By accident, I recently discovered a powerful and uplifting film about global social entrepreneurship. Concerned I’d never heard about this brilliantly-made & influential production (See 1. Who Cares?), I decided to search the web to uncover other film treasures all entrepreneurs should find. What I found may stagger you…
Technology advances and the YouTube phenomenon have made film the communication medium of choice. We can find, watch, share and of course make our own moving image material at the touch of a few buttons. Inevitably, there’s much rubbish on the web but after many hours’ sifting and watching, here are the gems I found. Please use and share the material.
1 Who Cares?
I’ve watched this stunning 92-minute film several times. Beautifully produced less than a year ago, it features 18 active social entrepreneurs from around the world telling their personal stories and sharing their philosophies. Every tale resonates and inspires the viewer to do something. The film cost me $9.99 to download (prices vary according to format) which given the quality and depth of the content is a complete steal. Compelling stuff.
2 Laugh with Vooza
When preparing the previous HHGE post I found Vooza. Here you’ll find a highly talented bunch of US entrepreneurs crafting hilarious short films, often with telling messages, about the start-up world. Script quality, subject comprehension and the actors’ expressions and timing are sublime – no surprise their work’s gone viral. Vooza films will enhance any related course but check for language strength before showing more widely! Enjoy ‘Hooking up the Projector‘ to see a sample of their work.
3 Films that find the soul
So many films I found (and ditched) were shallow, poorly made and/or overly promotional. But then I discovered an excellent interview with Tim Burton and knew this was the kind of entrepreneurial material I wanted to share because the film gets behind the man and reveals his path to global success.
Maintaining the search for similar footage I eventually unearthed the superb work by Nic Askew. Filming in black and white (and dealing with specific and often sensitive issues) his transformational ‘soul biographies’ demonstrate how a successful entrepreneurial film-maker operates and what peoples’ shared deeper thoughts teach us.
4 Films for entrepreneurs
The web contains many sites recommending films for entrepreneurs to watch. Here are two such sites with short summaries provided for each suggested movie:
For reference, my top 5 films for entrepreneurs would be: The Pursuit of Happyness; The Social Network; Lorenzo’s Oil; Erin Brokovich; and Family Business. All these films offer an authentic and personal insight into many issues that impact upon entrepreneurial life.
5 Documentaries for entrepreneurs
As part of the film treasures all entrepreneurs should find, the web also references many valuable documentaries that inform entrepreneurial thinking. The Plorez Lab Blog recommends 10 such true stories although the list seems a little biased towards famous US tech entrepreneurs. In contrast, Inc. recommends a more eclectic mix and you should find their 5 suggested documentaries (including ‘Nothing to Lose’ – Ryan Blair, single father of an autistic son) provides real food for thought.
6 Educators speak out
The internet is of course the perfect place for academics and thought leaders to share their wisdom on camera. Thanks to Richard Saul Wurman, TED has become the home for inspiring presenters talking about their specialist subjects. There’s even a section on TED devoted to presentations about entrepreneurship.
Having visited Stanford University in March this year, I feel compelled to reference the work being undertaken at the ‘d.School’. In this film, Professor Tina Seelig shows how she teaches creative thinking. And to show the application of her work, an ‘Extreme by Design’ production was made demonstrating how students at the university are’ building a better world, one product at a time’.
If you feel you have something important and valuable to say to entrepreneurs (but don’t have the Stanford time and budget) then follow Professor Alistair Fee’s (Queens University Belfast) lead and produce a insightful piece to camera. His chosen subject is creativity, strategy and innovation and the 12-minute film is highly recommended.
7 Make films on a low-budget
As mentioned earlier, there’s a lot of film rubbish on the internet. When the production quality, subject matter, performance to camera and/or script is ill-thought through or badly contrived then the result is typically poor. But this doesn’t mean good film can’t be made on a low-budget. Using a suitable digital SLR camera (Under £500) with video capability and a good lens, a lapel microphone (under £15) and innovative but inexpensive lighting you can achieve great results. Writing good scripts requires practice (and honest feedback) but the time investment won’t cost a bean.
And if you want to make high impact films on a low budget draw inspiration from this fantastic footage of the Cornish coast created by an amateur photographer using a GoPro Hero3+ mini camera and a hand-built miniature helicopter.
8 Be inspired to use & share film
As another football world cup looms, two enterprising teachers from York (UK) have used their talents as well as those of fellow students and colleagues to create a low-budget masterpiece. It’s catching on fast and may yet take the nation by storm. At the time of writing their creative and highly entertaining music video had been seen by over 40,000 people including Jake Humphreys, Jack Whitehall and Claire Balding.
9 Animation and motion graphic presentations
And finally, for the creative and time rich, stop animation is an innovative way to make eye-catching films. Such productions have become very popular and in the right context offer an excellent way for entrepreneurs to communicate a message on a low budget. In addition, whilst more technical skill is required, infographic presentations are gaining increasing attention. The SimVenture team recently commissioned this 3 minute production to promote the new online simulation which is due to be launched in the coming months.
10 What’s missing?
Creating this post has meant much candle-burning, but the discoveries I’ve made can only scratch the surface of what’s out there. So what other gems exist that can be shared with the entrepreneurial community? Please let me know your ideas and thoughts and I will gladly add them to and credit them within this post.
Key Learning Points:
Film is a powerful and accessible communication medium. The web contains a range of film treasures all entrepreneurs should find. There is an abundance of rich and inspiring learning materials which open up new worlds and ways of thinking.