Monthly Archives: February 2010

From ski slope to runway

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Chalet chic is in, according to Dolce & Gabbana, who sent outfits like this down the catwalk at Milan Fashion Week. Despite frequent snow in Scotland, I don’t think the streets of Glasgow are quite ready for a Fair Isle leotard and furry boots, despite the decree absolute from those fashion minxes in Milan.

Life in transit

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Travel: it’s rarely like this. In my last job, I used to fly a lot; in one five-day period last May, I routed through 11 airports. Add up the number of hours spent hanging around, and you have a really good case for video-conferencing. Even if you try and use the time well (British Airways lounge, free wifi, do some work), it’s boring. I build in little rituals to pass the time, like filling up my iPod with TV programmes and podcasts I haven’t had the chance to get to. But I was always conscious that I was travelling on someone else’s time, and therefore that I had to keep busy.

Now, despite having left the corporate world, I travel just as much, but enjoy it more. I have 110,000 air miles to work through, and am enjoying the freedom of my own schedule. I don’t get lounge access any more, but have worked out all the places I can use free wifi and power (corner of Starbucks, Terminal 5, Heathrow for example). I use buses and trains, and go to as many parties as I’m invited to, and catch up with friends as much as possible.

For some people, travel is a barrier. For me, it’s an adventure.

Shine on

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It’s early days yet, but this is what’s new on the professional front. One of my oldest friends (a genius graphic designer and art director) and I have come to the conclusion that the life of a corporate wage slave isn’t for us any more. So, we’ve decided to work together. This is only a holding page while we build the rest of the website, so bear with us: case studies and some pretty images will be uploaded soon.

The science of motivation

If you’re freelance, you get to study companies and their hierarchies from the outside; it amazes me how many managers still adopt the “divide and conquer” approach. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some really inspiring people, and one thing they all have in common is that they try to employ people who are better than them in one way or another, and trust their teams to get on with the task in hand.

Dan Pink, who I have worked with on a number of occasions (and is one of the most interesting people I know) has written a new book, Drive, about the scientific proof behind how motivation works. Guess what: it isn’t divide and conquer, it isn’t by using threat, and it isn’t money. Motivation comes from a personal need to learn, create, and be proud of what you do. Watch the video above – he’s quite a speaker.

PS If you get a chance, I’d really recommend trawling the TED site, which has some really inspiring content. I like the speeches from JJ Abrams (creator of Alias and Lost), Dave Eggers, Noah Feldman??and Thomas Barnett.

Legacy: filmmaker podcast

Further to my post on Legacy, Sean McCann at GlasgowPodcART recorded an interview with the film’s writer/director Thomas Ikimi and producer Kieran Parker. Of all of the media coverage for the film, this probably best sums up the personalities behind it, and their determination to do something different.

New project: Legacy

My latest project is working with the producers, Black Camel Pictures,
on the publicity for their new film Legacy. The film premieres at the
Glasgow Film Festival, where it has been chosen as the closing gala
film on February 28.

This has an really interesting project, because it involves working
with passionate filmmakers (including writer-director Thomas Ikimi –
it’s only his second feature film) who made the film on a very tight
budget. And, from a cinema fan’s point of view, Legacy isn’t your
standard box office fare: it’s a disturbing, taut, psychological
thriller, and there are no exploding helicopters or gratuitous scenes
of damsels in distress in bikinis. I have only seen a rough cut of the
film – it’ll be ready just in time for the premiere – but I’m really
proud to be working behind the scenes on this, with people who have
put blood and guts into bringing this to the big screen.

And, did I mention the film stars Idris Elba, best-known as Stringer
Bell from The Wire?

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Bisou

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I loathe Valentine’s Day: logically and emotionally, this forced day
of “love and happiness” doesn’t make sense to me on any level.
Something I read this morning struck a chord: “February 14th is the
one day a year when married people are happier than their single
friends.” But, for those people out there for whom it means something,
then have a love-filled day …… and I’ll adopt a different holiday.