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education film screenplay writing

Screenwriting is the most competitive profession in the film industry

Reading the trades, I discovered that only about 1100 writers worked on films in Hollywood last year.  Sure, more than that worked on TV, but most elite members of the WGA only work about one year in three (if at all).  And, when they do find work, their pay is still less than many less […]

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education writing

Hey Stupid!!

“Hi, I’m stupid.” We’ve seen it again and again. Workplace “scandals” that involve public spats, arguments over bad management that end in someone getting fired. Some “gurus” claim this shows a lack of “emotional intelligence.”  I think it’s more to do with economic intelligence.  But, if you need a primer in emotional intelligence, here you […]

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education

Our favorite online film schools

There’s a lot of misinformation online.  And, a lot of false things have been said about the film industry, many of which were being said even before the Internet. It seems like some of the worst advice has found its way to top of the search results. But, among all the misinformation (some of which you […]

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education history writing

Happy Birthday to you, James William Tate

You may have heard by now that the Happy Birthday song is in copyright.  Or is it? One of the longest copyright disputes revolves around “Happy Birthday” and whether you can use that song in your films and videos, or in live concerts and plays.   “Happy Birthday to you” has been around so long that […]

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education

Above the line or below the line

Above the Line: In a film budget, departments whose key members are traditionally recruited before the film’s financing is in place and before the budget is written.  These include development (costs and investment recoupment), story and screenplay, direction, production, cast, and any associated fringes. – Ptara’s guidebook. Michael Wohl may the the world’s foremost expert on […]

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education history

Interview of a job hunt: from Pizza Hut to the Ben Franklin of the 21st century

In the past Ptara interviewed documentarians and historians, those who have been published and won awards. We’ve had some interesting viewpoints from those who’ve studied history and used it for work. This time, we published an entrepreneur, and the Employee for the 21st century, a man who’s career includes coding Javascript, sharing statistics, and serving […]

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education history

Are Students dumber than they were 90 years ago? I sure hope not.

We’ve all heard that today’s students don’t know history, and can’t find anything on a map.   Is it reassuring or not to know that their ancestors weren’t much brighter? American students back in the time of Gandhi and Mussolini didn’t even know who those two famous people were. “Gandhi is an Italian Ambassador in […]

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education history

What is the secret of success?

Eisenhower once said that if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. Yet, biographers of Napoleon seem to quote Cromwell in saying that those men who go farthest, don’t have a plan. There are so many other secrets put forward. But one seems consistent.