Setting Yourself Apart In The Entertainment Industry

originalityAs an agency that works within the entertainment industry the R&B Management Group is often approached by people looking for assistance in some form or another. While many of those inquiries are rejected for a variety of reasons; there’s still a trend that is being seen. Those who claim to want to enter the many different facets of the entertainment world are struggling to set themselves apart. Unfortunately for them, being original is one of the most important steps to finding a breakthrough.

Just as in everyday life, individuality is important when looking to advance your career. Too often the public is subjected to copy cat artists that are looking to make the most off of the work that someone else has established. However, if one was to look at some of the biggest names in entertainment today one would see a trend of acts that have reached the top by not being like anyone that has come before them.

Lady Gaga, Pink, Kendrick Lamar and OutKast are some of the most prominent names in music. While they have all put out music that will live on for ages; their fans can point towards the ways they have set themselves apart within the industry. Whether it’s OutKast’s different take on southern Hip Hop or Lady Gaga’s often controversial lyrics; these acts are not only known for their music – but for a factor that makes them original at the same time. In some cases it will be these original “quirks” for which they will be more known than their musical career overall.

OriginalQuoteThat type of enthusiasm to be different needs to be cultivated in today’s entertainment industry. Not just in music, but in sports, film, writing and every other area that requires the consumption of content. Being original is often looked down upon by the masses at first, but it always seems to change as what’s different soon becomes popular.

When getting your career started, stick to the guns that make you different. Find a new sound, writing style, training regimen or some other way to set yourself apart from the crowd. More often than not the consistent practice will push you in the right direction.

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The Process of Executive Producing

71st Annual Golden Globe Awards - Show - Season 71The entertainment industry is full of new and interesting ideas. Every day there are individuals who come up with what could be the concept for the next big hit series. When that moment of inspiration hits there are steps that have to be taken to become a producer in the world of film and television.

Protect Your Work
The idea of copyright and ownership of ideas is a very confusing manner that is best explained by entertainment lawyers. Most people do not have immediate access to them when they begin to collect their thoughts. Still, there are ways to work around the issue and ensure that you can prove that your original idea is actually your own.

The Writers Guild of America is the best place to start when looking to protect the recently created work. This organization gives you the opportunity to register your content into their database which will give you one weapon against those who may try to steal or claim you have stolen their idea. Costs of registering content are very inexpensive and the process is quick to complete.

The Filming Process
If your idea is worth turning into an actual project then the filming process must be considered going forward. Getting the concept from paper to video can be a long and arduous process but when the finished product is available on screen every hurdle is worth it.

The Paley Center For Media's PaleyFest 2014 Honoring "Sleepy Hollow"The first step in the filming process is to find a video team that can help you visualize the project. Conduct sit down meetings to flush out treatments and screen descriptions that will help the filming process move along. This is also the time to discuss the costs and process of filming which can immediately blow up a project. Be sure to be very transparent when speaking with a video team and get solid estimates of every step in the process. Communication is key at this point because a misstep can cause your project to never become more than just a thought.

The Final Steps
When your idea has gone from simple thoughts to full product there are additional steps that should be taken to present this content in the best light. Many different production companies are available in the industry that can help take your idea to the next level and hopefully create the type of series that you envision.

It’s important to research any company that you begin to work with. Having a legal counsel become involved is vital at this point. The reason is because discussions around ownership will start to rise and new producers can often lose control of the conversations just to get their idea onto screen. Bringing in a party that has your best interests in mind while not being directly involved in its development will help protect the producers best outcome.

Developing a product from start to finish as a producer is a job that many people dream about having. In order to reach that opportunity, content must be created to pitch to get in front of those with the power to make things happen. These steps are just a small part of the process but still very important in getting the job done.

Derek Jeter 101: Star On The Field, Star Off The Field

JeterIn the professional sports world there comes a time when great athletes have to step aside to call their career an end. Upon that moment the world takes the time to reflect on said athlete’s career and what they brought into their realm of play. The 2014 MLB season will be such a time for “The Captain” of the New York Yankees, Derek Jeter. The man who is known as being the face of such an iconic sports franchise has decided to step away from the game. While his on the field contributions are numerous, there’s one are in which he will always be respected and should be copied by professional athletes in the industry today.

In nearly two decades of play Derek Jeter will take a laundry list of accomplishments with him when he enters the MLB Hall of Fame. Some of those include: multiple time World Series champion, 13 time all-star, 2 time Hank Aaron award winner, five time Gold Glove award winner and many others. There isn’t any question that he exemplifies what it means to be a “winning” professional athlete. Upcoming players across all sports should take the time to review his career to not only mimic his leadership skills but the way he conducted himself off of the baseball diamond.

To begin, just look at his personal life. Jeter has conducted himself in a way that many other star athletes have failed across all sports.

For example, Jeter has been “connected” to many beautiful women who are prominent in their industry, but the media world has never captured him in the controversial relationship drama that the tabloids love. In the 19 years in which Jeter has played professional baseball there is a vast list of athletes that have gotten into the press for their relationships or other distracting news. In today’s quick media world athletes need to be willing to protect their brand off the field with the same intensity that they compete when the clock is ticking.

JeterMagAnother area in which Jeter should be copied is the way he’s built his brand for long term revenue without projecting himself in some over the top fashion. He’s been linked to multiple major brands such as Nike, Gatorade, Visa and Ford which will only increase his wealth once he’s done playing. In 2013 much of his season was lost due to suffering multiple injuries. As he waited his return he developed a partnership with Simon & Schuster to create Jeter Publishing which has the potential to be a lucrative venture into book publishing and potentially television or film opportunities. Most professional athletes have a short shelf life in which they have to capitalize the most off their time in play. Jeter’s turned his winning into revenue streams that will continue to build his portfolio well after he’s done competing day in and day out with the Yankees.

Sports managers and agents should help mold their young clients into star athletes and business men. Derek Jeter’s career will stand the test of time as an example of a professional athlete that built a career worth mimicking both on and off the field.

In Sports Being The Bad Guy Can Lead To The Big Pay Day

NFL: St. Louis Rams at Seattle SeahawksThe 2014 National Football Season is over but there is still a lot to talk about now that the action on the field is complete. New stars such as Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch will bask in the glory of hoisting up the Vince Lombardi trophy. However, the talk that surrounded one Richard Sherman coming into the Super Bowl is yet another major example of how important branding has become within the entertainment world.

After the NFC Championship game where Sherman’s Seattle Seahawks defeated the San Francisco 49ers Sherman became even more famous than his play on the field. In three years Sherman has put together a laundry list of accolades that have helped him to be considered one of the best defensive players in the game. Even though he is one of few players to have 20 interceptions in just three years of play and a number of other statistical feats; Sherman has become known for being a character that isn’t well liked by a majority of the viewing public.

It’s the cultivation of that dislike in professional sports that is becoming a major financial tool for athletes across many different sports.

All it took was a few moments for Sherman to become the most hated individual person in sports today. When asked a simple question by sports personality Erin Andrews, Sherman went on a spirited tirade about his position in sports and challenging those who would challenge him. In a world of five second delays and unintelligent speakers, Sherman dove deep into his on the field personality while not portraying himself in an ignorant or unintelligent fashion. The Internet was set ablaze by his actions which spread into the sports media world and beyond. While the conversation points may have been disheartening, the fact remains that those actions catapulted Richard Sherman into a position where he’s going to benefit from the hatred of the public.

In 2013 Sherman was paid $555,000 in a year where he played every game this season, had 8 interceptions and 49 combined tackles. Yet, his contract still placed him in a position where 110 cornerbacks would make more money this season. In fact, there are some that make more PER GAME than Sherman will make all year. While $555,000 is nothing to scoff at; it’s still worth nothing in an industry where athletes are taught to make as much as possible in their short career spans. So what value did Sherman’s tirade bring to his wealth?

According to CNN Money, those 15 seconds of infamy could equate to nearly $5 million in opportunities for Sherman. The piece published on January 24 highlights comments from Sherman’s agent Jamie Fritz about pending endorsements that would be coming his player’s way. Fifteen seconds would help Sherman earn more than he had during his whole professional career.

Becoming the consummate bad guy after yelling at Erin Andrews will open up numerous opportunities that the athlete may not have seen otherwise. Other athletes have found similar success by playing the bad guy in the public spectrum. This doesn’t mean that said individual commits crimes or is caught in negative situations. Instead, the general hatred that the public has about them keeps said individual in the limelight long enough that companies begin to take notice.

mayweatherUFC fighter Ronda Rousey is in a similar situation where she’s become one of the promotion’s biggest draw simply because fans have come to hate her. She is also set to appear in two of the biggest action movies of 2014 and 2015. Floyd Mayweather is another example of an athlete who capitalizes from the public’s hatred of their success. In his most recent fight against Saul Alvarez helped him net a guaranteed $41.5 million and that doesn’t include the back end money from Pay per View buys. Both of these examples of financial growth stem directly from successful athletes being despised by the public who hate to see them succeed.

This isn’t a strategy that works for everyone. Athletes who are caught in negative situations that are of a criminal nature shouldn’t be flip towards their actions and the public’s reaction. However, those who are disliked because of success could take that opportunity to build their career into something stronger than it may originally become. An effective manager can help guide that growth while showing the client how to responsibly capitalize on their sudden position.

Richard Sherman, Floyd Mayweather and Ronda Rousey are three examples of athletes that will earn a wealth of money simply because fans don’t like them. They may not have done anything overtly wrong; but smart sports promotion has placed them in a financial zone that they may not have seen otherwise.

Introduction To The Series On Networking

NetworkingEach month the R&B Management Group will look at another area of important development that can impact a career or project. A new year is upon us, so with that in mind we are looking at the area of networking as this month’s feature. With that in mind here is a preview of our series on networking and how it can be utilized by individuals and groups on the whole.

To better understand what networking is as a whole, let’s take a moment to actual define the process. Merriam – Webster gives us the definition that networking is “the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions and the cultivation of productive relationships for employment of business.” These definitions serve a direct lead-in into how we will cover the idea of networking over the next few months.

networking-guyIn this series we are going to look at four important points of networking as a whole: in-person networking, where and when to networking, social media networking and what not to do while networking. Each one of these areas are amongst the most vital areas to discuss when teaching the masses about how to properly build a strong base of relationships.

As many people are building a list of goals and resolutions to build their career and personal lives; being able to network is a skill that will be required to take positive steps in that direction. For the next four weeks the R&B Management Group is going to provide valuable tips and information that will help in that area. Our focus is to help those around us build better careers and help project development. To get there, networking is one of the first skills that should be built into your foundation.