Stand Still to Stand Out

I’m huge fan of inspirational photo quotes. My wife is great at churning them out. As of late, I’ve been doing the same.

Yesterday I posted this photo quote to my Instagram:


As much as I love inspiring quotes like this, there is that cynical side of me that’s like, “What the hell does that actually mean? How does it look…practically?”

So I wanted to address that. I don’t just want to post “Stuart Smalley” style quotes into the ether. I love to give practical application.

The Brass Tacks

At its core, this is a metaphor. The concept is basically this: in a world where everyone is doing “a lot,” you can stand out when you do less. Less can be more. Examples would include:

  • In a season of blockbuster mega movies like “Jurassic World”, “Mad Max” and “Avengers 2,” small movies like “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” make a lot of buzz.
  • When scrolling through a sea of podcasts to find one to add to my growing podcast smorgasbord, the podcast art with the simplest design or color scheme is often the one I see first.
  • When everyone else’s films are filled with VFX and super high production values, you make a small black and white film, with no dialog, that gets half a million views on Vimeo alone.
  • Instead of a powerful, cinematic score with swelling music, sometimes the lack of a soundtrack makes a film or scene more powerful. So that when music is actually used, it’s more potent.

Get it? Simpler is often sweeter.

So… what examples can you give? How do you “stand still to stand out”?