By Hammad Zaidi | December 27, 2011

Happy holidays and welcome to the Going Bionic 2011 Year-In-Review. Today we’re going to look back at topics that charted the waters this column sailed through in 2011. We will include links to one article per month, starting from January 2011. Thus, without further ado, lets dive in to the 2011 Going Bionic review.

On January 4, we kicked our year off with a wake up call with the column, “Wake Up Call: Welcome To Your 2011 To-Do-List.”

The interesting thing about this “wake-up call” is its contents still ring true one year later. Thus, in the event you missed it when it was originally published, you may want revisit it in order to help you jumpstart your 2012.

Selected point from article: “using your birthday as a day you must accomplish something huge for your career is a great way to get motivated. The key is to make sure your goal is hard enough to take time and effort to get, but not ridiculously unrealistic like “I’m going to make 100 million this year.”

On February 15 The Berlin International Film Festival & You” focuses on key elements about one of the largest and most poignant film festivals in the world.

Selected point from article: “more so than any other major film festival, Berlin chooses to program art films. By “art films,” I mean that this festival is more concerned with a film’s craft, vision and aesthetic nature, than it is about the film’s commercial value.”

March 8 brought us “SXSW: The Most Significant Film Festival To The Future of Distribution.”  This column details how SXSW combines their film, music and interactive festivals into a massive explosion of creative possibilities.

Selected point from article: “Multi-billion and multi-million dollar technology companies worldwide attend the Interactive portion of SXSW. Thus, opportunities to apply cutting edge technology to your work are abundant, as is the opportunity to deeply expand your Rolodex.

April 26 threw The Art Of Pitching” our way, and article dedicated to pitching.

Selected point from article: “The most effective pitches are the ones that are easy to envision. Your pitch should immediately convey your concept in such a clear and simple manner, that even a four year old, or caveman, can understand it.”

May 10 brought us one of my favorite articles to write; Distributing Documentaries.”

One reason I loved writing this article so much is because I have had had substantial experience in producing and distributing feature documentaries.

Selected point from article: “Remember, your viewing audience is already sitting in a chair, so the last thing they want to see is other people sitting in chairs. Hence, showing movement on screen is the key to keeping your audience engaged.”

On June 28th, Writing Partnerships – Finding Your Type,” discussed the ins and outs of considering, building and maintaining a successful writing partnership.

Selected point from article: “It’s up to the writing partners to make sure they never take meetings without each other. The reason is because if one of the writers takes meetings without the other, the writer taking the meetings will inevitably create stronger relationships with the powers that be. Of course, such a practice is not good for any partnership.”

On July 5th, my article, Developing Family Films” focused on key elements needed to develop, produce and successfully release family films.

My reason for focusing on this topic is because my twin daughters, Zoe and Lena, were born a few days before this article was due to is published. Thus, this article is by far my favorite  – and will remain my favorite for the rest of my life.

Selected point from article: “While all Muppet movies are infused with incredibly good writing that showcases adult-oriented innuendos, one scene in the Muppets From Space not only pushed the envelope, and it tied a jetpack to that envelope and launched it into space. In the opening sequence of the film, Muppet character Gonzo has a nightmare that Noah doesn’t let him on the Arc, (yes, Noah’s Arc), because there isn’t a second creature like him. Then, when Gonzo wakes up screaming, his buddy Rizzo, (another Muppet) asks him about the nightmare. Here’s the exchange after Gonzo wakes up screaming:

Gonzo: “I had that weird dream again.”

Rizzo: “Oh yeah? You mean the one with the goat, and the dwarf and the jar of peanut butter.”

Now think of this dialogue and remember that Muppets From Space was rated “G.”  Obviously, the film appealed to adults as much as it did children, which is my Muppet movies are treasured by multiple generations.

On August 9, The Curious Case Of Falling Stars,” entered the celluloid atmosphere.

This article focuses on how drastically the price and value of “movie stars” has fallen, and how these reduced values have triggered a new era in Hollywood.

Selected point from article: “Outside of Johnny Depp in the Pirates of the Caribbean series, or Angelina Jolie playing a gun-toting, a*s-kicking character on a rampage of explosions and stunts, there aren’t many actor slam-dunks out there. Even in the case of Johnny and Angelina, take them out of their proven genre, and their value drops too.”

On September 13, “help” was on its way with Don’t Worry, The Help Is On The Way.”

This article details the unexpected success of “The Help” (2011), from its underwhelming budget to its overwhelming financial success.

Selected point from article: This tremendous run reminds the Hollywood powers-that-be that a small-ish, feel good, under-marketed film can be the “David” to the studio tent pole “Goliath’s,” provided that it captures positive word-of-mouth.”

October 4 brought us “On The Ground At MIPCOM 2011,” and article dedicated to the international film sales related trend changes revealed during MIPCOM in Cannes.

Selected point from article: “in the coming months and years, many American film and television studios, mini-majors, and financially backed production companies will flock to China, in order to plant their flag into the new frontier.”

On November 15, we started a mini-series of articled titled “Breaking In From The Outside.” The first installment, titled “Breaking In From The Outside, Part 1,” focuses on things you can do to break into Hollywood, while not living in the entertainment meccas of Los Angeles and New York.

Selected point from article: “Probably the easiest way to change your perception of being an “outsider,” is to change your phone number to a Los Angeles or New York City area code. This is especially important if you’re sending your resume out for a job or a film crew position, because being perceived as a local will severely increase your chances of getting considered for the job.”

December 13th of this month brought us another one of my favorite articles of 2011. This one, titled, Five Things For You To Do Before Next Tuesday,” will help you strategize how to successfully guide your career into 2012.

Selected point from article: “Take a look at your current, or future projects, and choose the “one” that will launch your career the quickest. Don’t just merely choose your favorite project; choose the one that gives you the best shot at firmly planting you on the Hollywood map. Remember, your “chosen project” has to accomplish one of two things: 1) to make you tons of money or 2) to get you tons of publicity (both would be ideal).”

Okay, everyone. That’s a glimpse into some of the (hopefully) bionic insight we’ve covered in 2011. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you out there for “lending me your eyes” all year long and I’d be honored to borrow them again next year. I wish everyone a very happy and healthy New Year’s, and I can’t wait to see what bionic insights we stumble into in 2012! Once again, thank you, thank you, thank you for spending this time with me, and I look forward to doing it again next Tuesday!

As always, I can be followed on Twitter @Lonelyseal.

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  1. shamim Zaidi says:

    well done, Happy new year. good luck in writing in 2012.

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