26 February 2010

One Month Later: The State of Hyphenation

by Tyler Weaver.  Follow me on Twitter.

Before I dive into the gritty nitty, I have to offer all of MH’s readers (the longtime-faithful - when it was simply my personal blog - and the new readers) a heartfelt thanks.  The outpouring of support and the wonderful response to MH has been astounding. It's been a massive amount of work, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  It’s worth every nanosecond of time I spend staring at HTML code, wondering “what the hell does THIS do?”

Just a little over a month ago, on January 25, I re-launched Multi-Hyphenate as the contributor-driven blog you see today; a creative-driven Huffington Post (minus the massive traffic - so far - and the increasingly sensationalistic headlines), for want of a better comparison.  I had no idea if it would work, as there’s really no precedent for something like MH in the creative world today - creative people from all artistic crafts and disciplines who actually DO creative things and control every aspect of their work from concept to distribution passing on their experiences and opinions to others. 

Since its launch, MH has steadily climbed in unique views, linking relationships, and notoriety.  It’s featured posts from experienced pros, like Frederick Marx of HOOP DREAMS and JOURNEY FROM ZANSKAR and television producers Joke and Biagio, to people doing their own thing, living and growing their dream.  

But, like anything, there’s room for growth.  And that growth will come.  I have to constantly remind myself that Multi-Hyphenate is only five weeks old, and that its growth in that time period is remarkable.  

Also, let's not forget another important milestone -  for five weeks straight, Multi-Hyphenate has featured a new article (sometimes two or more) from hyphenated creatives across all creative disciplines EVERY DAY of the work week. 

Sorry for seemingly patting myself on the back, but dammit, I'm proud of this little experiment, and I'm honored to have gotten to read and edit and publish the works of so many amazing people.


I’m a filmmaker, and the inevitable question I’m asked when I say I’m doing this Multi-Hyphenate blog is “well, when’s your next project coming out?”  So, here are some answers:

I’m a multi-hyphenate.  I’ve written music, run non-profits, written films, produced promotional films, made full-length documentaries, and designed book covers (in addition to editing books and running a publishing company).  I’m a filmmaker first - that’s where my heart and true passion lies - but let’s be honest.  Films cost money.  And they’re not (yet) conducive to the rapid-fire online-give and take of the Internet. 

For all intents and purposes, Multi-Hyphenate IS my next project.  I’m all about building a brand, and Multi-Hyphenate is one aspect of that brand.  And a brand is, in effect, a public manifestation of your taste. 

It boils down to a simple question: WHY DO I MAKE THINGS?
The answer is simple.  Because what I want to see isn’t out there, so I’d rather do it myself than wait for someone else to do it for me.  I’ve seen a lot of movies.  But I want to see different things than what is out there.  So I make movies that I want to see.  I tell stories I want to tell.

Multi-Hyphenate is the same thing.  I love new media.  I love being part of this wild west thing.  But I got tired of having to go read individual blogs, or hunt around for articles that I liked.  I looked at what Arianna Huffington had done with The Huffington Post, and I said “I want to do that too, but with my spin on it.” 

Multi-Hyphenate is simply a website that I would want to visit, featuring articles and writings by people whose work I enjoy and whose talent I respect.  I wanted to read stuff by these people within certain confines (the vision for Multi-Hyphenate, as laid out in the “Bible” I send to all potential contributors), I invite them to post, and go from there.  Simple.

OK.  I am making a new film too.  Three, in fact.

I’m currently writing two narrative scripts, one with my writing partner Paul Klein, and one on my own (though I will be bringing in Paul once we get the first script on its way).  I have not yet talked about the subject matter of the first script, nor will I here. 

I know, I know.  Now is the age when we should talk about all of our projects openly, and all that.  And that’s great, and some have done it to great effect, and used it to build a fan base.  But I want to keep some things private for now.  Paul and I are having too much fun writing it together, and don’t wanna share.  At least not yet.

Once the first draft is done - very, very soon - we will share exactly what the film is about, and maybe some other fun things.  As most of you know, I’m a transmedia evangelist, singing its praises whenever I can, and bemoaning the present piss-poor usage of it in popular culture.  Something will be coming - but be patient.

OK, I’ll share one thing.  It’s totally different than anything I’ve done before.  It’s an action film (sorta).  It’s exciting.  And it’s Bad Ass FUN.  Do with what you will.

Now, the other project, I have been more forthcoming about.  It’s another documentary, the second in my apparent documentary trilogy on Cleveland (the first being GATHER ‘ROUND THE MIC - which will be the subject of a post next week).  I’m presently researching the project, but it will be a combination of historical documentary with present-day stuff, dealing with Cleveland’s fall from grace from the 60s onward to its baby-step emergence as a culinary capital, featuring amazing, world-class restaurants such as Lola, Lolita, Melt, Momocho, and the Greenhouse Tavern.  I’m still working out the story, but it will be in the vein of my previous short documentary, THE FOURTEEN MINUTE GAP, in that it mixes historical footage and stories with a modern day one (three, in this case).  It will go into the reasons behind the fall from grace, the city’s present situation, and what has to happen for the city to fully reemerge as a respectable city - not “the mistake on the lake.”

I’m presently putting things together, and hope to get this film off the ground in the spring/early summer.  If you’re interested in helping, contact me via the “Contact” button at the top of this site.

Oh right, the third film - yeah, not telling anything on that one.  Sorry.  Just know I’m working on it too.


I announced it earlier in the week, but I’ll say it here again.  I will be covering the 34th Annual Cleveland International Film Festival (@CIFF) for Multi-Hyphenate for the duration of the festival!  I’m extremely excited about all of this, and am concocting plans to continue the Multi-Hyphenate tradition of giving you something that I want to see - a different sort of film festival coverage. 

That’s the beauty of doing something like Multi-Hyphenate: I can try new things, play around, and if it works, great.  If not - screw it! 

If you’re going to be at the Festival, track me down - I’ll be there, and I’m always up for chatting.

In the coming weeks, expect more articles from the keyboards of the creative minds that populate the bylines of this blog.  I can’t tell you what more to expect, because quite frankly, I don’t know.  It could continue growing, it could crash and burn, but one thing will never change - I’ll still be here, trucking along, busting my balls to make sure that everyone who posts here gets a forum to say what they want to say, and most importantly, being worthy of your click-time.

The final announcement (and new - this wasn't on the first posting of this article!): As a filmmaker, producer, etc., I have to be knowledgeable of all aspects of the filmmaking process - everything from writing, to cinematography, to wardrobe, production design, sound, and working with people.  I don't push myself to learn these things because I want to do everything - I do it so I know what to look for when bringing on collaborators.

I want people who are better than me at specific things.  More importantly, I want to know how to talk to them in an efficient and productive manner.  Most importantly - I want to be able to empathize with them as we work together for the end goal of an entertaining, profitable, piece of filmic goodness.

So, to that end, I've decided to open up Multi-Hyphenate to THREE MORE creative disciplines, in the hopes that through reading articles by even more creatives across the artistic spectrum, we filmmakers can grow, learn new things, and expand our horizons.

If you are in the fields of FASHION, CULINARY ARTS, or INTERIOR DESIGN, please send me a DM on my Twitter account (@tylerweaver), and we can figure out how best you can contribute.

Film is the ultimate melting pot of creative disciplines - to grow, we must empathize with all of those creatives we bring on board.  This is my little way of moving things towards that ideal.

Tyler Weaver is a filmmaker, writer, contributor to the pulptone.com website, and is the founder and EIC of Multi-Hyphenate... which you're reading right now.  He's currently making new things and yaks about that and more on Twitter under the creative guise of @tylerweaver.


moderndaystoryteller said...

So proud of you and MH, Tyler. It's a wonderful thing you're doing. Thanks for giving us an insight into your ideas and goals behind MH. Awesome news about the Cleveland International Film Festival. Congrats on a fabulous first month Tyler, and here's to many, many more!

Tyler Weaver said...

I'm going to exercise my position as Editor of this blog to remove my previous inane and nonsensical comment, Karen.

Apparently I hadn't had enough coffee when responding this morning.

So, in the interest of starting fresh...

Thanks so much for your support! I'm excited about covering the film fest, and have a few ideas percolating about something fun and different for coverage (I suppose).

Anyhow, thanks again, and apologies for my undercaffeinated previous comment's nonsensical rambling.

moderndaystoryteller said...

What nonsensical comment? You are Editor-In-Chief, not Dictator! I demand a reinstatement of previous comment! Er, please?

Tyler Weaver said...


It was along the lines of "Thank you for glad you enjoyed the read and your support."

The sentiment was there, the wording... not so much.

Lee Bishop said...

Nice! Congrats so far! I hope I can help out.

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