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Hue Rhodes
Product, technology and film.
Recent Activity
Fela Kuti has a famous song “Water No Get Enemy.” He sings about how we all need to water to cook, to drink and to bathe. A child needs water to grow. But if water kills that child (drowning), the parents still use water (to prepare the body for burial.) The need for water is so universal that it has no enemies. On the other hand, there is a truism in the start-up community that aiming for universal appeal is the worst thing to do initially. Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2015 at Hue's Blog
Three cops get on a the subway at 59th street. I get on with them. So they were all dismissed. They’re still yours, though. Yeah. Five resisting arrest… They are talking shop. Short but constant bursts, like a three-way drum circle. No officer dominating even thought one is clearly senior. Second shift. I worked second shift last night. Everyone has to. Yeah, I saw it posted on the wall. It isn’t casual banter, to kill time. They are intent. As though this train trip is their only chance to map out a maze they are in. That lady in [some... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2014 at Hue's Blog
When it's time to change, dare I say to pivot, everyone involved will expect you to make the new (possibly unrelated) idea just as moving as your original one. Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2014 at Hue's Blog
I know it's hard out there for a marketer. How can you be sure when your customer needs to hear from you? Since this is a grey area, I think I can help clarify with this simple rule of thumb: there isn't a human being on the planet who wants to hear from your company three times a week. Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2014 at Hue's Blog
Halfway between the sidewalk and the subway on 86th and Lex is an underground barbershop. I'd been before, but I'd never gotten a shave from the infamous Mel. Continue reading
Posted Oct 18, 2013 at Hue's Blog
When I come across your product, am I moved to engage, and once I engaged, am I transported? Does it promise an answer to my hopes and dreams? Does it reinforce my image of myself? Or does it strike at some primal fear, and offer shelter from the storm? Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2013 at Hue's Blog
As always, the insightful Seth Godin. The cost of neutral If you come to my brainstorming meeting and say nothing, it would have been better if you hadn't come at all. If you go to work and do what you're told, you're not being negative, certainly, but the lack of initiative you demonstrate (which, alas, you were trained not to demonstrate) costs us all, because you're using a slot that could have been filled by someone who would have added more value. It's tempting to sit quietly, take notes and comply, rationalizing that at least you're not doing anything negative.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2013 at Hue's Blog
You can have a million more Twitter followers then me. You can have a million more dollars than me. But you cannot drink a million more cups of coffee than me, because you cannot drink a million cups of coffee. Unless you drink 45 cups a day, every day, for 60 years. Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2012 at Hue's Blog
Hang out at the New York Soho House long enough and you're going to hear someone pitching an idea. I've heard two pitches for start-up money in the last two days. What do both have in common? The guys asking for money will not shut up. Like they were using a verbal power hose to blast away all reluctance to invest. I know in my bones that this is not the strong way to sell. These tirades make me cringe and I'm only half-listening. There's a small part of me (very small) that wonders if the investors don't like to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2012 at Hue's Blog
I find myself now, at the age of 40, wanting many things, and I'm glad I was reminded of someone who didn't seem to need anything. Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2012 at Hue's Blog
I loved this so much I'm reposting it here, in full. By Seth Godin. Extending the narrative Did you wake up fresh today, a new start, a blank slate with resources and opportunities... or is today yet another day of living out the narrative you've been engaged in for years? For all of us, it's the latter. We maintain our worldview, our biases, our grudges and our affections. We nurse our grudges and see the very same person (and situation) in the mirror today that we did yesterday. We may have a tiny break, a bit of freshness, but no,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2012 at Hue's Blog
If you've ever been on a movie set while they are shooting, it's thrilling. Lots of yelling beforehand, lights, trucks, bullhorns, tension. It is exciting to make something, and that excitement is palpable. Notice, I didn't say being on a "good movie" set is exciting. Because on a movie set, you have no idea if the film will be good or bad. Think of the worst movie you've seen recently - I guarantee that while the film was shooting, people felt like they were making Oscar-worthy material. Creation is such a rush that it overwhelms other senses and makes you... Continue reading
Posted Oct 18, 2011 at Hue's Blog
Dear, Hi. You should charge me for being "anti-social." For a monthly fee, let me note songs I like and let me listen to them on my own, through an iPhone app. Make me pay to create a channel of 1, i.e. me. If I want to take from the common good (and I do) charge me for it. I would pay to be selfish. And you should let me. XO, Hue Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2011 at Hue's Blog
Bond Street Sushi, 8:30 pm. I put a bite in my mouth, and I realize with searing clarity... That I am eating food beyond luxury. That I am overly full, but will forge ahead. That I am so far from the basic caloric requirements needed to sustain myself. That this, this bite of sushi, garnished with edible gold leaf, represents excess in the sweetest, most offensive sense. That John D. Rockefeller, the first American billionaire, never tasted the combination of flavors I am tasting. It is so inappropriate that I am eating a living wage in every bite. My conscience... Continue reading
Posted Aug 17, 2011 at Hue's Blog
I never liked The Grateful Dead. I tried. At my overly-resourced boarding school, the upside of following the Dead was substantial. Social currency, sanctioned rebellion...dare I say, possibly getting laid? And yet I could not. I felt it was a case of the Emperor's New Clothes, 100%. I just turned 40. I have two kids. I am traveling for work close to 75% now, and it's crushing. My wife is wrestling with both parts of her "working mom" title. We barely have time for a quiet meal together. Last night, sandwiched between a weekend spent working and another week separated... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2011 at Hue's Blog
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 = Dune minus Awesome Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2011 at Hue's Blog
Things I learned from David Fincher while watching "The Social Network" with no sound: 1. Open the shot on something specific if you can. 2. Let emotional reactions land. 3. Keep it moving. 4. If you have to choose between the film's subject and the frame's subject, keep attention on the former (through camera moves or focus pulls.) 5. Don't neglect inserts and detail shots, even if you can understand what's happening without them. Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2011 at Hue's Blog
1. The reason the critics love “The Social Network” is because it represents the best film talent of today, at the top of their game. Just like software has it's own notion of design and elegance, so does film. All disciplines define excellence internally. The fact that film analysis is played out in a public arena is ancillary. 2. Filmmakers feel no real obligation to represent the factual truth. What matters more is an emotional truth. The Social Network "feels" true. Read David Mamet’s “Three Uses of the Knife” for a great overview on drama, facts and what the audience really wants. 3. Sorkin did Zuckerberg a favor. Who do you like better? An awkward guy who makes a social website to try to compensate for those shortcomings, and gets everything but the thing he lacks? OR a well-adjusted guy with close friends makes the brutal P&L decision to cut one of those close friends out of the company because that friend is dead weight? 4. Sorkin did us a favor, too. We got to watch a story that didn’t make us feel bad about ourselves. Here’s an exercise - make a list of people you hold dear, in descending order. Start with your mom, family, friends, down the line. Now, the challenge: I'll give you a billion dollars to cut one of those people out of your life (through betrayal, whatever.) How far down the list will you go? Most of us...not far down. That's what Zuckerberg was faced with. And while I don't know the true details of the case, there was a lawsuit with multiple settlements. And as producer Scott Rudin said, whenever you tell outright lies you get sued, and no one is suing the filmmakers so far. Would I want to watch a film where the main character did what I would probably do, but would hate myself for doing? No. Even if it was for billions? No. Smart man, that Aaron Sorkin.
Nils, I enjoyed it. The IMAX 3D was fantastic. I cant vouch for the non-IMAX version. If you see it, tell me which film references you notice. My list was cumulative.
Toggle Commented Dec 28, 2010 on Tron, deconstructed at Hue's Blog
I saw Tron twice, IMAX 3D, stadium seating. Here's what I saw mashup-wise. First time through: Avatar, Matrix, Gladiator, Star Wars, The Big Lebowski, Predator, Dune Second time through: Grease, High Noon, the "Take On Me" video, more Matrix, A.I., Snake Eyes from the original G.I. Joe comics, The Running Man, Starman (didn't see that coming, did you?) Continue reading
Posted Dec 25, 2010 at Hue's Blog
There's an expression in film - the audience is either crying or they're talking. Which means that if you (the filmmakers) move them emotionally, all reason and analysis go out the window. If you fail to move them, then the rule book comes out with an audit of all the ways you failed. Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2010 at Hue's Blog
In 1996 I wrote on my web page about how I felt buffetted by conflicting forces in my life. I couldn’t tell what the future held and I was confused. What’s changed in 14 years? Nothing, except now I'm writing about my confusion on a blog. Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2010 at Hue's Blog
That’s the most beautiful thing that I like about boxing: You can take a punch. The biggest thing about taking a punch is, your ego reacts and there’s no better spiritual lesson than trying to not pay attention to your ego’s reaction. That’s what takes people out of the fight half the time. They get hit and half the reaction is, your ego is saying, “I cannot believe that person just lit me up, how humiliating.”...That’s why I love Bill Clinton. I just love people who can take a punch and pick themselves up and come back...I had a few... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2010 at Hue's Blog
I agree. As far as action films go, Unstoppable was neither the tear-jerkiest nor the heart-thumpiest. So your margarine analogy may be both more accurate and more insightful. And Diehard (to play this out) didn't just have butter on it - it was buttery and delicious all the way through. Thanks for watching Saint John. I appreciate it.
Toggle Commented Dec 6, 2010 on Unstoppable. Put butter on it. at Hue's Blog
Last year Rob Holmes, a Texas-based film critic, tweeted as he headed into Saint John of Las Vegas. I tweeted back, telling him to enjoy the film. He followed me, I followed him, etc. etc. and recently he asked me to be guest on his show "The Online Guys". I joined Rob and his co-hosts Nils Montan and Samantha Collier for a great talk on indie films, social media, the Hero's Journey and Steve McQueen. Here is the link. Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2010 at Hue's Blog