The Arts

Why Sam Haskell Believes That Good Ideas Still Exist

Many television and movie viewers are cynical about the large volume of shows and films being produced today. They believe that all of the new ideas have already been taken, and they are dismissive of the lack of variation in today’s media landscape. Jaded viewers forget that there is still a great deal of variety and excitement in today’s film and TV world.

Sam Haskell of Magnolia Hill Productions explains how there are many good ideas still coming to life in today’s crowded media market. He shows how concepts are differentiated from one other and draws a blueprint for emerging companies to find a foothold in the new media landscape.

Partner with a Star

When looking for partners to work with, media companies should not overlook established stars with their own ideas for movies and TV shows. These stars are able to bring a time-tested level of creativity and ability to please viewers along with an innate skill for playing the media market.

Magnolia Hill Productions has partnered with the country star Dolly Parton, on producing several major projects. The most recent being, ‘Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings,’ an 8 episode anthology series for Netflix, and previously two TV movies for NBC, ‘Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors’ and ‘Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors – Circle of Love’ for NBC.  These shows exhibited both strong critical and commercial success.

The Wide Scope of New Ideas

When media companies are looking for new ideas, it is sometimes necessary to push boundaries or reimagine something to make it wholly original. Staying with tried and true ideas can lead media companies to falter in exciting their viewers, driving them away to other sources of entertainment and content. Too many of today’s media entries are derivative, especially remakes of other media properties.

Searching for Stars

Talent is always one of the greatest draws to any programming.  Star casting is essential but making sure you have the right actors for the right roles is still paramount.  That’s not to say that artists from outside of the film industry can’t be great for scripted shows.  Indeed, many crossover artists serve to elevate and attract new audiences.

Moreover, using new and undiscovered talent is essential for any project.  Cost wise, their salaries are comparatively lower than big name stars, but more importantly they tend to infuse a special spark within their performances.  It’s also a wonderful feeling to help someone break his or her career.

Look Outside the Studio

Keep an eye on book or music properties that have recently come on the market. Your company may want to start producing a series based on a buzzy book or music title. Magnolia Hill Productions’ experience with Dolly Parton shows that there’s great value in working with a well-known artist.

As much as possible, production companies should work with many different production partners and artists.  This business is about relationships and helping others can serve to benefit your business down the line.  We work with all types folks in the industry, to have a diversified slate of projects, covering multiple genres.  This gives us greater ability to compete in the marketplace and yields a better chance of getting something made.

Tips for Creating Good Ideas

One of the best ways to stimulate your creativity is by turning off your phone and social media and getting out into the real world.  When you are looking for ideas, try to tap into your creative side reflecting on personal experiences.  Great storytelling is something that appeals to what’s most human within us.  Moreover, studying other filmmakers’ work will give you ways to improve your craft.

Tap into Your Creativity

Tapping into your own personal creativity can be accomplished by a number of methods. One of the best ways to stimulate creativity is to get involved with the arts. Visual arts and music will help you open your mind and reach the state where the best ideas are born. Trying to concentrate too hard on making a new idea can constrict the brain and make you feel trapped. Find ways to relax and let go, the ideas will come.

Be ready for a good idea no matter where you are. It is a good idea to keep a notebook handy or keep a voice memo dictation system on your phone. This way, you can note down great ideas whenever they occur. I especially like to write down any ideas that I may have upon waking in the morning.

New Ideas Can Flourish

When you take all of these tips into consideration, you will be well on your way to creating new ideas. Production and media companies are often full of rehashed concepts, and truly new ideas can be a breath of fresh air.

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Adrian Rubin

Adrian Rubin is a freelancer, creative arts director for various marketing and advertising companies in the New York area. Adrian Rubin specializes in making memorable campaigns. You can learn more about his services here:
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