The Secret to Success – Adults Only

by John Geysen

“Great Artists Ship” – Seth Godin

You are out there. I know you are. Wondering why it hasn’t happened for you. Why you don’t have the gig you want. Why your novel or comic hasn’t been published.

There are no guarantees. But most of us never even get to the point where their talent goes up on trial. And that’s what regrets are made of.

But it doesn’t have to be this way…

This week, the new web series Adults Only premieres – fresh off an excellent showing on (check out the trailer and vote!).

This project is the brainchild of Jason Burns and the folks at Plymouth Rock Creative. Jason was kind enough to answer a few questions during a wide-ranging interview that covers everything from his work ethic to the future of the web and Garbage Pail Kids.

Racket: There are probably thousands of people who have dreamt of creating a
project like this. What’s your secret?

Burns: It’s going to sound lame, but it’s doing it. I feel like a lot of times, people spend too much time talking and planning and not doing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to plan, but sometimes people spend too much time trying to get it perfect, and in the process, ultimately don’t get it done. Life is too short and Nike had it right with their tagline, but I won’t say it in this interview for fear of trademark infringement.

Racket: Have there been any “big breaks” along the way?

Burns: I feel like every little success I had was a big break. Sometimes it’s not even a thing… it’s a moment. You meet someone in 2001, and in 2012 it all comes back around. I feel like my career was built by the people who have chosen to work with me. They’re the ones that give you your big breaks.

Racket: Take us through your creative process, for example how many drafts of the script did you go through?

Burns: Not many. There are eight episodes and each one averaged about 8 to 10 pages. I outline and then write everything in notebooks, which ultimately becomes my first draft. When I type it up, that’s then my second draft. I would say there were three or four smaller rewrites after that.

Note: That sounds more like 6-8 rewrites.

Racket: Are web series the future? Can it be difficult to stand out on the web?

Burns: Yes to both. I don’t think TV is going anywhere any time soon, but there will just be less audiences watching any one thing, and bigger audiences watching many different things. When I was a kid, before cable, there were four channels, and you got to choose between the four things that were on at any given time or organize your Garbage Pail Kids. Nowadays, you can watch probably a million different things at any time of the day.

Racket: Social media seems like a natural for a web series and for Plymouth Rock Creative. What are you doing to promote via SM?

Burns: Well, we’re making a big stance on Facebook and we also have a few other things that we’re putting together, including Twitter accounts for the characters. Ultimately though, I think social media is a more high tech version of word of mouth, and that’s what we’re hoping to cash in on.

Racket: You have a pretty diverse background (PR, newspapers, comics) how do you think this has helped you?

Burns: Well, I think working in all of those industries has helped me. PR and newspapers has shown me how to promote something like this. Comics showed me how to create something and see it through to the end. I think it (the concept) came from my days working at a video store in high school, which had an adult video section.

Racket: As a creative person how do you stay focused and meet deadlines?

Burns: I just look at it for what it is… a job. I have a punch in time and a punch out time. Sometimes they bleed over, but ultimately it’s about treating it like any other profession.

Racket: Tell us how you go about finding new work. Are you pitching ideas? Networking?

Burns: Always. Networking is hands down the most important aspect of the entertainment industry. As for what I’m working on, I continue to write the Pocket God comics for Ape Entertainment/Bolt Creative, I am writing and producing on a play based on the life of comedian Lenny Bruce with Ronnie Marmo, writing and producing a film based on the life of Charles Ponzi with Dominic Zamprogna, and then a few new surprises that I can’t yet announce. I love to work and stay busy, so I’m looking forward to 2012.

That last paragraph sums it up. There’s not much difference between an idea and a project. Ideas are easy. They come to you all day. I have notebooks full of ideas. Projects are work.

Get to work – Ship.

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