The Movies You Absolutely HAVE To Go Into Spoiler-free (Cross Talk Ep. 28)

There are so many ways in which movies can be spoiled for us in this day in age – Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr, Reddit, and on, and on, and on… Not to mention humans. Humans still are incredibly good at ruining the best of cinema within a matter of sentences. It doesn’t matter if you are watching The Walking Dead or just saw Thor: Ragnarok, it’s a minefield out there creative cuties.

Some people think that etiquette for spoilers lasts within the first hours of a release, others think it is primarily subject to the timeline of digital download and home release, while others come up with deadlines of years and even more arbitrary considerations like when a franchise final closes up.

The truth is, there is no right or wrong here, but Shirley you cannot think that spoiling a movie for someone is going to work out and not expect some hurt feelings and consequences?

And dammit I will call you Shirley if you spoil The Last Jedi for me!

Threads and forums usually make it easy, the subject line will usually exclaim – SPOILERS AHEAD. And still others have rules about what can be said within hallowed digital halls. The challenge really comes from social media, because we can’t draw a policy down for an individual.

People are going to post and share whatever they feel like, as long as it isn’t immoral and illegal, that is.

But with any luck, your humble hosts on Cross Talk are going to give some examples of films that should never be spoiled, films that often are spoiled to this day, and the major repercussions of doing that to your brethren. Hint: it’s nothing good. Because the thing is, dear readers, there are schedules out there, and you can rest assured in the knowledge that you are beholden to the same social etiquette as others are.

If you spoil something, be prepared to have the same happen to you in kind. And I do not write this with malice in my heart, in fact, I wouldn’t wish a spoiler upon my worst enemy. Some movies deserve to be spoiler-free. And yes, I know I’ve mentioned that twice now…

You should just watch the video and see what I mean for yourself. Caution though, there aren’t any spoilers ahead!

All said-and-done, that was episode twenty-eight of Cross Talk! I can now admit that we will probably never be rid of spoilers on the internet. But thankfully, with some consideration, and an evolution of social intelligence, there will become a proper statue of limitations on information sharing – when it comes to pop culture, that is.

And the fact remains, while I haven’t explicitly pointed it out above, film criticism really is a dish best served as a dessert after a meal. You can’t expect to eat your dessert first, now can you? A teenager might defy the odds and have pumpkin pie for dinner, but we all know that they either come around or face dietary issues as they age. And that’s just dark.

Now we want to know what you think! And if you liked this video, please share, comment, and subscribe! I’m out of theories for the day, but this has been Cross Talk and timotheories will be back tomorrow with something melodic.

Tim!

Nobody Liked This (Facebook pt. 1)

Facebook is a huge social network. Like seriously huge.

This we already know.

With just over 1.79 billion users, it’s even more popular than YouTube, which has roughly 1 billion users, but definitely more so than Instagram (5M) and Twitter combined (3M).

With such an incredible base of people using it on a regular basis, it’s kinda impossible to not jump on the Facebook bandwagon. Yes, there is an argument to be made that younger people are moving towards social media networks like Instagram. And it is true that Tumblr, Reddit, and Pinterest are growing in little leaps as well, but when it comes to large scale networking, Facebook is king of the hill.

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The Social Network

And it even has a 2010 movie made about it which we affectionately know as The Social Network – an award winning movie that received Academy Awards for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, and Best Film Editing.

You’ve probably seen the movie too. And whether you have or not, I’m gonna give a quick recap on it. It tells the story of friends Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) and Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) who build a website called Thefacebook for ivy league students to meet and date, while Zuckerberg has been simultaneously employed by Harvard twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (Armie Hammer) to build The Harvard Connection. The Winklevoss’ eventually sue Zuckerberg for stealing their idea, while Napster co-founder Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake) works his way in on Zuckerberg to improve upon the website, while also convincing him to push Saverin out.

It’s a gripping movie which puts a dark twist on the decade of 2000-2009 and also tells a rather human story about social media.

Facebook Marketing For Creatives

But the thing is, you’re a creative professional, and you need to start marketing yourself better. You really should find a way to get your work out there and in the hands of the people who want to see your content.

I know those people exist, because I run into them all the time in both my real life AND digital travels, and it’s not that difficult to reach them. You have to understand the basics of Facebook marketing first.

Facebook has three major ways of connecting users to content – Pages, ads, and groups. Each of them has a particular value and purpose, but by combining them together you’ll learn how to get where you’re going and effectively to boot.

  1. Facebook pages are to individual profiles what corporations are to small businesses. This is where you share content with your followers and get them involved in your personal brand. You have to set up your business page if you want to get to the ads step, so do that first. Then focus on lifestyle over product. Also want to be actively involved in comments and service… this can include incentivizing your user base and sharing user content too.
  2. Facebook ads are targeted content that you share with a specific audience. The goal is to share with those consumers that fit a particular audience and ideally it will highlight particular aspects of your brand. You’ll want to have a clear objective in mind, rotate ads often to prevent disengagement, and target key data points.
  3. Facebook groups are different from pages in that they provide a place for people to get together and share content of a similar effect. It’s more community minded and less brand driven, which means that you can learn a lot about what people think of you/your business by asking questions and starting conversations.

Now to be perfectly honest, those are simply the tools in the tool-belt, what you really need are a set of instructions and a how-to guide on construction. But in order to do that, I’ll have to write more about it, and that’s better served for another theory. After all, we only retain about 3-10% of new information in a single pass, so I’ll let you mull over this for a few weeks and then come back at you with part two. Sounds good? Excellente.

I hope you have an excellent evening dear readers, and to my American fans, I hope your new president treats you well and is a good steward to the global community.

Tim!

 

 

Grow Up And Blow Away (Your Image)

Growing up is hard to do.

Or to if I were to rip it off of a writer like E. E. Cummings, it takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. Which is why Peter Pan never did it, why Peter Pan syndrome is real, and it’s also why we don’t all get there.

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Also, I’ve never been a large fan of this above meme, but you know what? This seems like an appropriate time to use it, after all, marketing is about communicating a message, and so I’m making a solid point with a message about dummies using a baby to be funny.

Real mature dummies. Way to devalue the importance of marketing.

Hold on a tick, timotheories, are you saying what we think you’re saying?

That’s right, we’re onto post number four in the Importance of Marketing series!

As I’ve already done a few times before, I should start us on the right track by clarifying what an image means in this instance. It could be a representation of the external, whether the form taken is that of a person or a thing. It could also be a metaphor. In most cases it usually means a physical likeness, which can be best demonstrated with a photograph, painting or sculpture.

But what about a mental representation? An idea? a conception? Especially given the weird quality that computers have which allow them to produce an image themselves. And thusly we arrive dear readers. I’m referring to your online image.

An online image is that which houses all of the internet related information available to the public about you, and it can be very unflattering. Your online image is a summation of characteristics and interactions you have with other members of the internet. Most of the interaction happens on forums, content channels, and digital vending machines, but regardless of what you do with your time online, each website builds a profile of who you are and what you do.

Which is why you should learn some basic online hygiene in order to take that road. Yes, I could teach you about branding related image elements, like your logo, mailing list, etc. But upon more reflection, it occurred to me that we can all benefit from the below first, and build up to that level of attention.

So here it is, a short(er) list of things you should do.

  1. Regularly track your Google search results. Are you competing with someone else for  name attention? What kinds of URL results come up when someone searches for you and are the results consistent with the image you want to have? Is someone else with the same name in the top results? If you set Google alerts, you can run interference on both positive and negative feedback whenever someone has something to say about you.
  2. Buy all of the necessary social media names associated with your brand. For example, I have YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter locked up. Your personal URL needs to be in sync with your brand too, so look into that as well. Domain names are relatively inexpensive to acquire, and the internet is the future after all, so make a commitment now. And then make your email signature align – add all of the links.
  3. Participate in the above mentioned online social and business related groups. That also includes LinkedIn, Google+, and other ones like ZoomInfo. Your goal is to structure your profiles, replies, and posts so that you can attract your target demographic and send a professional message about your expertise. By connecting with those who already do what you want to do or are on their way too, you’ll gain access to job openings, freelance opportunities, and networking events.
  4. Blogging. I blog because I love it, but Google and other search engines love blogs too. The content is regularly updated, and as you participate in the culture, which means guest posting, commenting on other blogs with your handle, and sharing useful information. And reference other relevant blogs when you can because the community commitment makes all the difference. Of course, if you can fit your blog into a full-meal-deal website that showcases your career, achievements, and portfolio, all the better.
  5. Share your expertise. That means participating in professional associations that have physical and online forums, and take advantage of their networking opportunities. If you go to Yahoo!, Google Groups, LinkedIn, Reddit or WikiAnswers, you’ll find lots of people that’ll appreciate your help. You should also write reviews of relevant books for online publishers like Amazon and Indigo. And of course don’t forget to link it to your personal brand.

But what do you think? Did I miss anything? Do you still never wanna grow up? I know it’s scary out there, but I have a theory that if you follow the above you’ll get where you need to go on your marketing journey. I’m out of theories for now friends, but I’ll see you tomorrow with something timely.

Tim!

Why Captain America Turned Nazi And Other Fan Theories (Cross Talk Ep.6)

Fandom is broken.

Well, that’s what Devin Faraci of Birth. Movies. Death. would have us believe anyway.

Now, normally I don’t like to indulge the reaction post/video side of humanity on the Internet because I find doing so to be far too specific and not in the least satisfying – The problem being that creating content around a “trending topic” runs the risk of quickly becoming dated and it’s often not broad enough to build an entire timotheories sized post on.

Sure, I could do something everyone likes, like speculating on the next Angry Birds movie, but I’d prefer to write like a Shrek movie, one with many layers, sort of like an onion, because I don’t care what everyone likes.

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But fortunately for you, dear readers, you’re going to get your cake and eat it too, because that Faraci article is something of a whopper and conveniently related to the topic I was going to bring up this evening anyway.

It just so happens that in doing research for Episode 6 of Cross Talk, how fandom influences studio direction, Chris came across the above article and decided to share with me. And we had a good chat about it.

But let’s get into it!

Without giving too much away, Chris and I have found a way to demonstrate the value of a measured approach to the challenge that is social media, because if you follow his logic through to it’s logical conclusion, then Faraci’s fandom has always been broken.

Faraci tells us that because of the Internet, extremists like Annie Wilkes now have a way to terrorize anyone and everyone, but what about the other side of the coin? Those who never had a voice now have potentially have one, and petitioning for artistic changes just go a lot easier.  So where did we land? And how upset are we about the Steve Rogers: Captain America #1 reveal? You’re about to find out, and I’ll give you a hint, as an artist, I happen to have a few theories on this topic.

I’ve included a direct link to the full video for you here, but as always, the real action is just below for your convenience. Otherwise, please sit back and enjoy Episode 6 of Cross Talk!

I’m out of theories for now, but please check back tomorrow for an album review that is all about Simon. It should be a good one! Please comment, subscribe and share this with you friends. We want to hear your feedback!

Tim!

Innovation Is A Work Of Art (Lisa Jones interview, Innovation)

Innovation is difficult.

It forces you to stretch yourself and expose yourself in ways that you never expected to. You make sacrifices too, which can feel like hot wax on bare skin. Painful, but that initial commitment makes the overall process less painful. Unless of course you delay. Then the wax cools and the hair pull hurts more than the first wax application.

Whether a fast or slow decision, you eventually do have to pull the hairs out… but the aesthetic benefit soon becomes apparent. You see, those hairs can grow, but it is only with focus and determination that we can shape them into a beautiful set of eyebrows, a glowing beard, or even with clean shaven legs.

Only then can we become a work of art.

This might seem like kind of a weird example to lead into this month’s AMAZING interview, and an amazing interview it is, but I promise the metaphor will make sense shortly. You see dear readers, true innovation doesn’t come from no where.

Even if a statement like “… [is] a work of art” sweeps the Twitterverse on a particular day or over the course of a week (April 15, 2016), someone spent the time crafting a public persona and was able to authenticate that statement and help make it noteworthy for millions. The masses are fickle, but the artist can be committed to innovation.

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Yeah that “… [is] a work of art” actually did became a popular thing to tweet for a bit there. Whether I decide to make a great metaphor for growth and the beauty of humanity.

But, as I mentioned already, it’s not true innovation. And a work of art is steeped in more than just hair pull metaphors that suggest people’s bodies can simply be works of art on their own. Or can art do that?

Can art build off of what already exists, and cause self-reflection? Or better yet, cultural shifts?

That’s where episode 8 of timotheories interviews comes in.

 

Lisa Jones is a visual artist with abilities to rival the best of them – painting, drawing, sculpture, and printmaking. But she prefers to specializes in painting with oils. And she makes images through her own personal metaphors, both refining and simultaneously obliterating narratives and materials at the same.

She recognizes that becoming an artist and maintaining a practice requires a combination of effort, innovation through necessity, and building a future for herself that doesn’t include regular visits to the local watering hole.

But you should take a look at the interview for yourself, because it’s literally just below you. It’s my most innovative interview yet. I promise.

And as always, if you want to check out more timotheories interviews or the Cross Talk series please visit our YouTube channel.  And please, please, please leave some comments and of course subscribe to both the blog and channel!

Please also check out Lisa’s website to see her portfolio and to contact her for her creative services.

And of course my sincerest thanks to Lisa for being lively, likeable, and legitimately lovely. See you tomorrow with a hymn worthy music review.

Tim!