a piece of literature, but to embody it and to feel [the actors’] way through it. But occasionally, you have to respect the pauses because they’re as meaningful as — you know — we don’t just express ourselves with words. We express ourselves with silences and with difficulty in finding words. And so there’s only one way to write that down.Making his rounds promoting Manchester by the Sea, Lonergan stopped by The Film Society of Lincoln Center to discuss the pains, processes, and procedures of directing his latest masterpiece.Lonergan isn’t your typical director. He’s soft-spoken, unsure of the future, and brutally honest. His films are tough, intimate character studies that pack an emotional punch and will continue to resonate with audiences for years to come. Though still relatively new to directing, Lonergan’s work comes across like he’s been doing this his entire life.For more on this year’s Oscar nominees, check out PremiumBeat’s recent coverage of cameras and editing:Insight From 2017’s Film Editing Oscar NomineesThe Cameras and Lenses Behind 2017 Oscar-Nominated Films
We chatted with filmmaker Wendy McColm about writing, directing, and performing in her award-winning feature Birds Without Feathers.All images from Birds Without Feathers.It’s the awards brunch at the Oak Cliff Film Festival in a small gastropub in Dallas, Texas. Everyone is moving a little slowly after the late closing party the night before, but coffee and scones abound during the presentation of the festival awards. For the narrative feature category, usually the last announcement with the most acclaim, Wendy McColm gets called up to accept an award for her feature Birds Without Feathers, which she wrote, directed, and performed in.Birds Without Feathers premiered at Slamdance 2018, where it also won the Spirit Award. The film, which features McColm as part of an ensemble cast of characters shuffling through the malaise and oddities of millennial life, has been an audience favorite as it makes the rounds at film festivals across the globe.McColm, who is an accomplished actor-turned-up-and-coming-director in her own right, has been performing and creating shorts and other productions for years. Her Vimeo and YouTube pages are treasure troves of creative vignettes and comedic character studies, in which McColm shows off her performance range and directing chops. We chatted with McColm about her most recent project — Birds Without Feathers — for some insight into how she created such powerful performances — as well as her advice for those looking to take on writing, directing, and acting.The Meisner Technique and TruthFor Birds Without Feathers, we used the Meisner technique for developing the characters and all the dialogue. With Meisner, it requires an intense level of training. I’ve spent a lot of time in classes finding these actors and taking their words and speech and incorporating them into the script. Each part comes from part of our collective conscious and different journeys which we took into these classes.If you haven’t heard of it, the Meisner technique is an acting and improvisational training method developed by Sanford Meisner in which performers improvise and search for shared and individuals truths, authenticity, and emotions. For McColm, who (among other practices) studied Meisner for years, the process translated into her own performances and filmmaking. With Birds, McColm used themes of repetition and emotional truth to develop characters who seem authentic and raw in their emotions and interactions.From Actor to Actor-DirectorI originally started as an actor, but once I started directing I realized I had been doing it for years already. Whether it was school plays or making little home movies as a kid or even creating videos for YouTube, I was directing all along. It’s a testament that we don’t always get to see our true selves, a theme in Birds. We sometimes need a true mirror to see all of yourself.McColm’s career trajectory from actor to actor-director is an excellent case-study into how to emphasize and understand the nuances of each role. Birds Without Feathers is full of raw and emotional performances that require the utmost level of care, trust, and communication between the actors and the director. In McColm’s example, it took finding one’s self as a director to really bring out her best self as an actor as well.Opening Yourself to Trusting OthersWhen I was first starting out, I did everything myself. It took awhile to trust other people to get the work done or rely on others. This movie was a huge lesson for me to learn how to ask for help. How to trust other people. Whether it’s on set with the cinematographer or in post working on the edit, you have to open yourself to trust other people and artists.And after you do find trust in yourself, you also have to find your trust in others. This is something, McColm admits, she struggled with starting out. Coming from a shorts background, digital cameras and smartphones have made solo-filmmaking an increasingly more available option. But when working on projects with bigger scopes and more ambitious themes, it’s important to surround yourself with a team that you can count on.Post-Production and ContractsPost production was probably the most challenging part of this project. Editing was really difficult because we just had tons of footage. I was given the advice to shoot what you can if you have time, so we shot way more than we ended up needing. I also didn’t have anyone sign contracts, which is another lesson you learn quickly when trying to get things wrapped up.When making the jump into features with more substantial resources, expectations can suddenly change. For Birds, McColm details a very time-consuming post-production process reviewing all the footage, performances, and takes. Partly from working with the Meisner, which challenges actors to push for deeper acting, McColm and her team shot as much as they possibly could to get the best footage possible, which left them with a much larger post-production workload than they anticipated.Don’t Wait for Everything to be PerfectThe biggest thing I see stopping people is excuses. I’ll do it when I get the money, or when I get this actor or this or that. You can easily stop yourself by saying I’ll start when it’s perfect. I don’t think I’ve ever had that mentality and I’ve made over 80 short films with no money. Even if you’re using iPhones or point-and-shoot cameras, make videos for YouTube. Follow your instincts and don’t cloud them with your mind.Whether you’re just starting out as a filmmaker or already immersed in the field, McColm’s advice is relevant. Don’t let excuses or doubt stop you from simply going out and making films. Birds Without Feathers, if anything, is a study on repetition and the hurdles we put in front of ourselves. For filmmakers like McColm, it just takes a steadfast resolve to stay true and to stay at it.For more information on Wendy McColm and Birds Without Feathers, check out the film’s website or Facebook page — or McColm’s website here. For more filmmaker interviews and articles, check out some of the links below.Tips from the Team Behind the Ruth Bader Ginsberg Sundance DocumentaryInterview: Behind the Scenes with Producer Bonnie CurtisRound Table: Scream Queens on What Every Horror Director Needs to KnowInterview: The Editor of “This is America” on Building the Iconic VideoNavigating the Challenges of the One-Take Short Film
If you’re aiming for the funny bone, give your gags a boost with this curated playlist of royalty-free comedy tracks from the PremiumBeat library.Maybe you’ve heard the saying “Dying is easy. Comedy is hard.” Perhaps you’ve heard the classic joke: What’s the secret to comedy? They both sort of speak to the same truth: funny ain’t easy.While the Sacred Art of the Ha-Ha is certainly a difficult one to perfect, one that takes years and years of perseverance, practice, and polish, you can do your next comedy project a favor by giving it a comedic soundtrack (see the curated playlist of royalty-free comedy tracks at the bottom of this post) that creates the kind of lighthearted atmosphere that makes your audience more prone to laughter.Work with What WorksUsing the right music in your comedy clips, skits, and sketches can help you create a shortcut to Comedy Gold if you’re willing to lean on the approach taken by some of the true masters of the craft, like Larry David, who introduced the world to one of television’s all-time great themes, comedy or otherwise.David first heard the song — “Frolic” by Italian composer Luciano Michelini — in a bank commercial, two years before he put it to use with Curb Your Enthusiasm. He bookmarked the tune in his brain after immediately recognizing its comedic value.There was something circus-y about it. I like to get away with things, comedically, and sometimes music can help in that regard. It tells the audience: don’t take this seriously—it’s just funny—so a lot of the music we use in the show is designed with that purpose in mind.At this point, “Frolic” is Larry David, and the song’s loping tuba blurts and plinky-plunky mandolins are synonymous with the observational traumedy-of-error moments that define the best parts of Curb Your Enthusiasm. If you’re hoping to cook up some of that hilarious Curb-type magic, a royalty-free track like “Tarantella” by Adieu Adieu might be just the secret ingredient you need.Sell the Silly With Show TunesAs we dug through PremiumBeat’s collection of royalty-free comedy tracks, a common thread emerged: a lot of great comedy music swings with a certain Broadway attitude, which makes sense if you squint hard enough.One could argue that the show tune DNA found in a lot of successful comedy music comes from the vaudeville traditions of the legendary comedy institutions—The Second City, the Groundlings, and Saturday Night Live—where so many of our favorite funny people got their start. Take 30 Rock, for example, the brainchild of SNL-by-way-of-Second City superstar Tina Fey.The theme song’s big band sound is bold enough to belong in the opening scene of a Broadway musical where the chorus comes stomping out of the side-of-the-stage shadows. It’s bigger than a genre. It’s bigger than the cast. It’s a tone setter that’s just big, perfect for a show that ripples with authentic NYC energy.That same energy and urgency pulses in songs like “Tiny Wildlings” by Firefly Music, and it’s easy to imagine this royalty-free comedy track behind a scene of Liz Lemon frantically searching the halls of NBC for Tracy Jordan in order to stop him from Tracy Jordaning all over everything.A 19-Song Royalty-Free Comedy Tracks Grab BagThe curated comedy playlist below is clown-car-packed with tunes that bring the zaniness, wackiness, and hardy-har-hars. All of them are yours in perpetuity with a simple $49 Standard License. Pick a couple that tickle your fancy, and let the laugh riot begin.Cover image via Ollyy.Header image via Fer Gregory.Playlist header image via nito.Looking for more royalty-free music playlists? Well, you’re in luck!Royalty-Free Soundtrack Suggestions for VloggersSound as Lighting: The Mood-Altering Magic of Atmospheric Royalty-Free MusicSlinky, Smooth, and Slow: A Sensual Royalty-Free Music PlaylistEmbrace the undeniable Power of Sad MusicChoice Cuts: Check Out July’s Best New Royalty Free Music
Top-line growth is important. If your top-line isn’t growing as fast as the market you’re losing marketshare and losing opportunities. If your top-line is growing as fast (or faster) then your market your gaining market share, and that’s a really good thing.Revenue growth is an indicator as to how the business is doing–especially as a sales organization. But by itself revenue isn’t a great indicator of success. Much of the time it’s in indicator of something else: Ego.Look At Me! I’m Big!It’s easy to increase revenue. If you were to drop your price to something equal or less than your low price competitor, you could easily increase your revenue, couldn’t you? Your value proposition would be even more compelling at a lower price. You’d get the bragging rights that come with massive growth, and maybe even double digit growth. You get to talk about your revenue number and impress some people at dinner parties. A lot of your competitors would likely be impressed too.Revenue growth alone is not the best measurement of the performance of a company. It’s often a better measurement of ego.Big EnoughProfit is a better measurement of the success of a business.I’ve heard entrepreneurs say it this way: “Sales is vanity. Profits are sanity.” And that statement is true. Revenue may make you feel good because it allows you to proudly throw around a big number. But profit makes you feel even better.Profit is what fuels real growth. It’s what allows you to expand, to hire new people, and to create new value for more customers. Profit means you aren’t making empty sales.Profit is what gives you the security that you can survive a downturn in the market. Profit is what ensures that you can continue into the future.Profit is a greater representation of how you’re running your business. A higher gross profit number is an indication that you are both creating and capturing value. A higher net profit number likely indicates that you’re running a sound business.We talk about revenue, but we don’t talk about profit. Revenue is for bragging. Profit is personal.Beware the Giant DwarfsIt’s easy to be impressed by companies that measure their revenue in billions of dollars, especially when they talk about billions more in growth. But it’s much harder to be impressed when you look at companies generating billions in revenue who are unable to squeak out even a dollar of profit on the other end. Not even a single dollar? That’s more than vanity. It’s insanity.If you are a $3 billion dollar company and you can’t squeak out one dollar of profit, you’d be stronger as a $2 billion company making 100’s of millions in profit. This is as true for these giants dwarfs as it is for your business.The trick is to grow top-line and bottom-line at the same time. Then you’ve got an interesting business. But if you have to choose, give up some top-line growth for bottom-line growth. Get the Free eBook! Want to master cold calling? Download my free eBook! Many would have you believe that cold calling is dead, but the successful have no fear of the phone; they use it to outproduce their competitors. Download Now
Waking up earlier than you want to (and earlier than most people would find reasonable). Your bed is warm, safe, and comfortable. You want to stay, but success begins when your feet hit the floor.Going to bed later than you want to. The bed is calling your name. But the meaningful work only gets done when you don’t stay awake and do it.Not eating whatever you want or whenever you want. You can probably eat as much as you want with no ill effects. You can’t, however, eat whatever you want or whenever you want. A little hunger pain is a good reminder.Exercising your body when you would rather not. The bed is still warm. It’s pure comfort. But you have to make yourself physically uncomfortable if you want the energy and vitality you need.Reading instead of watching television, YouTube, Hulu, or Netflix. Television, even its new forms of delivery, is a form of escape. Watching a little is okay. Watching a lot is allowing success to escape your grasp. Reading is exercising the mind, even when the content allows you to escape.Saving money instead of spending it. Saying no to small comforts and trivial distractions now means having a much greater level of comfort later. You are going to live a lot longer than you suspect.Making your calls instead of engaging with more interesting distractions. You are every day confronted with endless distractions. Making your calls isn’t as interesting or fun as many of these distractions. The distractions are destructive, destroying your ability to produce the results of which you are capable. Making your calls (or whatever work it is you are avoiding in order to be comfortable) is where you will find success waiting for you.Listening instead of talking. We love the sound of our own voice. But you don’t learn anything and you don’t make deposits in relationships when you are talking. Speaking is serving your need to be heard. Listening is serving someone else’s need to be heard, to be acknowledged, to be thought of us important. Be uncomfortable and be silent.Putting relationships above transactions. The speed of everything is increasing. We are more and more compressing time and finding a way to make transactions faster. Relationships are destroyed when you treat people like transactions. Go slow even when it makes you uncomfortable.Giving more than you take. You are going to measure your success by the contribution you made to others. Taking, having, acquiring is about your comfort now. Giving is about your legacy. Your future regrets won’t have anything to with what you didn’t have. Your future regrets will be about what you didn’t give. Give it away.Being brave enough to admit that you are wrong and strong enough to change. It’s uncomfortable to admit when you are wrong. It can bruise your ego. It can also repair damaged relationships. It’s worth the discomfort of admitting you are wrong to regain a relationship. It’s worth it to exert the necessary emotional energy to change. Want to know what stops you from succeeding: comfort. Not the lack of pain or suffering. Just a lack of a real discomfort.The remedy is discipline. Discipline is a willingness to be in a state of discomfort now so that you can have something of greater value later.The price you pay for success is: Get the Free eBook! Want to master cold calling? Download my free eBook! Many would have you believe that cold calling is dead, but the successful have no fear of the phone; they use it to outproduce their competitors. Download Now
Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now It’s tough to lose a deal that you should have won. It’s even tougher when you know that you could create and deliver greater value than your competitor, and when your dream client made a poor decision (like putting price above the outcome).You can do an excellent job targeting your dream client, nurturing the relationship over time, and developing an opportunity. You can choose the right targets and still lose, but that doesn’t mean you should stop working on these difficult to win clients; receptive prospects that aren’t really targets don’t improve your chances of winning.You can discover your dream client’s most strategic needs, needs they insist that are critical to their future success. You can build consensus within their team around those needs, and you can gain verbal agreements that your solution is right. You can do these things and still lose an opportunity. But that doesn’t mean that these aren’t the things that are required to sell effectively and win.It’s difficult to present well. Most people aren’t nearly as good as they believe themselves to be. But you can present well, connect and engage with your prospective client, and knock every question they ask out of the park, only to lose that opportunity. This is true, and you still need to do your homework and prepare to present.When you do everything right and lose, it is usually one of two things that caused you to lose.The first is that you didn’t create greater value than your competitor. This is especially difficult to do when someone within your dream client only perceives lowest price as value. But your prospect allows buys what they believe to be the greatest value.The second is that you didn’t resolve your prospect’s concerns; they don’t trust you enough to deliver the results they need. Your customers always buy from someone they believe will execute and deliver.The only way to get better is to accept that you are responsible for your failures (in this case, lost deals), and to start doing something different. When you accept responsibility, you also empower yourself to take new actions and succeed in the future.
A newsletter subscriber sent me a note to ask that I remove him from my email list. He was taken aback by the length of the newsletter. It was 642 words in total. That’s a lot less than a magazine article, and a bit more than a blog post. He complained that the email newsletter was too long.The subscriber who sent me the note is right. For him, the newsletter is too long. If it doesn’t create value for him, then he is right to unsubscribe (and you might think about unsubscribing from anything doesn’t create value for you).Are we losing our ability to read long-form, write long from, and think in more than soundbites? Twitter allows 140 characters. Text messages are limited to 160 characters. The news that you see and hear every day provides you with sound bites, framing a complicated, complex issue up to what can be read in a minute or two. For a lot of information, this might be enough. But if something is important, you need to drink deeply.Sipping from the StreamWhile I was recovering from brain surgery in late 1992, I read a book a day for about 60 days. I told my neurologist that I felt like my brain was on fire. He told me that it was likely compensation, that there is nothing about having a piece of your brain removed that would cause it to operate at peak performance.After about 60 days of recovery, I started back to work. With less time to read, I slowed down to reading a book a week. I kept up this pace while working during the day and attending college at night, and then when I attended law school. No matter what my work or school work required, I maintained a book a week.I was sipping from the stream, making sure I got a small taste of everything as it passed by. But I wasn’t applying as much of what I read as I might have.Drinking DeeplyI’ve intentionally slowed down my reading. Instead of trying to keep up with the stream, I am more selective. I have chosen to drink deeply because the value in reading books and magazines, listening to audio programs, and taking courses is to apply what you have learned.When you sip from the stream, you gain awareness. You get to sample lots of ideas. But you don’t devote enough time and energy to truly benefit, and you have likely shifted your attention from one idea to the next, not gaining much in the way of application.There is a difference between awareness and integration.As you sip from the stream, you need to look for what is most important and most useful to you now. And then you need to drink deeply. You need to find longer form content and spend time studying it. Ask yourself “What part of this do I need to apply to my work?” Or, “How do I begin executing on these ideas now?”Information is essentially free and completely ubiquitous. You carry a good part of the collected knowledge of humankind in the smart phone in your pocket (or more likely, in your hand). Not everything that flies by you is worth your time or your energy. Small sips are not going to quench your thirst.What is worth your time and energy deserves more of your time and energy. When something rises to that level, drink deeply without worrying about what you are missing.How much time do you spend sipping from the stream of information being hurled at you? How much time do you spend drinking deeply?How much of what you see, read, and study are you applying to your life in some useful, meaningful way? How much do you forget within hours?How would your results be improved if you spent more time working on studying and applying a few things instead of trying to keep up with the many novelties and distractions? Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now
Jammu and Kashmir police today claimed to have busted a module of Hizbul Mujahideen terror outfit with the arrest of a militant and nine others who were “influencing” young and innocent boys in Baramulla district to join militancy.“With the arrest of one militant Irshad Ahmad Shah of Seelu village of Sopore in Baramulla, police has been able to bust a huge network who were spearheading militant activities and recruitment of local boys in Baramulla and Sopore. A total of nine persons were arrested so far,” a police official told PTI.He said Shah alias “Tanveer”, who along with two other absconders are involved in killing of a civilian Eidul Amin Mir of Behrampora, has been active with Hizbul Mujahideen for more than two years.The conspiracy to kill Mir was hatched in the house of overground Hizb worker Azhar Imtiyaz of Behrampora who was also arrested, the officer said adding efforts are on to arrest two other militants involved in the killing.He said Shah’s arrest led to the busting of the network of overground activists of the outfit who were aiding and abetting insurgency besides luring young boys towards militancy.“In a series of raids, police assisted by security forces has arrested nine persons from different parts of the district,” the spokesman said and identified the arrested persons as Mudasir Ahmad Ganie and Abdul Majeed Dar of Ladoora village, Ajaz Ahmad Shah of Shangergund, Azhar Imtiyaz of Behrampora, Ghulam Mustafa Lone of Thagund, Showkat Ahmad Mir and Aejaz Ahmad Bhat of Bomai and Mohammad Yasin Tantray and Abdul Majid Shah of Wadoora Payeen.Referring to the killing of two hardcore militants of Hizbul Mujahideen in an encounter in Baramulla on February 4, the officer said the investigations revealed that one of the slain militants — Azhar Khan of Trich village in Kupwara — was a “radical ideologue” of the outfit who with the other killed militant had gone to Pakistan on passports and received arms training there.“Both these militants were active in Sopore and Baramulla and with the help of this busted overground superstructure were enticing young boys from Sopore and Baramulla for militancy,” the officer said.“Based on the information which was generated during the course of these investigations, some boys who were being recruited for militant activities were counselled and handed over to their families thus saving their lives,” the officer said, appealing parents to watch over their children and not to let them “fall into the trap of militant propaganda”.
The Congress in Goa on Monday protested the lack of response from the Defence Ministry following the killing of Indian soldiers and mutilation of their bodies at the Indo-Pak border.Goa Pradesh Mahila Congress president Sunita Verenkar also wondered if Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 56-inch chest has now shrunk to 56 millimetres. She said women party members were collecting bangles to presented them to Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani. She recalled that when Ms. Irani was in the Opposition, she had urged BJP workers to send bangles to then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when India’s borders were being attacked. She said that the Congress women workers in Goa were collecting bangles to be sent to Irani, so that she sends them to Modi, who the Congress leader claimed had been ineffective to combat cross-border terror. “We are collecting bangles, sending it to her, so that she can fulfil her “Mann ki baat,” Ms. Verenkar said.She said, “I think it is shrinking. It has become 56 cm or 56 mm, we do not know, but we request him to protect our soldiers who are fighting at borders.” Ms. Verenkar also lamented that despite brutal attacks on Indian soldiers, the country had no full-time Defence Minister. She also ridiculed Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar for surrendering his post of Defence Minister and returning to Goa.“We had a Defence Minister who fled to Goa, why we do not know. Perhaps he is more interested in eating fish, that is why he is back to Goa! We need a full time Defence Minister for India,” Ms. Verenkar said.
Close on the heels of the killing of Lt. Ummer Fayaz in the Kashmir Valley, a BSF assistant commandant from Jammu, who had topped the recruitment exam, has written to the government alleging that militants were threatening him and his sister. Nabeel Ahmed Wani, the topper of the All India Examination for BSF Assistant Commandant (Works) last year, said his sister, a civil engineering student in Chandigarh, had been staying in a hostel but the college authorities now want her to move elsewhere. Mr. Wani wrote to Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi on Sunday (May 14) asking her to arrange for hostel facility for Nida Rafiq. “She was worried that she would not get a place to stay as a Kashmiri, especially with my background. I didn’t want to involve the BSF in a personal matter, so I wrote to the Minister,” Mr. Wani told PTI over phone from the BSF Training Academy a Tekanpur near Gwalior.Request for armsMr. Wani said he has spoken to his seniors in the BSF requesting them to allow personnel to carry their arms when they go on leave, especially in militant-affected areas, and also to secure their travel plans home. He said he will go home for his cousin’s wedding in next two months. “People like me and my family members are always under threat from militants. After the murder of Lt Ummer Fayaz, I am scared about my family’s security. My mother lives alone in Jammu while my sister is in Chandigarh. I worry, especially now, as terrorists are targeting our families,” said Mr. Wani. He topped the exam last year around the time the Valley was on the boil following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani. He had written the mail to Ms. Gandhi on May 14 and got a response the very next day. “The Minister immediately took it up with the college authorities, who have now allowed Mr. Nabeel’s sister to stay in the hostel,” a senior official of the WCD Ministry said.Disturbing trendMr. Wani said: “I am now worried for all those Kashmiris who are serving in the Army or paramilitary forces. We (Kashmiris) join the forces despite a lot of opposition and now, with this trend of killing Kashmiris serving as soldiers, a sword hangs on all of us. This is very disturbing.” As for his sister, he is now comforted she will remain safe in the security of her hostel room. “She is safe for now. Pray for her, she wants to become the first woman from Jammu and Kashmir to serve the Indian Army,” he said.
“On behalf of the people of UP, I express hearty thanks to Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji and BJP national president Amit Shah,” Mr. Adityanath.Describing Bihar Governor Kovind’s candidature by NDA as supreme honour of the Dalit samaj, Adityanath at a hurriedly convened press conference said someone from among them has been selected for the top most constitutional post of the country.“It is a new social awakening that a Dalit has been selected for the top most constitutional post of the country for which I want to thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah on behalf of the people of the state,” the chief minister stressed.“It is my appeal to all political parties to rise above party politics and support the son of Uttar Pradesh to become the president,” he said, adding that this was his personal appeal as well as that on behalf of his government.“It is a matter of pride for the 22 crore people of the state,” he said.(With inputs from PTI) Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday appealed all political parties in the state to extend their support to Ram Nath Kovind in the upcoming Presidential elections.The Bihar Governor, who is a Dalit, was earlier in the day declared the National Democratic Alliance’s nominee for President. BJP president Amit Shah made the announcement in Delhi earlier in the day..Mr. Adityanath said there can be “no greater honour” for the Dalit community than to see a social activist from Dalit family rise to the post of President.Also Read Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind is NDA nominee for President
The J&K Cable Car Corporation (JKCCC) and State Forest Department’s failure to identify the treeline crossing the height of the Gondola ropeway at tourist hotspot Gulmarg resulted in the first-ever accident on June 25 that left seven, including four tourists, dead.Sources privy to the preliminary assessment carried out by a three-member probe committee headed by State commissioner secretary, Power Development Department (PDD), Dheeraj Gupta, told The Hindu that the treeline in the first phase of the ropeway between Gulmarg and Kongdoori was continuously posing a threat. The 5-km ropeway is the longest in the country. Safety testSources said the treeline comprising quail and fir trees cleared the safety test in 1998 when the ropeway was inaugurated. However, in the past 19 years these trees acquired a height of around 2 to 2.5 feet annually and crossed the ropeway height and became a looming threat. “One of the fir trees, between 50 to 60 feet high, with false ground roots was bent by the winds on June 25 and hit the ropeway. This caused sagging of the rope, resulting in wobbling and swinging, which derailed the capsule carrying people. It’s wrong information that the rope was cut, as it can bear a weight of over one lakh metric tons,” a top official of the JKCCC told The Hindu.The accident took place in the first phase of the ropeway with dense tree line on both sides and which sees a vertical rise of 400 metres in nine minutes. The second phase, which has a steeper rise of 879.91 metres, takes tourists from Kongdoori to Apharwat at an altitude of 13,400 feet in 12 minutes. JKCCC officials have identified 60 to 70 trees that have to be immediately cut by the forest department, which owns the land. Meanwhile, a fresh French team has been invited to assess the damage and issue a fresh certificate to allow the Gondola service to resume. It has remained shut since June 25.
Aam Aadmi Party’s Sangrur Bhagwant Mann resigned from his post as President of the Punjab unit on Friday.Mr. Mann quit the party following AAP supremo and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s apology to former Punjab minister and Akali Dal leader Bikram Singh Majithia for levelling allegations of his involvement in drug trade. Mr. Mann tweeted saying, “I m resigning as a president of AAP Punjab …but my fight against drug mafia and all kind of corruption in Punjab will continue as an ‘Aam Aadmi’ of Punjab”.Other leaders of AAP’s Punjab unit have already expressed their displeasure over the apology tendered by Mr. Kejriwal.Saying that he was “stunned’’ by Mr. Kejriwal’s move, AAP’s Leader of Opposition in Punjab Assembly Sukhpal Singh Khaira had tweeted saying, “We’re appalled and stunned by the apology of Arvind Kejriwal tendered today. We don’t hesitate to admit that we haven’t been consulted on this meek surrender by a leader of his stature.”Another senior leader and AAP MLA Kanwar Sandhu said that Mr. Kejriwal’s move is set to let down people of Punjab.“Arvind Kejriwal’s apology to Bikram Majithia in the defamation case on drugs is a let down to the people, especially the youth of Punjab. We in Punjab have not been taken into the loop. Our fight for Punjab continues,” he had tweeted.Meanwhile, a meeting of party MLAs is underway in Chandigarh to discuss the further course of action.
A 40-year-old PDP worker was gunned down by militants in Srinagar on Sunday, officials said.Mohd. Amin Dar, a resident of Gangbugh, was an associate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader and former minister Syed Altaf Bukhari, they said.Mr. Dar was fired upon by the militants. He was rushed to a hospital where he died, they said.
Eighteen youth associated with militant outfits were arrested in three separate operations of security forces, while five youth were weaned away from militancy in Kashmir, according to the police on Monday.The police said it successfully busted two modules of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in Pulwama’s Awantipora and Khrew areas. “Ten of JeM associates were arrested in these operations,” police said.The police said a special team was constituted “in view of surge in terror attacks in Tral”.“A huge quantity of incriminating materials was recovered from this terror module, including gelatin sticks, detonators, materials for making improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and grenades. All the incriminating materials have been taken in case records to probe their complicity in other terror crimes,” said the police.Gun snatching foiledThe police said eight militant accomplices were detained in north Kashmir’s Baramulla who were plotting to snatch service rifles.“Based on a credible input, a criminal conspiracy was hatched to snatch weapons from on-duty police personnel in Baramulla, Tangmarg and Srinagar areas,” said the police.In another incident, another special police team traced five missing boy from Srinagar. “Parents of these boys had received phone calls from their kids who had left for school in the morning, informing that they are going to join the militant ranks,” said the police.“They were brought back safely. All the five boys were counselled and handed over to the parents,” said the police. Meanwhile, militants and security forces exchanged fire in south Kashmir’s Shopian and Pulwama. Militants managed to break a cordon in Shopian, while Army personnel were fired upon at a check point from a car the militants were travelling in,” said the police.
The Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (ANiS), founded by the late Dr. Narendra Dabholkar, has sought the intervention of the State government after yet another case of a forced ‘virginity test’ on a newly married woman came to light on Thursday.The couple hailing from well-to-do families were allegedly subjected to the humiliating “rite” by the Kanjarbhat caste panchayat after their marriage in the city’s Mundhwa area on December 30. The issue was raised by the ANiS and a State government officer, Krushna Indrekar, who belongs to the Kanjarbhat community. Mr. Indrekar has sent an e-mail to Minister of State for Home Ranjit Patil in this regard.“The groom was the son of a former corporator, who returned after his studies in London; while the bride was an interior designer and daughter of a retired government official. It is shocking how such regressive practices continue,” said Nandini Jadhav of the ANiS.The ANiS has already apprised Maharashtra Social Justice Minister Rajkumar Badole of the matter while submitting a letter detailing the “humiliating practices that continue in the name of customs and traditions.” Mr. Badole has promised prompt action.Ms. Jadhav said the main deterrent in booking illicit caste tribunals was the absence of a formal complaint from the victims or their kin.Meanwhile, Ganesh Machhare, a Kanjarbhat community leader, strongly refuted the allegation. Mr. Machhare claimed that the activists had no proof showing that a virginity test was conducted by the caste tribunal.The practice of the bridal ‘virginity test’ is rife within the Kanjarbhat community and is forcibly imposed by illegal caste tribunals. A newly married couple is generally taken to a hotel room and the groom is given a white bedsheet and asked to use it during consummation. If the groom displays a bedsheet with blood stains, the bride has ‘passed’ the test. If the bedsheet has no blood stains, the bride is accused by the tribunal of having had physical relationships in the past.In January last year, three youths from the community were beaten up by members of the caste panchayat in the Pimpri-Chinchwad area for voicing opposition to the archaic practice.
In a rare case of cannibalism, a tiger is suspected to have killed and eaten a tigress in the famous Kanha Tiger Reserve of Madhya Pradesh, a forest official said Monday. Some ground duty officials found a feline’s skull and four limbs, one of which was partially eaten, at Mundi-Dadar in the reserve’s core area in Mandla district during patrolling on Saturday, Kanha Tiger Reserve’s field director K. Krishnamurthy told PTI.“A tiger was noticed in the area, suggesting that it may have killed the big cat, which appears to be female.Circumstantial evidence suggests that the tiger, during a territorial fight, dragged the tigress for about 700 metres,” he said. Asked about the possibility of the tiger seen around the carcass having eaten it, Krishnamurthy said cannibalism was “not uncommon” among tigers. He, however, said scavengers also might have eaten the feline after it was killed. The official ruled out the possibility of poaching of the striped animal in the reserve’s core area. In December 2006, an attempt was made to poach a tiger in Kanha, but it was foiled by tourists. Madhya Pradesh has six major reserves for the national animal and is often called as the ‘tiger state’. Prominent among them are Bandhavgarh, Pench and Kanha tiger reserves.
The Supreme Court on Friday directed the West Bengal government to ensure that no obstruction or restraint of any kind is imposed on the public viewing of the film Bhobishyoter Bhoot in local theatres.A Bench of Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice Hemant Gupta also directed the Chief Secretary, the Principal Secretary, Department of Home and the Director General of Police, and the State government to ensure that adequate arrangements for security are made to facilitate the film’s screening.The Bench also ordered to ensure that the viewers and the audience are not endangered and there is no danger to the property of the theatres where the film is being or would be screened.The order came after the producers of the film moved the top court alleging that the State government was “obstructing the film from being exhibited in the cinema halls of Kolkata in a highly back-handed and arbitrary manner”.The Intelligence Unit of Kolkata Police had asked for a pre-screening of the film for senior officials on the ground that “the contents of the film may hurt public sentiments which may lead to political, law and order issues”.CBFC certificationThe producer had responded that the film, directed by Anik Datta, has been certified for public viewing by the Central Board of Film Certification and has a U/A certification. It claimed that the film, released on February 15, 2019, has been taken off a majority of theatres and out of 48 exhibitors, only two are presently displaying the film.The Bench remarked that “once a film has been duly certified by CBFC, it is not open to any authority either of the State government or otherwise to issue formal or informal directions preventing the producer from having the film screened”. “Such actions of the State directly impinge upon the fundamental right to the freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India,” it added.The Bench further sought response from the State government and other authorities on the petition and posted the case for further hearing on March 25.