That Was 44

One of the advantages of having a birthday just days before the end of the calendar year is that it provides a convenient opportunity to reflect on both endpoints at roughly the same time.

So it is that today I take a look back at some of the things I accomplished during my 44th year, which happened to coincide nicely with the beginning and end of 2019, give or take a few days.

I have continued to write for both The Hollywood Reporter and Adweek, both of which bring me great joy. Seeing my byline on those sites never stops being a thrill and it’s one I hope to continue into the new year and potentially add on to.

I have continued to freelance, handling a number of clients and projects and hopefully doing so well. Some of those clients have been new, some have been continuations of long term relationships. Each new project continues to push me as a writer in new ways.

I have finished writing my first non-fiction book, though currently it’s not going to see the light of day in that form. Again, writing in this way was something I’d never done before and forced me to think about how to structure my writing in new and interesting ways.

I kept chipping away at other personal writing projects, some of which have been going on for some time but which keep getting closer to *an* ending, if not *the* ending.

I was promoted to the position of Shift Supervisor at Starbucks, opening up new opportunities in that area and continuing to provide me with new challenges.

I kept on keeping on in many other areas of my life, which is more than a lot of people would be capable of saying.

For Cinematic Slant I wrote over 200 posts with a total of over 175,000 words.

For this site I wrote over 90 posts with a total of over 34,000 words.

We keep moving forward, we keep working hard, we keep doing what we need to do.

That was 44. It was, as every year has been, a roller coaster at times. The next will likely be no different.

Selling Spies in Disguise

My latest column for The Hollywood Reporter is a recap of the marketing for Sony’s animated Spies in Disguise.

The movie is loosely based on a 2009 short film from Lucas Martell of animation studios Mighty Coconut titled Pigeon: Impossible that can be watched in its entirety on YouTube. Fox/Disney’s campaign has emphasized the humor of an animated pigeon featuring Smith’s voice to attract audiences. The movie currently sports a 72 percent “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

You can read the whole thing here.

Selling Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

My latest marketing recap column at The Hollywood Reporter covers Disney’s massive campaign for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

The Rise of Skywalker comes as the end cap to what is now a nine film series, just as creator George Lucas long said he originally envisioned. At the center of all the films — aside from the spinoff movies like Solo and Rogue One — has been the Skywalker family. First Anakin (the Prequels), then Luke and Leia (the Original Trilogy) and now Kylo.

That’s exactly how the film has been sold in a campaign that kicked off in April and has gained steam over the subsequent months. With tracking tracking estimating an opening weekend of up to $200 million, anticipation for how the story concludes, what lingering questions will be resolved and what it means for the future of the galaxy far, far away is high.

You can read the whole thing here.

Selling Jumanji: The Next Level

My latest post for The Hollywood Reporter is a recap of Sony’s marketing campaign for Jumanji: The Next Level.

Sony’s marketing for the film has sought to make the movie seem familiar to the audiences that made the first movie a success while also highlighting the changes to the story, especially the incorporation of DeVito and Glover to the cast. Reviews have been generally positive, giving it an 68 percent “Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

You can read the whole recap here.

Subscribe to Productivity Lost

Over the last year and a half I’ve been doing a lot of writing about productivity, the economic measure of how much value companies are extracting from the efforts of their workforce.

Some of that has been published here.

Most of it, though, has been happening behind the scenes. It’s a project I undertook on my own to more deeply understood what productivity was, how it’s measured and how its growth was enabled or hindered by the very parties who claim to hold it up as vital.

That project has gone through a number of changes in both form and content and now it’s time to present the results.

Introducing Productivity Lost

Productivity Lost is a new blog being launched that chronicles my research into the topic of productivity and what it means for the average American worker. What I found surprised me, illustrating how a singular focus on any given number – including the official productivity rate – means ignoring the context that comes from viewing it in relation to other stats, figures and realities.

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Posts will be published Monday, Wednesday and Friday beginning January 1st, creating a book-like narrative that moves from how companies can and should encourage productivity growth to how such growth is shared with other stakeholders to the tactics used to foster growth and then into how that growth is often hindered at the expense of individuals. Topics of identity, social mobility and more will also be explored as they relate to productivity.

Please consider subscribing to Productivity Lost via email or RSS today.

Chris Thilk Shares His Years of Writing and Content Experience With Others

[Note: While updating my resume recent I decided to have a little bit of fun and try something. You can see the results below.]

With so many talented individuals to choose from, it’s become clear Chris Thilk is the best choice you can make when looking for freelance or contract writing and content management services. The conclusion was reached after reviewing his 20 years of experience, in which time he was involved in projects of all kinds across a number of industries.

What the evidence says: Time and time again, Thilk has been sought out as a writer able to turn around material in any form and on any subject in a short period of time. He has a track record of delivering projects on schedule and on budget.

  • That includes the years he spent at public relations agencies MWW Group and Voce Communications, where he managed content marketing programs for Nikon, DC Entertainment and other major brands.

Freelance excellence: Since 2016, Thilk has been a full-time freelancer, with clients like MotionPoint, TradeGecko and others enlisting his services to write social media copy, whitepapers, blogs posts, sales emails and bylined articles.

  • Blogging is where Thilk got his start, both on his own and for corporate blogs for Bacon’s Information (now Cision), MWW and others. He was also a regular contributor to marketing industry news sites like AdJab (part of the Weblogs Inc network) and MarketingVox.

Bylined opinions: Movie marketing has been a particular interest for him. In 2004 he began writing a weekly Movie Marketing Madness column for He currently contributes marketing recap columns to The Hollywood Reporter and writes op-eds on the topic for

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