Hello! I’m back on the mainland. It feels good to be home, though I’m still wrecked from jet lag (and not knowing when I’ll see my wife next as she’s stuck in NZ with visa issues — someone needs to make that system more efficient). Starting to plan a few LA strike missions. Always feel free to reach out if you want to buy me lunch :)

I’ll draft off last week’s note about public perception: company, project, person, and the general industry’s online presence, or lack thereof. The sales device, devised.

Things are not always as they appear.

Fully…


Hello! It’s my last full day in New Zealand. It’s bittersweet. I’ve been here exactly one year. I’m excited to get back to the states where it bleeds eternal optimism. There’s a hint of freshness in the air. Spring. The start of something new. Sunshine. A door opening, brightness, rebirth. An awakening. Let’s go.

Capture inspiration. Boost confidence. Brevity is beauty. Attention spans wane. Seamless design. Aesthetics that please. Create heat. Sales.

Submissions. I think the best way to tease projects — concepts generally — is to visually pack key information in the cleanest, most frictionless way possible. Unless you…


Hello! Last week’s email was the most shared note since I started this thing, probably because I blatantly wrote about web 3.0. If you read between the lines, it’s pretty obvious I’ve been closely tracking the space, and subtly promoting it, while also doing my part to poke holes. The holes are usually the people. The individuals. The motivations. Faux populism. I’ll get to that in a sec.

Based on all the positive responses, I moved my flight up to LA to next week. It makes it easier to turn-tail when there’s a maximum security lockdown here in Auckland. It’ll…


Hello! So we’re in an iron-wall lockdown for another week in New Zealand. It’s a drag. We can’t swim in the ocean or a drive a few miles from the house. Can’t complain if they manage to nip Delta in the bud within a month. With my luck, the country will re-open the day I leave. Yeah I booked a ticket home. See you lovies in LA in late September. Will be back for awhile — write me if you want to kick it. Flying into the fire, vaxxed waxed and ready.

Á la lune. I have a strong feeling…


Hello! Wow, issue 200. That’s four years of weekly emails if you’ve been with me from the beginning. Thank you. To you all, seriously. You keep me going on this rollercoaster ride — the ups and downs occur far more than I’d like. Undulations.

I must say, it truly means a lot. As much as I pretend to not care, these emails mean a great deal to me. They’re personal. The’ve grown to take on a more blog-ish form of me and my psyche. My desires, reflections, ideas, learnings, justifications, and emotions. It’s my open diary. A self-drawn rhetorical triangle…


Hello! We’re back from our short jaunt around the North Island — it was a lot of fun and much needed. The vacay blues have already come and gone. A highlight was dropping by the Surrealist exhibit at the Te Papa on the waterfront in Wellington with famed works from Magritte, Dalí, Duchamp, Ernst, and more.

It was overwhelmingly inspiring (much more-so than the game developers conference a floor below) and got me thinking about the obvious. The Surrealist movement unraveled in the early 20s in Europe (Paris of course) and later spread to the Americas in the ensuing decades…


Hello! So my love language, profit participation, has been trending recently thanks to ScarJo suing Disney over minimized Black Widow box office bumps (because Disney self-dealt to its streaming service — if it sounds familiar, WarnerMedia did the same with its 2021 slate to HBO Max: here was my response in Dec).

I will always side with the talent. If you’ve got a materially profitable project, I’d recommend auditing the studio. Yes, serious. And if they’re on the auction block, they’d probably settle quick.

I’ve heard that Clint Eastwood literally audits every single one of his movies with Warner Bros…


Hello! The industry contracts and expands. It breathes — a snore of conflation — where most execs fail upward by doing some ambiguous version of a similar task: identify story, attach talent, raise money, and/or secure distribution. All much easier said than done. Trust.

It’s a dreamy, dreary place where everybody does everything samely. Where on a stroll down Wilshire you can collect shopping agreements like parking tickets and convince yourself you’ve made it. A boulevard paved of false promise.

The established oligarchs, so regal, have been sitting on their thrones for decades. Absolute power centers, their tendrils dipping into…


Hello! Movies on the mind, always. I’ll explain below, but I’m starting a weekly movie club. Fill out this super quick Typeform if you want in. Or reply direct with your name, preferred email, and a classic film you’re embarrassed to say you haven’t seen. You can text me if you’ve got my number. No judgement, low commitment — just watch an indelible movie a week. Perhaps we’ll talk about it as a group, perhaps not. Everyone will be anonymous on bcc. It’ll be a safe space. That’s it. All for fun.

So Tarantino is making the rounds promoting the…


Hello! Be warned, a couple strange half-formed musings in today’s diatribe.

Interactive storytelling is valuable because the audience will reveal their ‘psychology’ to you, each player choice has an underlying meaning. There’s plenty of opportunity to be found there, especially in story responsiveness. In movement. Data harvest. I’ve thought a lot about this space. To that end, great design is invisible, seamless. The creator as architect, influencing the audience’s experience through controlled presentation. Dynamics.

The decay of originality. The appeal to the masses is the search for sameness. Attention anchor — grab and hold — sink fast to the bottom…

devon h. dolan

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