DERRICK Interview with Blind Filmmaker Michael Schwartz

November 11, 2016

michaelschwartzEncouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes gives a DERRICK Interview by asking 7 questions through each letter of his first name to give you an insightful perspective from other experts, entrepreneurs, celebrities and up and coming super stars.

Today’s DERRICK Interview is with Michael Schwartz who is a legally blind filmmaker and owner of Trailhead Productions brings fifteen years of experience in television news and production to the table, and you’ll see what that means all along the way. An award winning reporter, Michael knows television and works for you with the same dedication and ideals valued by the best in the business.   “We’re the storytellers, not the story.”  That means that at Trailhead, we never forget that you and your dreams are the stars of the show.

D is for Dream. What is your dream, goals or what have you achieved?

I’m a big believer in breaking through boundaries. Although I’ve been gradually losing my eyesight since I was thirteen years old, my dream was to pursue a career in visual storytelling, and I’ve never taken “no” for an answer. Through a career as a broadcast reporter and photographer, and now as a documentary filmmaker, I’ve seen firsthand that it’s possible to merge the worlds of visual storytelling and visual impairment. From my first job all the way through my current film. Following my own passions, though, cannot and should not be the end of the story. My dream is to change perceptions, raise expectations and make a difference in the world of inclusion for people with disabilities.

E is for Education. What is your educational background and how do you use it daily?

I went to the University of Missouri School of Journalism. What I loved so much about my education there is that no matter what your specific goals were, you had to learn everything about the business. It wasn’t good enough to want to be just an anchor, or a reporter, or a photographer, or any of the other jobs in journalism. You had to learn it all, and I had so many opportunities to learn skills that have benefited me throughout my career as a storyteller. Understanding what makes up a good picture, learning how to tell a concise story, understanding how to combine dozens of stories to build a newscast that makes sense… it’s all about crafting stories that make a difference.

R is for Resource. What resources do you bring to the table that makes you unique or stand out?

The first resource actually doesn’t have anything to do with tools of the trade. It has to do with drive and resilience. The fact of the matter is that if you’re going to be a visual storyteller who’s visually impaired, there has to be an inner belief in yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself, nothing else matters.

I also rely on the twin pillars of of communication and partnership. While it’s easy to talk about the mechanics of how I do my job – working with the spatial and acoustic dynamics of an environment or a set to frame a shot, or shooting on a 4K camera to edit in a 1080 timeline, or not thinking of color itself as much as color profiles to use waveforms and vectorscopes to craft the mood and design of a shot, these are all just that” mechanics. They explain how do my job, but not why I do my job. I do my job because I get to work with a team of creative professions who share a creative vision. It’s what gets me up every morning in search of great stories to tell.

R is for Ready. When did you realize you were ready for what you are doing now?

I think the key to realizing your dreams is that you shouldn’t wait until you feel you’re 100% ready. The truth is that day may never come. There will always be at least one unanswered question, one skill you could hone a little more, one step you may feel you’re not ready to take yet. Life is about leaps of faith. When I set out to start my own business, one based on a risky proposition and an uncertain outcome – staring a video production company even though I’m visually impaired – the one thing I had was a belief that I could succeed. Yes, you start a venture with as many resources as you can muster and your prepare as much as you can, but success is based on action, and action requires at least a certain amount of faith in yourself. Really, I knew I was ready because I believed in myself.

I is for Individual. Name at least one individual in your network that others should learn more about and why?

I can’t speak highly enough of my colleague and friend Maxwell Ivey. Max calls himself the Blind Blogger, but his life is about so much more than his blindness. It’s about always seeking self-improvement, expanding horizons and making a difference. Max knows how to start with a dream, use the resources he’s developed over the course of a lifetime of finding unique solutions to difficult challenges, learning new skills to help him achieve his goals and always looking to the future.

C is for Challenges. What challenges have you had to overcome?

I believe that the challenge anyone with a dream has to overcome is facing down low expectations. What I’ve found is that people tend to rise to the expectations we set for them. As a creative artist – a filmmaker – who is visually impaired, I work every day not only to coordinate a creative vision with my team, but also to lead others to a world where there is no barrier to achievement. I direct and even shoot documentaries, and will continue to do this throughout and beyond the process of losing my eyesight. This is because there is a certain truism that we all have to come to accept, that pursuing one’s passion is the best starting point, because there are no barriers to accomplishment.

K is for Key. What keys to success can you leave for upcoming entrepreneurs and leaders?

There is really one key to success. Set the bar high for yourself and for those who share your passions. This doesn’t mean you’ll never make a mistake. As they say, that’s why pencils have erasers. High expectations push you to challenge yourself, and it motivates you to constantly question your own assumptions… even the ones you don’t know you have. Expecting the highest level of performance from everyone you work with encourages you to pursue nothing short of excellence.

Michael is a friend of mine, and I want to encourage you to support his new documentary series, “The Palette Project: Losing Sight, Maintaining A Vision.” He’s made it really easy to pledge with a micropayment of just $1 for the videos he’s posting on his Patreon feed. This is a great way to show your support, and you can make a difference by helping him make a difference. Plus, you get to see some pretty amazing videos of some pretty amazing people, and learn what it’s like to be a visually impaired filmmaker. – Maxwell Ivey


DERRICK Interview with WSVN Reporter Ashley Morrison

September 11, 2014

AshleyCBSMoneyWatchEncouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes gives a DERRICK Interview by asking 7 questions through each letter of his first name to give you an insightful perspective from other experts, entrepreneurs, celebrities and up and coming super stars. DERRICK Interview with CBS News Anchor Ashley Morrison

Today’s DERRICK Interview is with Ashley Morrison who started out her career in finance as a series 6 & 63 licensed Estate Tax Planner. Ashley then turned her attention and talents to Broadcast Journalism.  Working her way across the country, she landed in New York, first at WPIX , then at Bloomberg TV as an Anchor and Stocks Editor and as a Business News anchor for CBS Moneywatch.

Ashley also played a news reporter in Steven Soderbergh’s movie “Side Effects” with Jude Law, released in March 2013. She has also been featured in several style magazines and was on the cover of “SHE” magazine in May 2013 for her accomplishments as a broadcast journalist. In January 2014 she was inducted in the first ever “Hall Of Fame” at her high school, Columbus East High School.

AshleyM1D is for Dream. What is your dream, goals or what have you achieved?

I have two types of goals in life, professional and personal goals. Professionally, my goals as a newscaster have changed since my move to South Florida.  Having a professional background in finance before my career in broadcasting, it made sense that while I was in New York City I would cover business news, anchoring CBS MoneyWatch at CBS news and before that being an anchor, stocks editor and reporter at Bloomberg TV. Now with my recent moved to south Florida and working at WSVN as a news reporter, I’m still learning my way around the area, learning about the issues and meeting the players in South Florida. That’s exactly what happened when I first landed in NYC, I was a reporter so I could learn as much about the area and that’s what I’m doing now. I’ve also been reporting for their entertainment show Deco Drive, which has also been a lot of fun. I’m just taking my time right now to feel things out and see exactly where I can be the most beneficial in South Florida, just as I did when I was in NYC. My personal goal in my life is to be the best mother I can possibly be to my 9 year-old son Jack. Everyone who knows me, knows that he is my entire life and I only hope one day when he grows up, he’ll look back and say I had the best mom ever and we will continue to be close.

E is for Education. What is your educational background and how do you use it daily?

I went to North Carolina State University on a 4 year full scholarship for tennis. I majored in broadcast journalism but most of my electives were in economics and business because I have always has an interest in both. When I first graduated college, I was a series 6 and 63 licensed financial planner, specializing in estate tax planning cases. Then I changed over to my career in broadcast television. I believe more than anything it was my career as a tennis player that taught me that if you want something you will have to work very hard to get it. Nobody is going to hand you anything nor should they. You will have to earn it for yourself based on a combination of commitment, focus, sacrifice, hard work and talent, but once you get there be prepared to continue to work just as hard to stay there.

AshleyMR is for Resource. What resources do you bring to the table that makes you unique or stand out?

The resources that I believe I bring to the table in my industry is many years of experience at the highest level you can reach in the broadcast industry. I also have my background in finance that sets me apart.

R is for Ready. When did you realize you were ready for what you are doing now?

I think that everybody has special talents and skills, mine just happened to be in broadcast journalism. Being in front of a camera and talking comes very easy to me and I enjoy it very much. Whether it is reporting the latest news on the economy, business news, local news or entertainment news, I enjoy it all. I’m very lucky to be doing something that I love so much. However, there are many, many other professions that I’m quite certain I would be terrible at.

AshleyM2I is for Individual. Name at least one individual in your network that others should learn more about and why?

I think people should keep their eye out for my very dear friend and my former co-anchor on the CBS Morning News Terrel Brown. Terrel is now working at the ABC station in Chicago, but we also shared an office together for many years at CBS news and he has so much talent, intelligence and is just an overall amazing person. Keep your eye on him world!!

C is for Challenges. What challenges have you had to overcome?

I think the biggest challenge for me is finding enough hours in the day to get everything done that I need to get done. I feel like I’m constantly running around with either my tv hat on or my mommy hat on and there never seems to be any time to just relax but I’m used to it. I’ve become a professional juggler as most working moms are too!!!

K is for Key. What keys to success can you leave for upcoming entrepreneurs and leaders?

Don’t expect for anything to come easy. Be ready to work very hard and don’t complain about it. When I worked at CBS News anchoring Moneywatch, I got up at 12:30 AM to go to work for many years. What might have looked like a glamorous job to many, was very hard work actually. Most people also don’t know that I not only anchored CBS MoneyWatch, I also produced and wrote everything. Another thing I would advise in any industry is to treat everyone with respect and professional courtesy. Don’t ever think your job is more important than anybody else’s or that you are more important than anybody else. Appreciate everything you have, appreciate your job and appreciate everyone you work with and what they do and bring to the table too.

Visit Ashley Morrison for more information.


Today’s word is Sideline

May 9, 2012

Do you know someone that always says what they would do if they had that opportunity? Until they get in the game you are the player and they are the cheerleader.

Download the Motivation Your Mobile app on Android and I Phones to receive Today’s word.


Twitter Is My HARO (Help A Reporter Out)

March 20, 2009

If you want to Get Sourced. Get Quoted. Get Famous. Go to Help A Reporter Out at www.helpareporter.com

 Back in September I was looking for a way to cost effectively market my business. I was on Twitter one day and my prayer was answered. I don’t even remember what I was searching for when I came across Help A Reporter Out. I have had tremendous success in a short amount of time. I have been blogged on, interviewed on a radio show and will be quoted in a book this fall.

 

I have a gift to turn names into positive messages. I call these Derricknyms. The HARO community has uplifted my talents and taken me to international status through the Gift Bag Requests.  With HARO hospitality my work has been seen in the U.S., Candada and next month in the UK where the event represents people from 25 different countries.   

 

I have listed the Events, Organizations, Blogs, Books and Radio Program that have partnered with me through HARO. If you want to be in the Know, HARO.   

 

Gig Bag Requests

 

Great Falls Women’s Business Luncheon

International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association

Renegade CEO’s

AudreyLynnJo

SuperBowl Legends Luncheon

Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC

Long Island Music Hall Of Fame

ARC of Palm Beach County 

Hollywood Actor’s Workshop

Florida RV Club

Spinks Award Banquet

Personal Touch Travel / Exclusive Wine Vacations

Chatterbox Games

Fashion Feng Shui International LLC

First Coast Weddings and Events

Mason PR

The Posh Parent

Canadian Council Aboriginal Business

The Young Jewish Entrepreneurs Club

Smart Women Smart Men Conferences

Tots 2 Tweens  

Downtown Women’s Club

PASIC

Dallas Rocks 2008

In Forum Michigan

 

Books

 

The Bra Book

 

Blogs

 

www.garyunger.com/blog

 

http://www.toiletpaperentrepreneur.com/blog/the-54-best-pr-tips-for-entrepreneurs

 

http://jobmob.co.il/blog/get-many-twitter-followers-power-user-secrets/

 

Radio Interviews

www.BlogTalkRadio.com/TruVueRadio