How Not To Make It In New York


We created How Not To Make it In New York because we wanted to tell the not-so glamorous side of New York City startup story: the hustle, the disappointment, and the comedy.

Whereas most depictions of the startup life seem outrageous and opulent (think: HBO’s Silicon Valley,  The Social Network, The Circle) we wanted to show the scrappy dreamers who may or may not ever get their big break.

I started writing How Not To Make It in New York with Sydney Flint back in October 2015.  At the time we had a simple longline: A risk-averse creative woman, and her overconfident male friend attempt to fake their way into the NYC startup scene with their idea for a meditation app.

Which later resulted in the series’s opening narration:

This is the story of two friends, who leave their corporate jobs to startup a startup.

These first few episodes show the two main characters Kate and Jackson gearing up to quit their corporate jobs (at the yoga mat company NamaStacy) in order to follow their passion of starting a startup.  What is to come in later episodes is their journey sneaking into a local co-working space called The Garage where they attempt to take over the world with their gamified meditation app.

 


 

Credits

Kate – Kate Dearing
Jackson – Kenny Kline
Paul – Mic Daily
Narrator, Director and Editor – Chris Castig
Producer – Sydney Flint
Written by – Chris Castig & Sydney flint
Director of Photography – Annakeara Stinson
Sound – Hannah Rimm

Pros: Things that worked

  • The people! Everyone we worked with was so awesome and supportive. Thanks everyone.
  • Friends that let us use their living rooms and offices!
  • Planning: We did lots of planning (maybe too much?). We used Google Spreadsheet to draft our initial call sheet and script outline. Here’s our Call Sheet Template [Word] [Pages] in case you’d like to use it on your project.

Cons: Things that didn’t work

  • We didn’t use a tripod on some shots. We experiment with handheld cameras which resulted in some shaky shots.
  • I think it took us some time to find our stride. That’s just a natural part of the creative process I suppose.
  • If I shot this again, I’d shoot it more lo-fi and use the extra time to on character development.
  • Improvising scenes. For us, this resulted in lots of extra takes, lots of film being shot, and therefore we had an exorbitant amount of footage to go through in editing.

Our Camera and Audio Gear

Older Feels Faster

As I get older. Time seems to move quicker. It’s the strangest thing.

I remember Junior High school: September; 8th grade; autumn leaves; soccer practice; Mike Goodwin; Nintendo 64; European History; I bought a guitar; I drank alcohol and puked for the first time. In a way, that one September FELT like the the entire 12 months that just passed in 2015. Why?

One theory I have is that my brain is just recording less. Just like how a video camera records 24 frames per second.  At some age it just gets lazy and misses keyframes:

Frames Per Second

That’s just how it FEELS. (Which is to say, I don’t think I’m going mental, but who the hell knows).

My other theory is something I’ll call “Longer Feels Shorter.” The idea is derived from the fact that: for every year you live; the percentage of time you’ve just lived is shorter.

I’ll just repeat that to let it soak in: for every year you live; the percentage of your total time on this planet,  is shorter.

For example, when you go from 4 years old to 5 years old, you’ve added 20% more life to your existence. BUT when you go from 34 to 35 you’ve only added 3% more life to your existence.

In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years. – Abraham Lincoln

One thing I’ve learned is that the brain remembers beginnings and ending more than it remembers middles. It remembers the day I got in a bike accident, not my commute to work last Tuesday.

So maybe I could make more beginnings and endings. More memories. But on the other hand, that wouldn’t necessarily make for the BEST life experience.

What percentage of life will you add with your next birthday?*

Age Percentage of your life lived this year compared to last year
1 100.00%
2 50.00%
3 33.33%
4 25.00%
5 20.00%
6 16.67%
7 14.29%
8 12.50%
9 11.11%
10 10.00%
11 9.09%
12 8.33%
13 7.69%
14 7.14%
15 6.67%
16 6.25%
17 5.88%
18 5.56%
19 5.26%
20 5.00%
21 4.76%
22 4.55%
23 4.35%
24 4.17%
25 4.00%
26 3.85%
27 3.70%
28 3.57%
29 3.45%
30 3.33%
31 3.23%
32 3.13%
33 3.03%
34 2.94%
35 2.86%
36 2.78%
37 2.70%
38 2.63%
39 2.56%
40 2.50%
41 2.44%
42 2.38%
43 2.33%
44 2.27%
45 2.22%
46 2.17%
47 2.13%
48 2.08%
49 2.04%
50 2.00%
51 1.96%
52 1.92%
53 1.89%
54 1.85%
55 1.82%
56 1.79%
57 1.75%
58 1.72%
59 1.69%
60 1.67%
61 1.64%
62 1.61%
63 1.59%
64 1.56%
65 1.54%
66 1.52%
67 1.49%
68 1.47%
69 1.45%
70 1.43%
71 1.41%
72 1.39%
73 1.37%
74 1.35%
75 1.33%
76 1.32%
77 1.30%
78 1.28%
79 1.27%
80 1.25%
81 1.23%
82 1.22%
83 1.20%
84 1.19%
85 1.18%
86 1.16%
87 1.15%
88 1.14%
89 1.12%
90 1.11%
91 1.10%
92 1.09%
93 1.08%
94 1.06%
95 1.05%
96 1.04%
97 1.03%
98 1.02%
99 1.01%
100 1.00%
101 0.99%
102 0.98%
103 0.97%
104 0.96%
105 0.95%
106 0.94%
107 0.93%
108 0.93%
109 0.92%
110 0.91%
111 0.90%
112 0.89%
113 0.88%
114 0.88%
115 0.87%
116 0.86%
117 0.85%

Play with the original Google Doc which has the math and percentages.

A Man Without A Country by Kurt Vonnegut

Part 1: “I Have Been Called a Luddite” [Reading]

Part 2: “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is” [Commentary]

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“Don’t Follow Your Passion” from So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport

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