Jan.23, 2011. Powered by Blogger.

Full Sail University Online: Program Reflection

I enjoyed the Master’s Program offered at Full Sail University. I have attained a wealth of knowledge within the intense workload and fast pace learning. Full Sail helped me paint a realistic picture of how to start and run a business within the entertainment industry. The online platform is very convenient for those who have a work schedule and those who live afar. Below is a breakdown of everything I learned when I earned my MS in Entertainment Business:

1. Media Literacy & Research Methodologies (MLR)
• MLR was an introduction to help master the online tools needed for academic and professional success, such as e-mail etiquette, effective sentence structure, professional tone, and proofreading. We were also involved with Diigo.com Libraries, Twitter Lists, RSS Feeds, Personal Learning Networks (PLNs) and Mac OS iMovie, Garageband, and Keynote applications. APA was re-introduced and importance stressed when conducting research and writing papers. This class helped brush up on my research and analyzing skills to better evaluate my chosen industry or business.

2. Executive Leadership (EXL)
• EXL sharpened our leadership qualities. EXL is the course identified the qualities necessary to be an executive leader in today’s entertainment industry. All leaders should acquire to possess positive traits such as integrity, influence, reputation, and change. We explored effective communication of leadership for public peaking, personal influence, understanding international differences in communication, and non-verbal communication. EXL also introduced online Blogs and how effective they can be used to build an online presence for your business. Other topics included social networks, leadership problem solving, self-discipline, leadership priorities and strategies, negotiation skills, staff development and Groupthink. Staff development was very tactful because it showed us how to effectively recruit, relate, and encourage to our staff; a good staff is a means to success. We read books “The 48 Laws of Power” by Robert Greene, “Developing the Leader Within You” by John C. Maxwell, and “The Successful Business Plan: Secrets & Strategies” by Rhonda Abrams.

3. Project and Team Management (PTM)
• PTM was a course with heavy teamwork, which is much appreciated. Many people dread teamwork because of the skepticism of others upholding their end of responsibility. Well, I was in the dreaded group but it turned out to be a great experience, and it introduced be to the convenient use of Google Docs. We learned how to create an effective project management plan, correctly order tasks, understanding every aspect that leads to a successful project, such as pre and post-production timelines. We also explored how to create a productive team by matching tasks to team members’ skill sets, motivating members, providing mentorship, and empowering members to take ownership of a project’s task and productivity. My team “Victory” was also one of the winners for the commercial production assignment. PTM provided a real life insight of how to manage projects in a specified time frame for clients.

4. Business Storytelling & Brand Development (BSB)
• BSB was a course that taught us how to research the entertainment industry market trends, market research methods, study brand identity case studies, and developing personal branding. I enjoyed the project for brand identity development because I got the chance to dissect my creativity with profound meanings and messages, and expel how I chose to design certain logos with my personal life experience. We explored advertising and public relations strategies, marketing plan development, corporate and brand development, integrating marketing communications, and marketing foundations. Two of our books were “The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding” and “The Brand Gap: How to Bridge the Distance Between Strategy and Design.”

5. Entertainment Business Finance (EBF)
• The two books we read in EBF were “Entrepreneurial Finance (5th Edition)” and “Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money – That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!” Very interesting reads, if you get a chance grab them and find out what you’re missing and if your assets are really liabilities. “The Rich Don’t Work for Money,” they make money work for them. We learned how to create, analyze, and present financial statements for our business plan(s), develop a plan to ensure that our entertainment business is profitable, identify potential sources, the appropriate debt and equity mix for financing a business, and create a personal financial plan for debt reduction and wealth creation. The class was very intense due to creating and gathering information for the financial statements, but it was much needed and appreciated.

6. Negotiation and Deal-Making Online (NDM)
• This is the course in which I received the March Course Director Award! The NDM course dealt with real life situations such as negotiating contracts, stipulations, and payments upon an agreement. We went over separating people from the problem, inventing options for mutual gain, positions vs. interests, objective criteria, addressing the concern and not our emotions, negative emotions & being prepared, and BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement). We also explored the 5 core emotional concerns: autonomy, affiliation, appreciations, status, and fulfilling roles.

7. Product & Artist Management (PAM)
• I really like the aspect of the PAM course because we got a chance to role-play as either an artists or as the artist manager, and we got a chance to negotiate contracts and services offered in an agreement. We performed an artist management case study evaluation, a Live Event Project in which I chose to bring back the rapper ‘Twista,’ continued to work on our professional blog(s), and product development pitch for our business plan. This course enabled us to ensure a market-driven direction through market research, guide product fit and function, oversee budgeting and financials, and evaluates success and refinements. The two books we read are “This Business of Artist Management (4th Edition)” and “he Product Manager’s Field Guide.”

8. Advanced Entertainment Law (AEL)
• AEL was the course the helped us identify and evaluate legal liabilities within the entertainment industry and create strategies that would reduce or eliminate those risks. We researched current legal cases within the industry in regards to intellectual property. AEL ensured that we’d know how to protect our IPs and how to gain rights for other’s intellectual property. Artist and talent management & advertising regulations was also covered, along with contract law, business agreements and structures. The two books used for AEL were “The Permission Seeker’s Guide Through the Legal Jungle” and “Cyber Law: A Legal Arsenal for Online Business.”

9. Entertainment Media Publishing & Distribution (EMPD)
• Our EMPD course director, Kim Craft, published our textbook “Entertainment Media Publishing & Distribution (2nd Edition). This course prepared students to study traditional and new digital publishing and distribution models, such as print media, music, and audiovisual. We explored issues within the industry in regards to piracy, social media, digital rights management, legislation, and more. We also explored how to tactfully protect and monetize our creative content and how to select and solicit agents with query letters, and evaluate agent agreements. Creating a press and media kit was a very good exercise because it prepared us how to appropriately exhibit skills and products we offer, and engage potential agents. We also worked on the written introduction of our business plan, refined our SWOT analysis, develop a self-publishing strategy using some existing POD sites and traditional methods of distribution.

10. Digital Marketing (DMK)
• DMK was the course that taught us how to analyze website traffic, input Google Analytics for our blogs, understand strategies of successful search engine optimization (SEO), measuring the effectiveness of your campaign, search technology, keyword research and selection, and digital promotion, such as creating effective email marketing that engages the recipient and persuades them to act. We also created QR codes, covered link building, digital PR and communication, viral marketing, social media optimization & tactics, and coordinating social media. DMK enabled us to explore the different digital advertising types, such as display, interactive, contextual, Pay-Per-Click (PPC), and behavioral. Conducting our own survey and analyzing the qualitative measurements was a helpful exercise because it showed us how to monitor social media and opened & answered emails. We also went over the laws, rules, and regulations of e-commerce and digital marketing.

11. Business Plan Development (BPD)
• BPD allowed us to expand upon our business plan, written and financial statements. We did extensive industry research and dissected every part of a business plan and addressed it with credible research and statistics. We described industry trends, target markets, described the business venture, create a marketing plan and sales strategy, develop operations and management plans, build a business plan budget, and the unique position our business beholds. We also conveyed how to effectively described the company, its competition, and how to differentiate from competitors. This course prepared us for the last one, Final Project- Business Plan.

12. Final Project- Business Plan (BPL)
• Finally, at the end and it has been a tremendous ride. BPL pulled all our courses together and we prepared our individual business plan, written & financial income statements, marketing and staffing budget, and amount of investment inquired. We also worked on our elevator pitch for our business, to engage our potential investors in a 5-8 minute time frame. We continued to expand on our professional blog posting and critiqued our business plans with revisions that were overlooked previously in the program from other courses. We continued to use the book “The Successful Business Plan: Secrets & Strategies” by Rhonda Abrams throughout the program but it was our source of guide in particular for BPL. I learned so much and it fueled my confidence in my business venture(s) and skills to proceed successfully.

Live Your Dream!!

Full Sail University Online Degrees: http://online.fullsail.edu/

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Intellectual Property Lawsuits

Intellectual Property is the most vulnerable, yet essential producing aspect of a company. It's like a company's baby, and they'd do everything in their power to protect it, and preserve it's rights. Whatever helps make the company unique and works to produce high selling volumes, then it's in the company's best interest to protect the means of their revenue. I have checked on a few intellectual property lawsuit cases regarding superheroes, and the video game industry.

In the first article, the heirs, Jerry Siegel and Shuster Estate, from Warner Bros. and DC Comics, fought for the copyrights of Superman’s identity features. Superman's copyright have been back-dated to 1999, and are now owed profits from WB and DC since then, and in addition to being granted of the copyright ownership. However, Warner Bros and DC comics strikes back with a counter lawsuit against the attorney of Superman's heirs, Marc Toberoff. They accused Toberoff for intervening with "DC's right to exploit Superman by destroying the relationship between the creator's heirs in an effort to gain control over the copyrights" (McNary & Johnson, 2010). It was said Toberoff had a personal agenda that extended far beyond legal representation, and that gains a 47.5% stake in the heirs claimed rights. The Siegel heirs get 27.5% and the Shuster heirs receive 25%. Toberoff says the agreement was securing the heirs control of the financial stake in copyright interests and from preventing them from entering any agreements with DC Comics to exploit the Man Of Steel. He asserts that the suit against him serves to defame him and pressure his clients to sell back Superman's copyright, while DC Comics accuses him of interfering with the relationship and developing agreements, even if it's in their economic interest to do exploit Superman through DC's outlet. The split ended up with the heirs are in control of the costume and alter-ego, Clark Kent, while DC Comics are in possession of Kryptonite and Lex Luthor.

The second intellectual property issue I came across was about Spawn, another comic book character. Spawn was co-created by Todd McFarlane and Neil Gaiman. However, McFarlane's company went bankrupt and he was unable to pay Gaiman his portion. Later McFarlane's was able to sustain revenue and released characters, Domina and Tiffany, who were spun-off from the duo's original character. Gaiman sued because of the character spin off from the original characters, in which the judge ruled in accordance. In McFarlane's defense, he said the characters were derived from Spawn's universe, not based on original characters, but that wasn't justifiable. The federal jury found Gaiman to have copyright interests to the characters in 2002. Gaiman states, "...I hope that Todd is able to do an accounting for all the comics I wrote for which he paid no royalties, and the rest of it...that he'll settle up...that his comic company can come out of bankruptcy and I can forget this forever" (Meirose, 2010).

The third story I found regarding an IP battle was between Anascape Lt., a small Texas based company and Nintendo. Anascape filed a $21 Million copyright infringement lawsuit against Nintendo and their designs for certain Wii, WaveBird, and GameCube controllers. The jury found 12 patents filed by Anascape that were violated by Nintendo, which included Remote Controller with Analog Button, 3D Controller with Vibration, and Game Controller with Analog Pressure Sensor. However, all alleged infringements were not validated as a violation, such as the rectangular Wii remote and Nunchuk corded attachment. The lawsuit infringement ruled against Nintendo's GameCube, the Wii's Classic and WaveBird Controllers. Nintendo has appealed the decision and expect the subjected amount to pay Anascape to be greatly reduced. They are challenging the validity of Anascape's patent because Nintendo claims it did not use the their technology.

* (2008, May 22). Intellectual property law: nintendo loses $21 million lawsuit. america’s premier online legal news source. Retrieved May 7, 2011, from http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/features/intellectual-property/nintendo-anascape-controller-patent.html.
* Kaiser, B. (2010, October) Superhero intellectual property disputes. Retrieved May 7, 2011, from http://www.legalzoom.com/intellectual-property-rights/intellectual-property-basics/superhero-intellectual-property-disputes.
* McNary, D. & Johnson, T. (2010, May 16) Warner bros. sues lawyer for superman heirs: dc comics fights back against marc toberoff. Retrieved May 7, 2011, from http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118019453.
* Meirose, K. (2010, July 31). Judge rules dark ages spawn, domina and tiffany are derivative. Retrieved May 7, 2011, from http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2010/07/judge-rules-dark-ages-spawn-domina-and-tiffany-are-derivative-characters/.

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Patsy Rodenburg: Why I do theater

I watched a clip from website http://www.ted.com/talks/patsy_rodenburg_why_i_do_theater.html, and it was very touching. As a matter of fact, Ms. Rodenburg passion fueled my passion of understanding from her perspective. I was able to see the picture she was painting as if I was walking in her shoes. She talked about how actors and actresses play an important role in society and how we really can't go without their hard work. She touched on matters of the audience disliking certain actors/actresses in their perceived roles. The main reason they disliked the actors/actresses was because it reminded them of a hurtful past and trying time in their life. The ability to relate to the real life situations hardened their heart towards liking the actress or actor, conveying the opportunity to deal and face the troubling time of one's past or present. In essence their hard work is socially paid off because people watching are relating to their roles and recognizes the effect and work that goes into triumph. Some people do not like to relive such experiences, mirroring a post traumatic stress disorder, but I believe everyone has some portion of this syndrome. Sometimes, it is important not to escape the hurt in your life and watching such entertaining roles can persuade you to deal with it or look at the situation eye to eye.

Actors/actresses mirrors life, the ins and the outs, the good and the bad, the dreams and the real. We actually do become one as an audience and role player. Even the one playing the roles can relate to the real life situations because they themselves have indicated such feelings.

In the clip, Ms. Rodenburg touched on her chance to speak on a radio show, in which she was defending actors and the host was the supposed antagonist. At the end of the show, the host thanked Ms. Rodenburg for defending the actors/actresses because when the host's son died, the only ones by her side aiding support were the very ones she was bashing, the role players.

Her passion-driven speech has inspired me to make sure I produce quality music and entertainment that people can relate to. That is one of the main reasons why I want to publish a poetry book. I have any feelings I'd like to share and I know that there are many people out there who have felt or feeling the same, and really have not used a therapeutic outlet to pursue happiness. The main obejective is that one must believe that it's going to get better, maybe not on your timed schedule, but in due time, everyone season's due.

Thank you for the actors and actresses all around because you help keep hope alive and you help real feelings maintain a heartbeat.

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