Don’t Set Your Sights On Reality

I attended Tropfest’s RoughCut film symposium in NYC last month.  In addition to interesting speakers and insider expertise, I got some great 40:20 Vision. I love going to events simply because they interest me and then realizing there is so much I can apply to my life and work. I decided to sum up what I learned in a series of posts. This is the third post (read the second here) based on the talk given by Scott Rosenberg, screenwriter, producer with credits including Things To Do in Denver When You Are Dead, Beautiful Girls, ConAir, and Gone in 60 Seconds amongst others.


“It frees you not to see reality”.


Scott Rosenberg was enormously entertaining. He told a tale about the difference between being hired to work as a writer on a big production like ConAir vs. developing his own screenplay, Beautiful Girls. An inadvertent line came out of this one!


“I don’t care if you bring in a ton of writers on a $100MM film but don’t F#$* with Beautiful Girls.”


His point was that you learn to deal with the fact that one day you think you are the bomb and you are writing it and the next day, guess what, they have brought in another writer.  You get pissed at first but then you realize that sometimes you are that other writer at the table and when you are dealing with a $100MM budget you too will mitigate risk and try different talents.  It’s the power of the team.


His other point was that in a certain film genre, it’s not about reality. You don’t go to the movies for reality.


“It frees you not to see reality.”

This may seem a little counterintuitive but I do think it applies to business as well. There is a time for seeing reality and another time for setting reality aside (aka the status quo – what you think the set reality is).  If we can’t dream we can’t grow.


Get rational and real about your business plan, your goals, the customer reaction to your idea, but open the mind to your reality when it comes to your vision and what is possible. My all time favorite quote abut starting up – you have to see what other people can’t:


 “You have to believe that if you can see it you can make it happen. Then you have to inspire others to want to do it with you…because it always takes a team.”  –  Audrey MacLean, founder of Network Equipment Technologies (NET) and Adaptive,


Maybe “freeing yourself not to see reality” is actually just a way to clear your sights on a reality others just haven’t seen YET!


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