Friday, September 18, 2009

Thoughts on the Biz - Breaking In

Quite often people approach me with concepts, ideas and scripts. Of course each and every one of these individuals feel as though their idea is the next BIG thing. The funny thing is, they're submitting their ideas to someone who is still trying to break in! I'd like to take a moment and share my thoughts on how I think the feature film world works.

First of all, talents, skills and abilities are not door openers. These are traits that people are passionate about and producers in the industry can buy cheap! I know what you're thinking… "How can he say that?! Our skills are God given talents, how dare you belittle them!" I'm not describing my belief system, I'm just describing how I think the machine works.

"It's not WHAT you know, it's WHO you know." - So very true!

Many years ago, when I heard this, I thought "wow! How shallow is that?" Before we discount it, let's examine it. I don't believe the above statement is meant to convey that what you know isn't important. It just means that you need to be trusted by the right people to get through some doors. Think about it. If you had a leaky pipe in the basement, who would you hire to fix it first? A handyman that specializes in pluming that is recommended by someone in your life that lives by high-standards and appreciates quality? Or the plumber with the biggest ad in the Yellow Pages? Personally I've had much better results by listening to the people around me that are where I would like to be. When you take quality advice from trusted individuals, you're stacking the odds of success in your favor.

To become the trusted individual that people would recommend and vouch for, is not an easy task. It requires time and dedication. Most people don't seem interested in investing their time in that manner. It seems the common mentality is the lottery method. Just keep sending out creative material and eventually something will hit! I'm not saying that it can't work. It's just that the odds aren't in your favor when you go about it that way.

So the "WHO" is more important than the "WHAT". It's even backed by scripture…

Philippians 2:3-4
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Galatians 5:14
The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."

Most importantly we need to ask ourselves why we do what we do. If you died today, would you be glad that you were spending time doing what you are doing? This post is a way for me to share with others and to think through (and refine) my thoughts and beliefs. If you have any challenges, disagreements or critiques, please post them. I love to engage in intelligent communication and learn from others.

Monday, September 7, 2009

A Bit More History

Hello and thank you for visiting my blog! I'm going to write the rest of this post in third person... otherwise it’ll just sound arrogant.

Chad Kapper was born and raised in Massillon, OH. He barely made it through high school and never attended college...but his mom claims it was because he wasn't challenged and he gets bored easily. Really, Chad just wanted to get out... do BIG things. He actually tried to escape twice, once by joining the Marine Corps and again by moving to Los Angeles. Both were very formative experiences, but extremely poor escape attempts since he ended up back in the Massillon area.

While it always seemed like Northeast Ohio would be a dead end for this ambitious young man, he discovered that Massillon actually offered a few things that no other place could...such as a beautiful young woman named Julee who would become Chad's wife in '93. Massillon can also be credited as the place where Chad and Julee had their first and only son, Christian Stone Kapper, in 1998. Oh yea...and it was also where Chad started the now successful StoneKap Productions (wonder where the name came from). So Massillon turned out not to be that bad after all.

Having taught himself the tools of the visual arts trade, Chad used his experience, and notoriety as a leading 3D animator in Northeast Ohio, to build his company, which he founded in 1998. StoneKap Productions grew over the next 10 years, wowing the pants off of corporate clients. All the while, Chad continued to develop a passion that he'd always had for movies as he worked his way into the feature film world.

While Chad had managed most of his garnered accomplishments in the advertising field, he has lent a big hand in helping develop numerous feature length scripts. Having a strong comprehension for story, structure and character development, Chad always says that it's important to "start simple and build in layers. You need a strong foundation so you can achieve creative freedom without losing your way."

In 2007 Pure Flix Entertainment (Los Angeles) quickly gained interest in Chad's ability to work with child actors while achieving strong, believable performances. After his test drive they offered him a real feature film!

In January of 2009 Chad walked on the set of "Sarah's Choice" as a full fledged feature film director. Even though it was challenging, Chad says it was one of the most comfortable and fluid jobs he has ever had in his life. The compliments Chad received about the way he operated on set and how successful the performances were, fueled his passion for his craft.

Chad would describe his cinematic style as “polished realism with a dash of surreality.” He believes in high quality across the board. "A visual presentation has to look confident to be taken seriously. The best performances on earth will be lost if the audience is hung up on technical flaws." Chad says confidently.

Currently Chad is in development of multiple feature scripts and eager to see the results of his first feature release.

Chad enjoys traveling with his family, exploring his faith and creating emotionally-impactful, visual presentations. Oh… and Legos too. And coffee.