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Edutainment for Kids – The Innovative Mix Between Education and Entertainment

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Working hard and playing hard are both equally at the same time. This applies to adults as well as our kids.

In this day and age, our fast paced lifestyle means we are constantly forced to multi-task. As such, our attention span on a single task is greatly decreased. Time is also always a rushing factor because there’s just so much to do in so little time! This fast-paced lifestyle has shortened our kids’ attention span even more and educators are always looking for new and effective ways to reach out to students.

One approach is creating the right mix of education with entertainment and presenting it to the kids; in the form of edutainment.

What is edutainment? What does it do? How does it work? Believe it or not, edutainment is not an entirely new concept. Here’s a simple example of an edutainment activity: Remember when you were a kid going on school excursions? Instead of spending the day in a classroom, you and your friends took a trip to a farm, the zoo or a discovery centre. You got to see, feel, listen and learn about something new. You might have even watched a skit put up to spread an important message. It made you feel excited about learning. It was even fun!

That’s edutainment! The term “edutainment” is not new. In fact it comes from the computer industry. It is used to describe CD-ROM programs mainly designed for educating children but also has a fun entertainment aspect to it. As you can see, edutainment is not restricted to just one form. A school excursion, a computer game, watching a puppet show or even a film can be used as edutainment. TV shows such as Dora the Explorer or the evergreen Sesame Street are great examples of popular edutainment programs.

Edutainment allows children to learn through play. The key thing about edutainment is that it allows children to learn through leisure or play activities. Children naturally want to explore and manipulate their environment to make their own discoveries.

Studies into early childhood development have shown that children at preschool level learn best through their own play activities rather than in a structured setting, such as school classes. As such, many pre-schools are aware that open-ended play is in fact the best approach for children to learn and develop socially, physically and mentally.

Parents and educators can practice edutainment at home and in school by ‘sneaking in’ entertainment or fun into teachings. This can be the form of creating skits, role playing, solving fun puzzles or infusing songs and dance into a lesson.

Edutainment on Stage

One form of edutainment is live stage shows that help to spread positive messages in a fun way. Key messages are customized or incorporated into stage performances that often use creative mediums and interactive tools.

Many multi-national corporations and organizations today are also using edutainment on stage as a tool to spread a positive message to young students. Professional production companies are engaged to create creative shows that are effective and help reach objectives. For example in Singapore, the Health Promotion Board utilized two custom-created puppet & magic shows to spread the importance of good dental hygiene and harmful effects of smoking. The Fire Safety Prevention Council also commissioned a puppet show to highlight to students the importance of fire safety and prevention.

If you are an educator, parent or organization looking to instill positive values or communicate an important message to children, consider edutainment as an innovative approach.

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How to Make Money Online With No Product Or Service Using Creative Advertising Techniques

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Making money with no product or service is not a tenable idea, you may be thinking. Most people make money online by selling something such as an e-book, a service or a digital product. Others sell physical products such as cameras and mobile phones.

Logical business laws tell us that there is nothing for nothing. You need to give a customer something before they part with their money. No wonder, many find the idea that you can make money online with no product unbelievable. However, contrary to popular belief there are many ways to make money online with no product or service. How do you make money with no product?

The secret to make money with no product is to employ creative advertising techniques. Many marketers, even experienced ones, are letting money slip through their fingers by failing to exploit the full power of advertising. Advertisers are constantly searching for new ways to put their message across in order to improve their sales.

Websites such as ZangoCash.com offer an example of how it is possible to make money online using creative advertising techniques. You do not need a product or service. How does it work? Such websites offer money making opportunities to entertainment and content website owners by connecting them to clients who use their advertising networks.

You get paid every time a new visitor installs their advertising software on his/her computer. It is called pay per install. The catch is that a visitor has to install the advertising software in order to view all the content and entertainment on a particular network. This is truly creative advertising at its best. If a visitor does not wish to install the software he cannot see what he wants. The software is usually easy to install and remove and has no strings attached.

Beware though that installing software you do not know can hurt your computer. It is advisable to check out the reputation of the pay per install vendor before installing the software on your computer. Secondly, commissions paid usually vary from region to region, with the USA attracting the highest pay per install returns followed by Canada, UK and European Countries.

The amount paid for each region range from $0.50-0.75USD per install for the first 3,000 installs and is stepped up for installs over and above a certain threshold, say 3,000. Obviously, the more installs you generate the more money you make. Make sure to target the regions paying out the highest commissions.

The above is just one example of how you can harness the power of creative advertising and make money online with no product or service. Creative advertising is completely legal and is increasingly being exploited by savvy marketers to make money online. To benefit from creative advertising and make money online you usually need a money making website and targeted visitors or traffic. Make money online with no product or service by employing creative advertising.

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Kids’ Party Entertainers – How To Make The Party Fun

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When it comes to hiring kids entertainers for your child’s next birthday party, the problem is often in the choosing. After all, there are so many choices out there! To make things easier for yourself, narrow your pickings down by (1) deciding on a party theme, and (2) taking your child’s age group into consideration.

Everything Starts With The Theme

Having a party theme to work with makes everything easier! When you have a theme, it’s a lot easier to choose the right kind of kids party entertainers. Choosing the food and drinks, the decorations, and the party favours is also a lot simpler when you have a theme handy.

Consider The Child’s Age

Another thing to consider when choosing children’s party entertainers is your child’s age. Younger kids won’t mind having clowns around, so no worries there. Just make sure the clowns aren’t scary — you know how some people are with clowns!

It’s often better to offer something unexpected and unfamiliar when it comes to entertainment. Kids may like quieter, more mature, and more creative kids entertainers, such as face painters, balloon artists, comedians, and magicians. Even themed pony shows are great ways to keep the kids occupied throughout the party.

What’s Your Budget?

There will always be entertainers out there who charge ridiculously cheap rates, and it’s tempting to hire such entertainers when you’re on a tight budget. But remember the saying “you get what you pay for” and a first birthday or a 5th birthday only gets celebrated once, why risk the memories hiring a cheap kids party entertainer (newbie, less experienced performers). It’s a whole lot better to shell out a little extra money for the peace of mind of working with true professional entertainers.

Check Their Background

Here’s one last tip to consider — when choosing kids party entertainers, check their track record. How long have they been in business? What are people saying about them? Are there any places on the Internet where people have left feedback about them? (Hint: log on to Facebook and see if they have a fan page.)

Also, don’t hesitate to call them up. When talking to them, trust your gut – do you feel like you can trust them? Would you be comfortable having these entertainers around your kids?

Here’s a bonus tip: If you’re in Australia, check if the entertainer has a Working With Children Police Check (WWCC) card. Also, check if they carry public liability. They are, after all, running a business – make sure they’re 100% legit! While things almost never go wrong at a kid’s party, it’s always better to work with a team of entertainers who are passionate enough about their profession to cover all the bases!

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Blending Creative Writing, Scholarships and Career Options

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In today’s difficult economic environment, obtaining a scholarship is a vital goal for many students. However, there is a great deal of competition for such scholarships, no matter the field of study. A student seeking a creative writing scholarship should consider taking the following steps that can make success certain.

The first requirement for success in getting a scholarship is obtaining as much writing experience as possible. This is not simply about the structure of the story, but the ability to craft compelling and interesting narratives. A creative writer must be able to convince others to want to read their works.

The individual should seek out writers’ workshops, as well as taking as many writing and literature courses as possible. In addition, candidates for these college scholarships should be as widely read as possible, so they can understand the nature and dynamic involved in being a modern writer. Fundamentally, developing a compelling style will require the writer to be confident both in the mechanics and style of the English language.

Before applying for the scholarship, the candidate should investigate the nature of the college funding and what the judges are looking for in an applicant. Some scholarship programs may have strict criteria for their submissions, while others may be more flexible. The candidates should make certain that they are submitting the sort of material the judges are seeking.

Do not forget to proofread and rewrite. The most successful submissions will be those with the best grammar and spelling, and that will demand extensive proofreading. It might be wise to read passages aloud, to ensure that the words and sentence structure flows naturally.

After the student has secured funding he will at some point graduate and enter the job market. Those who have completed an education in creative writing will find a number of careers open to them. Clever and compelling writing is the core of many successful advertising, entertainment, and even political campaigns. A skillful writer can find employment in fields ranging from advertising, to developing scripts for movies or TV shows. In addition, the business world requires the ability to effectively communicate with both coworkers and clients. The skills an education in creative writing will provide can make that type of communication second nature to the successful graduate.

Creative writing scholarships can provide the financial aid needed to for the student to complete his degree work. That degree can then go on to assist the graduate in securing a personally rewarding and profitable career in entertainment, business, or a number of other fields.

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Corporate Entertainment As a Tool for Achieving New Results

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One exciting way of generating more creativity and eventually a higher level of productivity in the workplace is introducing elements of fun and playfulness. At first glance, playfulness and productivity seem to be on opposite ends of the achievement spectrum. However, many creative types such as writers and artists will attest that their best work usually comes through relaxation, playfulness and fun, rather than by digging in their heels and forcing things to happen.

One neat way a company can infuse elements of fun and play into the workplace and workforce, is to make creative use of organised corporate entertainment or team building events and activities. The purpose of these activities could be general (such as having a good old time) or more specific and targeted (e.g. to brainstorm on a particular project). It doesn’t matter whether the activity happens on-site or at a specialist venue; your staff and team members will return to their tasks refreshed and bristling with new energy.

In the corporate world, there are well known examples of progressive firms like Apple computers that have demonstrated that playfulness can actually foster greater creativity and better performance in a workforce.

For any company that wants to go down this path, the easiest solution is to take advantage of the excellent services on offer from specialist corporate entertainment organisers. Depending on your needs, the service provider can choose an appropriate venue, lay on the entertainment, arrange hotel bookings, arrange the organised activities required and provide expert facilitation. Your team just has turn up and enjoy a great day or weekend or set of activities.

There is something to suit any organisation or tastes in the world of corporate entertainment. And special activities or needs can be catered for. High impact activity lovers can consider corporate grand prix challenges, stock cars and banger racing, sailing weekends, high rope adventures, motor car racing, motor boat sailing and quad biking. For executives who want to go for more relaxing alternatives, there are treasure hunts, polo playing activities, golfing, chocolate making, wine tasting, and the London Eye experiences. Other fun and light options including drumming sessions, karaoke events, spa breaks, exotic dancing lessons and recording pop videos or songs. For team bonding weekends away, you could hire self-catering facilities in the countryside that can accommodate your team.

There are many benefits of corporate entertainment and activity breaks: the fun and enjoyment is likely to be carried over to the workplace, making for a more relaxed and congenial work environment. For a new or existing team, a suitable team building program can be used to foster greater bonding and team cohesion to achieve defined objectives – for example, to brainstorm ideas for a new project or generate team momentum to jump-start particular projects and programs.

Not least of all, such activities can generate renewed energy and freshness in the workplace that will ultimately be reflected in better and higher performance for the organisation as a whole.

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Feng Shui and Creativity

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The ancient practice of feng shui originated in China, but affects every living being, much like gravity. As a metaphysical art form, feng shui is a vast body of theories and techniques for improving the quality of life. Health, finances and relationships are all influenced by where you live and work and feng shui reveals that on a level which most people are not aware of.

One area of life and livelihood that is extremely important to many people is their creative potential. Writers, actors, artists, musicians, and many creative people in the entertainment industry, food or fashion industries can all benefit from feng shui remedies designed to heighten creative potential or enhance the inherent creative areas that already exist in their house.

The key is how to identify where those creative areas are and then utilize those areas of your floor plan. I once had a client whose home revealed that the most creative area landed in her master bathroom. This is usually considered a waste of good space, which is why feng shui can be so powerful in the design phase. If someone knew in advance where the best areas of their home would be located, they could build the house to make sure the bedrooms, home office and main entrance landed in the good areas and not wasted on rooms that one hardly uses. With the client whose major creative area landed in her bathroom, I began to explain how that was not so desirable, but she assured me that she actually got most of her ideas for screenplays while soaking in her tub!

Every house has a couple of locations that can be enhanced to stimulate creativity. Typical remedies often employ design and décor features, with water being one of the most powerful natural elements to add to the right location. This is why I love water fountains and aquariums. As well, there are some house types that naturally attract creative people. For example, houses built between 1924-1943 are called “Period 4″ houses and that Era of construction contains many house types that are great for creative people. One only needs to look at certain sections of Los Angeles that are filled with homes from this Era (West Hollywood, Beverly Hills) to see that people often match their homes. As well, some of the major studios have older structures on the lot from this Era called Period 4. At Fox Studios there are some buildings that face southwest and built between 1984-2003 that end up having this “4” energy in the very center, which also means the building can support creative ventures. The “4 star” is not to be understood literally as the number 4 or part of an address. It is just code for the energies that can be calculated in the same way that we can refer to water as H2O.

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The Need For An Entertainment Lawyer In Film Production

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Does the film producer really need a film lawyer or entertainment attorney as a matter of professional practice? An entertainment lawyer’s own bias and my stacking of the question notwithstanding, which might naturally indicate a “yes” answer 100% of the time – the forthright answer is, “it depends”. A number of producers these days are themselves film lawyers, entertainment attorneys, or other types of lawyers, and so, often can take care of themselves. But the film producers to worry about, are the ones who act as if they are entertainment lawyers – but without a license or entertainment attorney legal experience to back it up. Filmmaking and motion picture practice comprise an industry wherein these days, unfortunately, “bluff” and “bluster” sometimes serve as substitutes for actual knowledge and experience. But “bluffed” documents and cture production procedures will never escape the trained eye of entertainment attorneys working for the studios, the distributors, the banks, or the errors-and-omissions (E&O) insurance carriers. For this reason alone, I suppose, the job function of film production counsel and entertainment lawyer is still secure.

I also suppose that there will always be a few lucky filmmakers who, throughout the entire production process, fly under the proverbial radar without entertainment attorney accompaniment. They will seemingly avoid pitfalls and liabilities like flying bats are reputed to avoid people’s hair. By way of analogy, one of my best friends hasn’t had any health insurance for years, and he is still in good shape and economically afloat – this week, anyway. Taken in the aggregate, some people will always be luckier than others, and some people will always be more inclined than others to roll the dice.

But it is all too simplistic and pedestrian to tell oneself that “I’ll avoid the need for film lawyers if I simply stay out of trouble and be careful”. An entertainment lawyer, especially in the realm of film (or other) production, can be a real constructive asset to a motion picture producer, as well as the film producer’s personally-selected inoculation against potential liabilities. If the producer’s entertainment attorney has been through the process of film production previously, then that entertainment lawyer has already learned many of the harsh lessons regularly dished out by the commercial world and the film business.

The film and entertainment lawyer can therefore spare the producer many of those pitfalls. How? By clear thinking, careful planning, and – this is the absolute key – skilled, thoughtful and complete documentation of all film production and related activity. The film lawyer should not be thought of as simply the cowboy or cowgirl wearing the proverbial “black hat”. Sure, the entertainment lawyer may sometimes be the one who says “no”. But the entertainment attorney can be a positive force in the production as well.

The film lawyer can, in the course of legal representation, assist the producer as an effective business consultant, too. If that entertainment lawyer has been involved with scores of film productions, then the motion picture producer who hires that film lawyer entertainment attorney benefits from that very cache of experience. Yes, it sometimes may be difficult to stretch the film budget to allow for counsel, but professional filmmakers tend to view the legal cost expenditure to be a fixed, predictable, and necessary one – akin to the fixed obligation of rent for the production office, or the cost of film for the cameras. While some film and entertainment lawyers may price themselves out of the price range of the average independent film producer, other entertainment attorneys do not.

Enough generalities. For what specific tasks must a producer typically retain a film lawyer and entertainment attorney?:

1. INCORPORATION, OR FORMATION OF AN “LLC”: To paraphrase Michael Douglas’s Gordon Gekko character in the motion picture “Wall Street” when speaking to Bud Fox while on the morning beach on the oversized mobile phone, this entity-formation issue usually constitutes the entertainment attorney’s “wake-up call” to the film producer, telling the film producer that it is time. If the producer doesn’t properly create, file, and maintain a corporate or other appropriate entity through which to conduct business, and if the film producer doesn’t thereafter make every effort to keep that entity bullet-proof, says the entertainment lawyer, then the film producer is potentially shooting himself or herself in the foot. Without the shield against liability that an entity can provide, the entertainment attorney opines, the motion picture producer’s personal assets (like house, car, bank account) are at risk and, in a worst-case scenario, could ultimately be seized to satisfy the debts and liabilities of the film producer’s business. In other words:

Patient: “Doctor, it hurts my head when I do that”.

Doctor: “So? Don’t do that”.

Like it or not, the film lawyer entertainment attorney continues, “Film is a speculative business, and the statistical majority of motion pictures can fail economically – even at the San Fernando Valley film studio level. It is insane to run a film business or any other form of business out of one’s own personal bank account”. Besides, it looks unprofessional, a real concern if the producer wants to attract talent, bankers, and distributors at any point in the future.

The choices of where and how to file an entity are often prompted by entertainment lawyers but then driven by situation-specific variables, including tax concerns relating to the film or motion picture company sometimes. The film producer should let an entertainment attorney do it and do it correctly. Entity-creation is affordable. Good lawyers don’t look at incorporating a client as a profit-center anyway, because of the obvious potential for new business that an entity-creation brings. While the film producer should be aware that under U.S. law a client can fire his/her lawyer at any time at all, many entertainment lawyers who do the entity-creation work get asked to do further work for that same client – especially if the entertainment attorney bills the first job reasonably.

I wouldn’t recommend self-incorporation by a non-lawyer – any more than I would tell a film producer-client what actors to hire in a motion picture – or any more than I would tell a D.P.-client what lens to use on a specific film shot. As will be true on a film production set, everybody has their own job to do. And I believe that as soon as the producer lets a competent entertainment lawyer do his or her job, things will start to gel for the film production in ways that couldn’t even be originally foreseen by the motion picture producer.

2. SOLICITING INVESTMENT: This issue also often constitutes a wake-up call of sorts. Let’s say that the film producer wants to make a motion picture with other people’s money. (No, not an unusual scenario). The film producer will likely start soliciting funds for the movie from so-called “passive” investors in any number of possible ways, and may actually start collecting some monies as a result. Sometimes this occurs prior to the entertainment lawyer hearing about it post facto from his or her client.

If the film producer is not a lawyer, then the producer should not even think of “trying this at home”. Like it or not, the entertainment lawyer opines, the film producer will thereby be selling securities to people. If the producer promises investors some pie-in-the-sky results in the context of this inherently speculative business called film, and then collects money on the basis of that representation, believe me, the film producer will have even more grave problems than conscience to deal with. Securities compliance work is among the most difficult of matters faced by an entertainment attorney.

As both entertainment lawyers and securities lawyers will opine, botching a solicitation for film (or any other) investment can have severe and federally-mandated consequences. No matter how great the film script is, it’s never worth monetary fines and jail time – not to mention the veritable unspooling of the unfinished motion picture if and when the producer gets nailed. All the while, it is shocking to see how many ersatz film producers in the real world try to float their own “investment prospectus”, complete with boastful anticipated multipliers of the box office figures of the famed motion pictures “E.T.” and “Jurassic Park” combined. They draft these monstrosities with their own sheer creativity and imagination, but usually with no entertainment or film lawyer or other legal counsel. I’m sure that some of these producers think of themselves as “visionaries” while writing the prospectus. Entertainment attorneys and the rest of the bar, and bench, may tend to think of them, instead, as prospective ‘Defendants’.

Enough said.

3. DEALING WITH THE GUILDS: Let’s assume that the film producer has decided, even without entertainment attorney guidance yet, that the production entity will need to be a signatory to collective bargaining agreements of unions such as Screen Actors Guild (SAG), the Directors Guild (DGA), and/or the Writers Guild (WGA). This is a subject matter area that some film producers can handle themselves, particularly producers with experience. But if the film producer can afford it, the producer should consult with a film lawyer or entertainment lawyer prior to making even any initial contact with the guilds. The producer should certainly consult with an entertainment attorney or film lawyer prior to issuing any writings to the guilds, or signing any of their documents. Failure to plan out these guild issues with film or entertainment attorney counsel ahead of time, could lead to problems and expenses that sometimes make it cost-prohibitive to thereafter continue with the picture’s further production.

4. CONTRACTUAL AFFAIRS GENERALLY: A film production’s agreements should all be in writing, and not saved until the last minute, as any entertainment attorney will observe. It will be more expensive to bring film counsel in, late in the day – sort of like booking an airline flight a few days before the planned travel. A film producer should remember that a plaintiff suing for breach of a bungled contract might not only seek money for damages, but could also seek the equitable relief of an injunction (translation: “Judge, stop this production… stop this motion picture… stop this film… Cut!”).

A film producer does not want to suffer a back claim for talent compensation, or a disgruntled location-landlord, or state child labor authorities – threatening to enjoin or shut the motion picture production down for reasons that could have been easily avoided by careful planning, drafting, research, and communication with one’s film lawyer or entertainment lawyer. The movie production’s agreements should be drafted with care by the entertainment attorney, and should be customized to encompass the special characteristics of the production.

As an entertainment lawyer, I have seen non-lawyer film producers try to do their own legal drafting for their own pictures. As mentioned above, some few are lucky, and remain under the proverbial radar. But consider this: if the film producer sells or options the project, one of the first things that the film distributor or film buyer (or its own film and entertainment attorney counsel) will want to see, is the “chain of title” and development and production file, complete with all signed agreements. The production’s insurance carrier may also want to see these same documents. So might the guilds, too. And their entertainment lawyers. The documents must be written so as to survive the audience.

Therefore, for a film producer to try to “fake it” oneself is simply to put many problems off for another day, as well as create an air of non-attorney amateurism to the production file. It will be less expensive for the film producer to attack all of these issues earlier as opposed to later, through use of a film lawyer or entertainment attorney. And the likelihood is that any self-respecting film attorney and entertainment lawyer is going to have to re-draft substantial parts (if not all) of the producer’s self-drafted production file, once he or she sees what the non-lawyer film producer has done to it on his or her own – and that translates into unfortunate and wasted expense. I would no sooner want my chiropractor to draft and negotiate his own filmed motion picture contracts, than I would put myself on his table and try to crunch through my own backbone adjustments. Furthermore, I wouldn’t do half of the chiropractic adjustment myself, and then call the chiropractor into the examining room to finish what I had started. (I use the chiropractic motif only to spare you the cliché old saw of “performing surgery on oneself”).

There are many other reasons for retaining a film lawyer and entertainment attorney for motion picture work, and space won’t allow all of them. But the above-listed ones are the big ones.

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