Giving constructive advice

Part of consulting, or teaching, or in some ways planning, is advising others on a course of action.

You may know someone who smokes, or have an employee who doesn’t follow the health and safety procedure.  Or, maybe you just want to motivate someone who’s not living up to their potential.

  1. People can change, have faith in that.  Prove that you know they can change for the better by reminding them of times when they did things right.  Provide a positive role model in the person themselves.
  2. Take time to observe and listen.  Find out why they are doing what they are doing.
  3. Act on what you can improve yourself.  Perhaps you could offer to run alongside a friend, or have a motivated team member take time out to work alongside one who needs motivation.  It’s usually easier to make a change when there’s support.
  4. Relate any stories, especially personal ones, that may inspire personal change.  You could talk about a time when you struggled with a similar issue and overcame that.  Or, you could talk about a time when you got hurt because someone else wasn’t watching where they were going.
  5. Assemble a plan of action.  This should take you from where you are now to where you want to be.

If there’s a message you want to get across to a large number of people, we at Ptara can help people visualize change with films and videos.   If you’d like help creating a plan of action, we can do that through our consulting services.

Hopefully, you can deal with most issues quickly without our help.  But, if you think we can help, please feel free to contact us.

5 Remakes that pass for originals

We’re growing tired of remakes.  Some rehashes claim to be better than the original, but we’re not sure “better” is the right word.

Do we need another Karate Kid, another Dr Doolittle, another Ghostbusters, another Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, another Steel Magnolias?  What was wrong with the first film?

(The second Karate Kid was okay,  but “Pick up your coat” is incredibly lazy compared to “wax on, wax off.”)

However, some remakes add something, and in some ways improve upon the original.  A few, in fact, are so good that we sometimes think that the remake is the original. Continue reading 5 Remakes that pass for originals

Easter Eggs.

For most, Easter is a wonderful time of year.  Schools (and even many employers) are closed, so families of all religions can celebrate together.  Some paint boiled eggs, which are then hidden for children to find. Others use chocolates (or even toys) in the place of boiled eggs.  In any case, they are hidden in places that aren’t obvious, but for obvious reasons aren’t too hard to find.

Children then seek out these treats, which they enjoy and share.  This is called the Easter Egg hunt.

When children look for the eggs, they come equipped with baskets. Though some make it competitive, organisers usually ensure that there are enough eggs for everyone. Sometimes we even limit what each child can gather.

The spirit of Easter is about giving, and even sharing, not competition. (Although there are sports competitions that sometimes accompany the hunt.) Continue reading Easter Eggs.

The carrot and the stick are for donkeys

A lot of people ask whether it is better to lead with a carrot or a stick.  Well, Mu.  The carrot and the stick are great for leading a jackass, but a person with direction will benefit from knowing where they’re going.

We can sometimes get people to do what we want if we offer enough money, and most of us have had to take a at least one job just because we “needed” the money.  But, unless you’re in sales or banking, you’ve probably been at least partially motivated by something other than money when you chose your profession.  And, even if you work for a hedge fund, you probably can’t do your job if you’re constantly thinking about the financial rewards.

The way to lead people, the simplest way, is through telling them your destination.  We call this the power of Ptara. Continue reading The carrot and the stick are for donkeys

Multiculturalism

At Ptara, we work with people from all backgrounds. We love the dance of Ukraine, the hip-hop of the streets of LA and New York, the traditional Hispanic dances from Iberian peninsula and all over Latin America, as well as the Waltzes of Europe, barn dances of the old south and sock hops of middle America. And the arts of all continents interest to us, from music to theatre to painting and so on, and yes, we really love film.

As we are based in Europe, we create art with a European perspective. As Josephine Baker the dancer and Terrence the playwright became European when they came to live here, eventually, so did we. We hope to one day add to European culture in the way they did, wherever we came from originally. Continue reading Multiculturalism

Screenplays

Are you looking to develop an original script?

Ptara offers a script writing service starting from £79,599.

This includes an outline, treatment and first draft.  By first draft we don’t mean that we just send you a rough set of words, but that we work on the script until we feel it’s ready.

Scripts are charged at half before we start work, 10 percent upon delivery of the outline, another 10 percent upon delivery of the treatment, and 30 percent upon delivery of the first draft.

Subsequent drafts are priced from £29,995 per draft.  Half is to be paid upon commencement of the draft, the other half upon completion.

Apocalypse Now Redux: review

Walter Murch, yes the Walter Murch, travelled all the way to Aberystwyth to take questions on his film, Apocalypse Now.

Okay, so Murch was only the sound stylist, right? An editor, not a director, star, screenwriter or even a producer. Producers take home the best picture award, directors get to be thought of the auteur, actors get famous, screenwriters can say they thought it all up, but without people working below the line there’s only so much you can do.

Continue reading Apocalypse Now Redux: review

List of movies

Love them or hate them, here’s a list of movies. It’s not a good list, or a bad list, just a list.

Some have won awards and become classics. Others have been largely forgotten.

Some we watched on the recommendation of friends.  Others we had to see for class. Still others just happened to be playing at a one screen cinema.

Some we like and can recommend. Others we find boring and annoying.

However, our taste might not be the same as yours.

(Some related films and listed as a group. Consider seeing these as double or triple features, or with a festival pass.) Continue reading List of movies

How to send a rejection

We all receive rejections from time to time.  Perhaps there are some masochists who enjoy the experience, but I’m not one of them.

To add insult to injury, a few people feel the need to give mountains of unsolicited feedback in their rejection letters.  Others are terse, with annoying cliches like “you’re not a good fit.”

However, we sometimes receive a well written rejection.

Below are two examples of the right way to write a rejection: Continue reading How to send a rejection

Film and history