In the world of digital previsualization, the good old analog storyboard is still an art form in its own right. In this post we share interesting storyboard examples from famous films and directors.Recently a freelance storyboard artist sent me a link to some of her work (see below) and I was struck by the way in which she managed to combine three distinct styles, each conveying such different emotional connotations.This got me thinking about how in the world of digital pre-vis and animatics we might be losing the art of the storyboard in favor of digital means, although I hope we’re not. In this post, I’ll share three great examples from the long history of the art and craft of the film storyboard.The YardsThe following video is a great behind-the-scenes featurette in which director James Gray (The Yards, We Own The Night) talks through several of his ‘water colour storyboards’ and how they connect to the sequences in the film. Its also a great opportunity to see director of photography Harris Savides’ lighting tests and how they correlate with Gray’s storyboards and the final film.RidleygramsOne of the most famous directors for doodles is Ridley Scott, who started out as a production designer. He often draws extensive storyboards in all stages of production. In this fascinating vintage (1982) behind the scenes film for Blade Runner you not only get to hear Douglas Trumbull explain the complexities of early optical composites but at about 9:30 minutes in you get to see plenty of Ridley’s famous ‘Ridleygrams’. If you’re curious to see more check out this blog post full of Alien Ridleygrams.Hitchcock – 13 filmsIn this fantastically long blog post, the folks at Filmmaker IQ have collected together some of the storyboard art from 13 of Alfred Hitchcock’s films. It is interesting to see the variety of styles and the level of detail in each of the storyboards. It is also amazing to think that he made 67 films in his career! Here are a few of my personal favorites:
Motion Graphics in Smoke – AU MasterClass:The first Smoke MasterClass I am especially fond of, well, because I am presenting it (shameless plug).If you ever need to create motion graphics for your projects, including 3D graphics, then Smoke works quite well. I breakdown and show you a few examples and some tips and tricks I have discovered and used in my own Smoke projects.In this free Smoke training I’ll show you how to…Create “glassy” 3D Text with reflection and refraction.Importing and Texturing 3D Models from VideoCopilot’s Element 3D Model Packs.Breakdown of actual on-air jobsCreate better animations with keyframes based on sounds and using Motion Paths in Smoke.I’d love to hear your comments on the presentation. So feel free to comment below or on the Autodesk site.Preview Video:Using 3D Objects in Smoke -AU MasterClass:Michael (Pants) Sands an award winning visual effects artist. Before joining Post Asylum in 2008, Sands held positions as a motion designer, 3D animator, VFX supervisor and editor for several studios, including Post Op, Pony Productions, and Fresh Produce. Michael breaks down a commercial he worked on for Hasbro and illustrates how to build and animate a Rubik’s Cube in Smoke’s Action.Preview Video:Color Management and Color Workflows in Flame Premium – AU MasterClass:Now, I know this is a Smoke blog, but because Autodesk Smoke shares many of it’s workflows with Flame this MasterClass is also worth checking out. It goes over Color Management, gamma vs gamut, HDR Images, Smoke/Flame workflows for video, film and CG. An explanation of the new ACES workflow is also shown.The class is presented by Cédric Lejeune a workflow specialist for high-end VFX and digital cinema. Cédric sets production pipelines and trains people all around the world. He’s an Autodesk Certified Instructor on Lustre, member of the DKU (Discreet Knowledge Unit) and a color science instructor at the International Colorist Academy.Preview Video:It’s great that Autodesk provides these MasterClasses to explore more advanced workflows and effects for their products. The beginner videos are great to get started, but the more advanced classes really highlights the power of the tools. It’s great that working professionals can provide their time and talents. I personally was honored to be asked to contribute and hope that the class is well received.You need to register for the Autodesk AREA site to see the videos, it’s free, and there is a lot of good info. Also the site hosts a revamped community forum for user-to-user and even user-to -Autodesk communication. Autodesk has released Smoke and Flame training for free via their Autodesk University MasterClass Online Program. Check them out for some excellent instruction from working professionals using Smoke & Flame.
3. Sectioned BagsYou don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a good sectioned camera bag. These bags offer greater flexibility because they can be changed and manipulated to accommodate your individual needs. Be sure to get one with velcro sides that allow you to change the layout of the bag at will. I’m a big fan of the LowePro bags for their durability.4. Velcro Cable OrganizersVelcro cable organizers are a great way to manage your cables on-set. You’ll be able to easily identify cables by their color (very useful on long cable runs), as well as keep them tidy during storage.5. Tackle BoxFrom adapters to microfiber wipes it can be extremely difficult to keep up with all the small pieces of equipment necessary for making a film/video. Instead of simply throwing all of your small parts into a random zipper in your camera bag try using a tackle-box instead. I recommend getting a tackle-box that is 1) clear and 2) has moveable dividers (will better accommodate different sized gear).7. Get a Card WalletLosing a memory card can be one of the most heartbreaking experiences for any filmmaker. Instead of going through this awful ordeal purchase a memory card wallet. These storage cases will also keep your cards safe from the elements (some even have weather resistant seals). Make it a habit on set to ALWAYS add a used card to your memory card case when you pull out a new one. This will ensure you only have out the card that’s currently being shot on: no lost cards.7. Labeled Lens CapsGot a bag full of lenses? Labeled lens caps make it easy to quickly grab the right lens from your camera bag, as they are labeled with that lens’ focal length. Brands like LensBling make versions of these caps, or you can easily create your own by labeling the caps you’ve got.Labeled lens caps also make it easier when you are working with production assistants who might not know an 85 from a 24.Have any other tips for staying organized on set? Share in the comments below. Clean up the clutter with these 7 tips for staying organized on set.In the chaos that is a film set it can be difficult to stay organized. When your attention is torn between directing, cinematography, or whatever else the shoot demands, it’s hard to keep track of all your equipment. In the following post we will take a look at 7 of my favorite ways to keep equipment organized on set.1. Label MakersLabeling your equipment is THE #1 best way to stay organized on set. By purchasing a cheap label maker you can guarantee your equipment doesn’t go home with someone accidentally. You can also color-code the labels to correspond to respective bags. For example, if you have a lens with a green label your crew will know to put that equipment in the green labeled bag. There are tons of ways to utilize labels for your individual purpose. Label makers are cheap…use them to your advantage.2. Make an Equipment ListYou should have a record of all the video/film equipment you own (for insurance at the very least!) Organize this list by equipment type (camera, lighting, audio, etc). Next, modify this master list into a checklist with two checkboxes next to each piece of equipment. Print off a new version of the checklist each time you head out on a shoot and check off each piece of equipment you’ll be taking with you.This checklist serves two purposes:1.What type of shoot is it and what equipment will it require? By going through the checklist you’ll be able to quickly ascertain what you need and what you don’t. Add a check to the first checkbox each time a piece of equipment gets packed. By going through this list you’ll minimize the chances that you’ll show up to the set without a crucial piece of gear.2. When the shoot is wrapped go back over the list, this time adding a check to the second checkbox when you verify that you have each piece of gear. This will minimize the chances that you’ll leave gear on set or confuse it with someone elses.
What filmmaking truths can be found on the set of one of the biggest blockbusters in history? Go behind the scenes of The Avengers.As one of the highest grossing films of all time, The Avengers is about as big as a movie can get. However, you don’t need to have a multimillion dollar budget to get something out of these awesome behind-the-scenes videos. Here’s a list of six filmmaking takeaways from the BTS videos of The Avengers. Let’s begin:1. It’s the last 15% of the details that make all the difference.Key Takeaway: The beauty is in the details.As with most things, in filmmaking the difference is in the details. This goes for indie films all the way up to Hollywood blockbusters. In this featurette, Jeff White, the Visual Effects Supervisor for The Avengers talks about how they decided to make their Hulk a little more “flabby” than previous iterations. This decision proved to make the CGI character much more believable.The artists behind the Hulk took into account an insane amount of detail, from cloth simulations for skin all the way down to the theoretical weight of the Hulk. It was these smaller details (and a decade of VFX innovation) that helped separate the 2012 Hulk from the 2003 Hulk.2. Joss Whedon isn’t scared of multicam productions.Key Takeaway: While they are certainly more difficult, multicam productions can be worth it.Multicam productions can be a scary monster to face, especially if you are an indie filmmaker. It’s easier to light and control a scene for one camera than two, so most filmmakers choose to shoot with one camera at a time. However when you have high-dollar special effects that can only happen once, you really don’t have a choice but to shoot with more than one camera.3. All of the crew members look at least 40 years old.Key Takeaway: It takes time to become a key player on a Hollywood production.One of the most interesting and reassuring things that we saw in the BTS videos was the fact that most of the crew members for The Avengers look like they are 40 years old or older, especially the ones holding a camera. As aspiring filmmakers, this reality tells us a lot about the filmmaking industry. Namely, like any industry, it takes time to work your way up the ladder to become a key player in large scale movies like The Avengers. Sure, networking helps, but at the end of the day? It’s hard work and experience that will help you get on big productions.4. All the fight scenes are highly choreographed before actors show up on set.Key Takeaway: Good action scenes take a lot of prep time.If you’ve ever tried shooting an action scene, then you probably know how difficult it is to shoot a believable fight scene. A good fight scene takes a lot of choreographing before you show up on set and The Avengers is no exception. Each actor had to spend weeks being trained in combat and the various fight scenes that were required for The Avengers.If you’re an indie filmmaker looking to shoot an awesome fight scene, take a lot of time to research, storyboard, and choreograph. By taking more time in pre-production to work out the details of the shoot, you’ll be able to create a much better scene than what could be created by quickly figuring it out on set.5. There are a surprising amount of practical effects.Key Takeaway: Practical effects are still better than VFX, especially for indie-films.While VFX do offer you much more control, practical effects are often better than those created by a computer — just ask George Lucas. You’ve probably seen a lot of pictures of the green screen sound stages used in The Avengers, but one surprising thing we found in the BTS videos is the amount of practical effects and set dressing that went into the film.Practical effects are surprisingly easy to create. From simply throwing dirt to using air cannons to launch a car in the air, there are a lot of really cool ways to create live effects that look great. If you’re interested in seeing more practical effects, check out our Top 10 Practical Movie Effects of All Time post.6. A cast that likes each other is a happy cast.Key Takeaway: Actor synergy is very important.It’s hard to think of another all-star cast that gets along with each other like the cast of The Avengers — and that real world chemistry is obvious on the screen. Despite what your fedora wearing “director” friend tells you, there is no room for egos on set. By having a friendly relationship with your actors and crew members, you will better gain respect — which will pay dividends on screen.Want to learn even behind the scenes Avengers inspiration? Check out a few of the following resources:Weird Secrets of The Avengers That You’d Never Have GuessedWatch The Avengers Get Goofy Behind The Scenes In New Age Of Ultron VideoGo Behind-the-Scenes of Marvel’s Avengers: Age of UltronAre you excited for the new Avengers: Age of Ultron movie? Sound off in the comments below.
The Pulse is an interesting camera add-on for Canon and Nikon DSLRs. Essentially, the add-on allows users to control their DSLR camera remotely via smartphone and Bluetooth from up to 100 feet. This will come in handy for many videographers during shoots where timelapse video is needed.Pulse’s interface is well designed and seems to be incredibly easy to navigate through. It uses USB to connect to the camera, which is compatible with most Canon and Nikon DSLR cameras. Through Pulse you can control up to 3 pulse-equipped cameras at one time for maximum coverage. You can also use Pulse to control the ISO and Shutter Speed in order to capture sunrise and sunset timelapse videos.The Pulse app is going to be available for free on both iPhone and Android devices.Seeking: $50,000 USD3. PhoneDrone Ethos It may sound crazy, but when you’re in a pinch, the latest smart phones can actually capture footage high quality enough that it can be mixed in with cinema footage. Both iPhone and many Android smart phones can capture video in 4k, so your phone is a real option for you. With that in mind — if you don’t have thousands of dollars to purchase a high-end drone, then the PhoneDrone Ethos could be a nice solution for you.This small drone is compact, lightweight, and compatible with both iPhone and Android. A lot of people might be hesitant to send their phone 100 ft. in the air, but they need not worry. The PhoneDrone comes with a backup system to bring your device home in one piece. Your phone is also in a Protective Universal Mount case, which keeps your phone safe and waterproofed.Seeking: $100,000 USDGot any Kickstarter campaigns we should know about? Let us know in the comments below! The search for “the next big thing” in video gear never stops. Here are a few contenders for the title that are currently raising cash on Kickstarter.With video gear technology advancing so rapidly these days, people are constantly on the hunt for the next big thing. Trying to find tech that’s worth your time and money can be overwhelming, but Kickstarter is always a great place to look. Here are three campaigns that we believe are worth some time and money.1. Hercules Camera Motion Control System Project Premise: With the Hercules, Rollocam has developed the World’s Smallest Camera Motion Control System. This patent pending technology will work with cameras up to 20 pounds, so users can attach anything from a smart phone to a RED SCARLET.The small (but robust) design of the Hercules allows users to store it in something as small as a shirt pocket, and the system itself can be assembled in a matter of seconds. Another great aspect of the Hercules is it’s ability to provide steady camera movement on any flat surface without the need of tracks.Hercules is currently at the tail end of its campaign and had been seeking to obtain at least $25,000 in funding. They have eclipsed that number and are sitting north of $250,000. While many of the premium rewards have been spoken for, there are plenty of the standard rewards, which gets you a Hercules for $50 less than the suggested retail price.Seeking: $25,000 USD2. Pulse Wireless DSLR Control
Keeping an eye on the industry and staying refreshed is a great way to improve your video editing game. These must-read video editing articles have something helpful for pros and amateurs alike.Film and video professionals should constantly be devouring movies, commercials, music videos, books, and articles. They should be looking ahead at trends in the medium and looking back at where the medium has been. Media consumption is an important aspect of maintaining a flow of inspiration for your own work. With that in mind, here’s a collection of ten must-read articles for our readers living the video editing life.1. Designing Lower Thirds Like a ProFor video editors who find themselves working on a project that involves generating lower thirds graphics, here’s an article from Shutterstock that covers the basics. The article also covers color selection and typography and how those things impact the message you’re trying to convey. This is a great refresher for pro video editors and a great intro to lower thirds for new editors.2. Professional Video Editing Tips and TechniquesPremiumBeat’s very own Caleb Ward crafted this all-inclusive mega-article about video editing tips and techniques. This article covers just about every professional tip or technique you need to know as a video editor, starting with picking the right software and hardware. It also touches on editing for story, editing language, editing speed, shortcuts, and distribution. By the end of the article, you should have a basic understanding of video editing.3. Common Mistakes That Amateur Editors MakeOver at RocketStock, professional cinematographer, director, and editor Noam Kroll offers a list of common editing mistakes that rookie editors are prone to making in their earliest projects. Heed his advice and avoid the traps associated with cutting too little, overusing transitions, always opening with the master, and editing for dialogue.4. Video Editing Tricks to Increase Your Editing SpeedIncreasing your video editing speed sounds like a great thing — but it’s only great if the work being produced is still high-quality. Mike Wilkinson over at FStoppers knows this all too well. That’s why he wrote this great article that gives readers five tricks for better edits. Some of the tricks he covers: knowing how to use a J cut, cleaning up dialogue, using natural segues, and even adding markers. These tips aren’t mind blowing, but they are essential techniques for anyone wanting to increase their editing speed without losing quality.5. 10 Video Editing Tips From TEDThis piece from the fine folks of TED gives you a real understanding of how to piece a narrative together. The article takes you step by step through the cutting process and features some great video examples from different TED Talks as a guide. While this breakdown is geared more toward the editing of a TED Talk, there are plenty of basic editing technique examples for video editors.6. Editing Techniques to Make Scenes More DramaticDoes the phrase “dramatic sync tempo decompression” mean anything to you? If not, you’ll find this No Film School article very eye-opening. Read along as Robert Hardy highlights the editing techniques of documentary editor Paddy Bird. 7. Editors Who Broke the SystemPremiumBeat author Michael Maher wrote a great piece on the pioneering female editors who broke the Hollywood system. Their influence is undeniable and their stories are great sources of inspiration for anyone in the world of film and video editing.8. Video Editing OrganizationWe’ve listed plenty of sources for video editing tips and techniques… but what about organization? Staying organized is paramount for video editors. With that in mind, here’s a great Videomaker article from Chris Gates that goes over five essential tips to help video editors stay organized and effective. 9. Improving Your Editing TechniquesLarry Jordan has been offering advice to filmmakers and video editors for years. In this piece, Jordan gives us a solid overview of professional editing techniques. Do yourself a favor and explore all of the embedded links within the article. There’s lots of good stuff in there.10. Steps to Becoming a Hollywood EditorRobert Lanford is a Los Angeles-based editor who has worked on major television shows like The Goldbergs, Decoded, and The Good Wife. In this blog post, Lanford goes over the steps an up-and-coming editor needs to take in order to make it as an editor in Hollywood.Did we miss anything? Seen any good video editing articles lately? Share them in the comments below.
We sat down with Matt Porwoll, one of the cinematographers behind The Trade to discuss making films about sensitive issues and working with Matt Heineman.All images via Our Time Projects/Showtime.The Showtime original series The Trade explores the global opioid epidemic and tells the stories of the people caught in its grip. Filming sensitive material and trying to leave a small production footprint were just some of the challenges facing this series. We talked with Matt Porwoll, one of cinematographers behind the show, about how he met these challenges and what it was like working with Matt Heineman.PremiumBeat: How did you take your first leap into the documentary world?Matt Porwoll: When I was at film school, I had big hopes and dreams of shooting feature films. I didn’t want to do the low-budget indie market but wanted to kind of do the kind of standard Hollywood-type movies, and so I got a job at Abel Cine right out of school and started working a week after graduation. That was a perfect entry point into the New York market because, coming right out of film school, I was able to work with the most modern equipment and meet the camera assistants, the cinematographers, and the producers who were all working regularly in town. I think it was through that experience working with them that I started to get a better taste of kind of what the options were in the industry. That opened my eyes to documentary production, which I had never really paid any attention to.I mean, I didn’t even take the documentary production class in college. It just wasn’t on my radar, and so through building these packages, sending crews off to everywhere across the planet, shooting amazing stories, and coming back with great stories, that kind of shifted my attention to say this might be something that I could see myself doing for the long haul. So when I left Abel, two years later, and started freelancing as a camera assistant, I started working for all the documentary people. That’s how I fell into documentary production, and now I couldn’t ask for anything better.A scene from the SHOWTIME original documentary series THE TRADE (Season 1, Episode 01). – Photo: Our Time Projects/Courtesy of SHOWTIMEPB: Who was the first person to give you that big opportunity that eventually led to where you are now?MP: Well, I thankfully had the opportunity to assist a lot of really good documentary-specific cinematographers and people who have been doing this for many years. I was able to come in and learn from some of the best in the business. There were a few people in that realm who really kind of guided me. A big one was Wolfgang Held, who had done a lot of documentaries [and filmed things like] Metallica and a bunch of series with PBS and HBO. It was through Wolfgang that I first met Matt Heineman when they were starting to shoot Matt’s first film Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare — that was in 2010. I came on assisting Wolfgang on that film and then ended up shooting second camera.PB: I would say Matt Heineman is one of the most influential documentary filmmakers today. How’s that experience been?MP: Yeah, it is exciting. It’s also exciting I think for both of us that we kind of came up in this together because we’re the same age. I was assisting and operating on his first film, and he’s someone who’s got incredible instincts. So even out of the gate, he made an incredible movie. Then the next film that we did was Cartel Land, and Matt asked me if I would be interested in shooting that with him, and I think for both of us it was like Okay, we’re kind of now going out on our own. We’ve been through this once before — let’s support each other again and do it again. I mean that was an incredible movie in so many ways, and really I think that’s what solidified in our mind the kind of movies we wanted to make, how we wanted to make them, and that we wanted to [work together] as often as possible to do these types of films.PB: You recently just shot the Showtime series The Trade with Matt. What was it like shooting vérité-style with heroin users? They’re doing something illegal, so it’s definitely sensitive material.MP: One thing that we very purposefully did on this film was we tried to limit our footprint as much as possible. It made everybody a lot more comfortable because we only had two people in the field per team. I had a producer, and it was just the two of us for the entire time. So through that consistency, where we weren’t changing out crew members every trip, we weren’t adding people, removing people. And so, I think through that there was a level of just comfort that we established pretty early on. Much of being a documentarian doesn’t really have a lot to do with the camera — it just has to do with how you present yourself and how you explain why you’re there and how you approach these difficult and delicate situations in a respectful way. We are people behind the camera, and we care for you, and we understand everything that you’re going through, and we just want to understand it more and share that with the audience. I think that motivated a lot of people. Especially with the families that we filmed.PB: What type of gear did you use to maintain this small footprint?MP: One thing that we really wanted to do was, again, in minimizing the footprint, to come up with style guides for the show. We focused on almost building a set of limitations to work within. Instead of bringing a bunch of gear and having every focal length and the perfect camera, we kind of focused on reining it all in and saying we’re only going to really have with us what we can carry without having to go back to the car. On all these storylines, you have to be flexible — you have to be ready to go. And so, we shot on the Canon C300 Mark II, which I’ve been working with since the day it came out. It’s really solidified itself as the perfect documentary camera: it’s small, it’s lightweight, it has incredible image quality, and it’s just flexible and ergonomic for documentary use. It doesn’t ever fight you — the last thing you want in a camera is having to spend time thinking about where a button is, how to access something, or having complicated menus.In terms of lenses, we basically told ourselves we would use the Canon 17-55mm, Canon 24-105, and the 70-200. It was mainly the 17-55 and the 24-105 that we had with us all the time. They are small, and they have between the two of them the perfect range — the 17 to 55 is a 2.8, which is great for low light, and the 24-105 is an f4, which is where we kind of set ourselves to shoot so that our subjects didn’t get lost in their environments. We also each had a Canon 24mm f/1.4 prime just because we knew between law enforcement and the addicts’ storylines, we would be in low light, so we had that one lens to cover us if exposure dropped. But the C300 is so good in low light that we didn’t really have to use it that much. For the most part, it’s probably 90% handheld except for some establishments.We started shooting everything in HD at 4×4 12-bit internal 1080p into the camera. We shot everything in CanonLog3. We shot that for a while, and then once we started to get more involved in Mexico and we had solidified the law enforcement team that we were going to be with, we ended up switching to shooting in 4k 422 10-bit for the purposes of having room to play if we needed to crop people out of the frame in post. But I feel like, again, with this camera, I think that’s kind of one of those big debates that keeps going around: resolution over color space, and I wholeheartedly agree that it’s probably better shooting in HD at 444 12-bit than it is to shoot 4k at 422 10-bit. Just having that flexibility for the color correction, especially on a project like this where you end up in all kinds of lighting situations and contrast situations, being able to have a smooth gradation in your color correction to shift your color balance: that’s great. However, the resolution of 4K certainly helped us in reframing and cropping people where necessary.PB: How do you feel documentary filmmaking is changing with this surge of episodic documentary content like The Trade?MP: Yeah, it’s incredible to watch, and this was my first foray into the episodic side of documentary filmmaking. We were very fortunate that Showtime allowed us to make this series as if we were making a film. The entire film was shot pretty much before it was edited. We had our editors come on certainly toward the tail end of production, but we did not have to shoot on the schedule of other documentary series where it’s episode by episode. We waited to see where the story was going to go, how it was going to develop, and what was going to happen with our characters before we made any final editorial decisions on any episode. And so, we just treated it as if we were making a five-hour film.PB: What advice do you have for aspiring documentarians?MP: Well, I think the biggest piece of advice that I can give to anyone is just shoot a lot and just involve yourself in any part of production. I think there’s now a big kind of push for people who are just starting out to jump out of film school or wherever and wanting to immediately start as cinematographers. I think that certainly has its opportunities and its value, but I think there’s a lot to be said learning from people who know what they’re doing better than you do. That journey will continue on forever; whether you’re assisting or you’re shooting, there’s always someone who’s going be doing it better than you, and that should be a guiding force as opposed to something that terrifies you. So, just take your time to learn the craft, working on productions and learning from your mistakes. Thankfully, especially in the documentary world, there are so many opportunities now between films and series and web, there’s a lot of work, and there’s a lot of stories to be told and the budgets are going up, the access is going up, the outlets and opportunities are going up. The biggest thing is make sure that you’re just focusing on the story first, and the craft will come around. Stick to the reasons that you got into telling good stories.Looking for more filmmaking interviews? Check these out.Interview: 7 Filmmaking Tips for Creating Retro ’80s ActionBehind The Scenes: Crafting The Stylized Naturalism of Bomb City with DP Jake WilganowskiThe Disaster Artist: Editing A Film About Making a FilmInterview: The Director and The Producer Behind “Man on Fire”Exclusive: Designing Wakanda and the Amazing Sets of Black Panther
You have to trust your sales process.You have to trust that by reverse-engineering how you have value-creating conversations, how you generate all the necessary outcomes between target and close, and how you gain the necessary commitments you need, your process provides you with the best possible chance of creating and winning an opportunity.When you decide to skip some of those conversations, forego the outcomes you need, and fail to gain the necessary commitments, you are decreasing the likelihood of winning that opportunity. And you are selling poorly.Trust the ProcessIf the sales leadership team doesn’t trust the process, neither will the sales force. If you are a sales leader and you don’t strongly commit to the process, neither will your team. If you install a process and aren’t engaged in ensuring that process is working, then you will never trust the process, and neither will your managers, nor will your sales force.You have to trust that the process outlines the best and most likely path from target to close.You have to trust that the outcomes that are necessary at each stage are the right outcomes, and that they create value for your prospective clients and position you to win.You have to trust that the commitments you need as you move along the path are the right commitments.If you don’t trust that the process is the right process or that it is going to position you to sell effectively, win or lose, change the process. But not enforcing the process is the same as not having a process. Without a process, you are effectively allowing your sales force to wing it and hope for the best.Trust Your PeopleYou also have to trust your people.A sales process is a roadmap. It doesn’t constrain the salesperson’s resourcefulness or their creativity. Like any map, there are times when it doesn’t resemble the terrain, and the salesperson must call on their initiative and creativity to move things forward.There is no end to the need for creativity when it comes to achieving the outcomes the process dictates, for collaborating with your dream client around the right solution, or for developing powerful questions and dialogue that move deals forward. But all of that exists inside the framework of the sales process.You can only trust your people to be creative within the framework of the process if you actually trust the process. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now
You win new clients and new opportunities one of two ways: intention or accident. Intentionally won deals are how you grow your sales; accidental deals are how you fail to do so.A Series of Happy AccidentsWith a little luck, you can win a new client through a happy accident. Your dream client may find your company online and raise their hand and ask for help at just the right time. One of your existing clients may refer one of their contacts to you after discovering they have a problem you can solve for them. Marketing can churn up a lead that happens to be ripe for your offer, and everything can fall easily into place.But you can’t count on being found by the people you hope to serve. You can’t count on your existing clients bringing up your name to one of their contacts in a conversation about business. Even though marketing has an important role to play, your success belongs to you, and you alone.You cannot build success by hoping for happy accidents. All these happy accidents do is allow some salespeople to hold out hope for more.Intentionally Chasing Down SuccessIf you really want certain results, you can’t leave those results to chance. You have to chase them down. You build success by intentionally taking action on your goals and the outcomes that you need. Success is keeping score, and it knows when you have paid in advance for what you want.If you want to win your dream client’s business, you need to develop a pursuit plan, nurture relationships, and chase down those clients. Applying enough effort and energy against any obstacle long enough, and the obstacle yields. Applying enough hope against any obstacle doesn’t have the same effect.Luck can be a wonderful accident, but it is as fickle as all get out, and not to be trusted with your future. If you want success, in sales or anything else, you are going to have to achieve it intentionally, through massive, focused action. Nothing is guaranteed, but this is as close a sure thing as you will ever have. Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now
Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now Producing results is more interesting than selling. The outcomes produced after someone buys are infinitely more interesting—and more fulfilling—than the sale itself. You don’t get accolades from your client for having won their business. You get accolades for producing results.Helping people move their business forward is better than selling, too. The ability to help someone generate a result that improves their business is better than selling. Your clients don’t refer to you as a trusted advisor because you are a salesperson. If they call you that, it’s because you earned it by helping them improve their business. If you earned that title, it is because you cared, a lot, about them.Caring enough to help other people solve problems is always personally rewarding. In sales, it’s also professionally rewarding. One of the best parts of selling is using your resourcefulness to generate breakthrough ideas. One reason to build your resources and business acumen is because you care about the people who are your clients. You see them as more than clients. You see them as people you want to help.Developing yourself personally and professionally is a byproduct of sales. It very well may be the very best part of selling. Selling requires more of you than most things, especially when it comes to being accountable for results. That growth prepares you to be successful in other areas of your life. Undoubtedly, it is one of the best parts of selling.The chase is exciting. The struggle brings out the best in you. And, there is nothing like winning a hard-fought battle (especially a competitive displacement). But the goal of selling is helping your clients produce a better result than they could produce without you. Getting better results for them is what proves that you care. It is what makes you a trusted adviser. That is the best part of selling. It’s why we sell.
Every year I choose three words around which to guide all my initiatives. Here are my three words for 2018.
Your capacity for work is most likely someone else’s beliefs of what you need to do, not what you are capable of doing.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday ordered a ban on camping activities within 100 metres of the Ganga. A Bench headed by chairperson Swatanter Kumar said the ban will be imposed from Kaudiyala to Rishikesh in Uttarakhand.There are 33 beaches along the Ganga.Activist Vikrant Tongad had moved the NGT against camping along the river. He had contended that camping and river rafting, when done without any regulations, would disturb the environment.He highlighted that people who had camped along the river disposed of waste in the river and also left behind glass and plastic bottles on the banks.
Militants struck at around five places in Kashmir valley in four hours, apparently a coordinated strikes, on Tuesday evening, leaving 13 security personnel injured.The first attack was carried out at on 180 Battalion of the CRPF located in Pulwama’s Tral area after the sunset. “The grenade exploded near the camp located at Lariyal. Four jawans were injured,” said a police spokesman. There were also reports of firing in the area.In the second attack, militants lobbed a grenade on 130 Battalion of the CRPF located at Awantipora’s Padgampora area in Pulwama district. There are no reports of any injuries in the attack.Subsequently, militants lobbed grenade at a police station in Pulwama, around 30 km south of Srinagar, and opened fire. Militants also snatched two weapons after attacking the guards of Justice Muzaffar Attar in Achidora, Anantnag. One special police officer was injured in the attack.In north Kashmir, militants hurled a grenade at an army camp which houses 22 Rashtriya Rifles. “There was an exchange of fire too,” said a police official. The casualties could not be ascertained immediately. The attacks took place on 17th on Ramzan, which is observed as Yaum-ul-Badr in remembrance of a war won by prophet Muhammad 1400 years ago.”We had inputs regarding escalation in violence on the occasion. That is why the damage is limited as alerts were issued in advance. There is minimum damage,” Director General of Police S.P. Vaid said. A red alert was sounded across the Valley. The last one week has witnessed more than four grenade attacks in Valley, especially south Kashmir.
Former Bihar deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav on Tuesday sought 15 days from the CBI to appear for questioning in a case related to alleged corruption in giving the contract for running two IRCTC hotels to a private firm in 2006, sources said.Mr. Yadav, who was summoned to appear on Tuesday, sent his counsel who submitted the request seeking time to appear before the investigation team, sources in the agency said. The contracts were given in 2006 when his father Lalu Prasad was the Union railway minister.The case pertains to allegations that Mr. Lalu Prasad, as railway minister, handed over the maintenance of two hotels run by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation, a subsidiary of the Indian Railways, in Ranchi and Puri to Sujata Hotel, a company owned by Vinay and Vijay Kochhar, in return for a prime plot of three acres in Patna through a benami company.The FIR alleged that the RJD leader, as the railway minister, abused his official position for extending undue favours to the Mr. Kochhar and acquired a “high value premium land” through a benami firm Delight Marketing Company. As a quid pro quo, he “dishonestly and fraudulently” managed award of leasing of the two hotels.After the tender was awarded to Sujata Hotel, the ownership of Delight Marketing also changed hands from Sarla Gupta to Rabri Devi and Mr. Yadav between 2010 and 2014. By this time, Mr. Lalu Prasad had resigned as railway minister.The CBI has registered the case against Mr. Lalu Prasad, his wife Ms. Rabri Devi, a former Bihar chief minister, son Mr. Yadav, who was deputy CM until a few months ago, and Sarla Gupta, wife of Prem Chand Gupta, a former union minister.Others named as accused in the FIR include Vijay Kochhar, Vinay Kochhar, both directors of Sujata Hotels and owner of Chanakya Hotel, Delight Marketing Company, now known as Lara Projects, and then IRCTC managing director P K Goel.
Acting on a petition filed by the Congress, the Gujarat High Court on Monday issued a notice to the Election Commission of India (ECI) and the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Gujarat over defective EVMs and VVPAT units detected during checks held before the Assembly polls.The Congress had demanded that defective Electronic Voting Machines and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail units be sealed and not used during State polls scheduled to be held on December 9 and 14.The party said that around 7% of the 70,182 VVPAT units were found to be defective during first-level checks ahead of polls.A Division Bench of Justice Akil Kureshi and Justice A.J. Kogje issued the notice and asked the ECI and the CEO to submit a response by November 13.
The National Green Tribunal has sought response from the Divisional Commissioner, Allahabad, after a committee headed by the officer failed to submit a report on the alleged illegal sand mining in the area.A Bench, headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, said, “The committee was to furnish a report which has not been furnished. Issue notice to the Divisional Commissioner, Allahabad, as to why penal action be not taken for non-compliance of orders of this Tribunal.”The officer has been directed to be present before the Tribunal on January 22.In September last year, the green panel had directed constitution of a committee to be headed by the officer and sought a report on the allegations of illegal mining. Petitioner Atul Singh Chauhan had challenged the ongoing sand mining in the Yamuna riverbed in Allahabad without the requisite environmental clearance.
Odisha’s ruling Biju Janata Dal on Monday questioned the Election Commission of India’s decision to conduct elections in the State in four phases. Previously, the polls were being held in the State in two phases. Addressing a press conference here, party spokesperson Amar Patnaik alleged that the ECI had been influenced by the BJP which is trying to occupy the non-BJP States.While polling will be held in one phase in several other States, including Gujarat, having more number of seats than Odisha, the ECI prepared the poll schedule in multiple phases in the States where the BJP is weak, Mr. Patnaik said. Not only Odisha, but several non-BJP ruled States have been made a victim of the Centre’s conspiracy, he charged.Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik claimed that his party will perform “very well” in the upcoming simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. The list of the party candidates will be finalised soon, he added.Polling for the 21 Lok Sabha and 147 Assembly seats in the State is scheduled to be held in four phases on April 11, 18, 23 and 29.‘Centre’s apathy’ On Monday, the BJD launched a ‘Haq Maguchhi Odisha’ (Odisha seeks its due) campaign alleging Centre’s apathy towards the State.Thousands of activists of the party’s youth and students’ wings took out a rally in Bhubaneswar seeking replies from the Centre to a series of questions.“Even as the mineral and natural resources-rich Odisha is playing a key role in the development of the country, the Centre has been neglecting the State for political reasons. The Centre has been deceiving Odisha people in exchange of high revenue earning from the State,” the party alleged.The protesters targeted the Centre over lack of political will to grant special category status to the State, to solve the Mahanadi water-sharing dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh, non-revision of coal royalty and poor service by banks and the BSNL.
With polling for Lok Sabha 2019 ending on Sunday, political parties in Maharashtra have called all their MLAs, sitting MPs and candidates for meetings on Monday and Tuesday to discuss the possible scenarios that may emerge afterresults are announced on May 23. The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) core committee will meet on Monday, while all its MLAs, MPs and candidates in Maharashtra will meet in Mumbai the following day. Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil said, “This is a regular meeting. We have called the elected representatives on Tuesday. We are confident of a majority; there is no question of us getting panicky.” He reiterated that BJP-Shiv Sena combine will win up to 45 of the 48 seats in Maharashtra. Sena leaders, on the other hand, have been asked to remain in their constituencies. Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray is currently on a holiday in Europe and is likely to return within a day or two. Congress meetingNationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar will in Delhi from Tuesday and will be joined by senior party leaders like Praful Patel. According to party sources, Mr. Pawar will remain in Delhi till there is some clarity on who will form the next government. Meanwhile, the Congress will hold a meeting of all its MLAs and leaders on Monday, chaired by its Maharashtra in-charge Mallikarjun Kharge. State unit Congress president Ashok Chavan said the party will discuss a new group leader in the Assembly, since Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil has resigned from the post and as Leader of Opposition. The Congress will also discuss reports from its candidates about local leaders who worked against the official party candidate. Five Congress MLAs — Mr. Vikhe-Patil, Jaikumar Gore, Nitesh Rane, Abdul Sattar and Kalidas Kolambkar — are under the scanner for anti-party activities during elections.
The harlequin filefish is a master of disguise. The reef-dwelling fish (Oxymonacanthus longirostris) sports a brightly colored pattern that allows it to fade into the coral it calls home. Now, scientists have discovered that the filefish doesn’t just look like a branch of coral—it smells like one, too. The researchers report online today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B that the animal picks up the smell of the corals it feeds on, which serves as a handy disguise from the cunning predators that use odor to hunt down their prey. To identify this chemical camouflage, the team placed cod—a common predator of reef fish—in tanks with filefish and a species of coral that either matched their diet or a coral species the fish hadn’t been feeding on. The filefish were hidden inside perforated containers within the aquarium so that the cod could only smell, and not see, their prey. The researchers found that cod were much less likely to hang out around the filefish container when the species of coral present matched the reef fish’s last meals. Exactly how the filefish retains the coral smell is still unknown, but the disguise even fooled coral-feeding crabs. When the researchers gave the crabs a choice between their favorite corals and a filefish that fed on their favorite corals, they often chose the filefish. Many invertebrate species, like caterpillars, are known to incorporate compounds from the plants they eat into the outer layer of their skin to hide from hungry predators. But the filefish is the first vertebrate species found to camouflage its smell, which means that the behavior could be even more widespread across the animal kingdom than previously thought.