Bravery to believe in your convictions

Steve and Mark talk about:

  • In this interview with film producers Steve Kearney and Mark Lazarus, they share with us what to take to have the bravery to believe in your convictions.
  • Steve Kearney is a film producer. His company KMUNICATIONS produced the family hit feature film “Oddball”, based on a true story and ranking in the top 25 Australian films of all time.  Steve has been in the creative arts his whole life. Steve always knew he wanted to perform from a young age when he discovered that he was able to make people laugh. Starting his career as a comedian, he was extremely successful across the globe and eventually moving into film production.
  • Mark Lazarus always knew he wanted to do something in the creative arts. Following his wife, he started working in independent film making, at first voluntarily. Slowly, Mark began to uncover different avenues of creativity, flitting around from one genre to the other but found his feet in the world of film.
  • Mark talks about how creativity brings incredible joy to him but also how creativity can be applied to other elements in life and in different careers as well.
  • Sometimes you see a really charmed career, but on the whole, everybody has setbacks and failures. There have been plenty of setbacks in both Mark and Steves career in the film industry, but when you believe in something with your heart and soul, you can’t help but keep pursuing it.
  • Steve tried to give up being creative but found that he needed to continue on his path of creativity. Creativity can be applied to many elements.
  • Appreciating life and knowing what your passions are, is a great attribute to both Mark and Steve. When you know what you are going to do every day when you wake up, you have the bravery to follow your dreams, you have a fulfilled life.
  • Although Mark has had a successful career, though, he also wishes that he had the bravery to be a performer like Steve has been. However, he has found other ways to be creative through many different and varying avenues in the film industry.
  • The Artsiest Way by Julia Cameron has been an inspirational book for Mark. He feels like it is talking directly to her, as she states “Too afraid to take the bold thing myself, but I want to be in that world all the time, but I found a way to be involved in that.” This describes how Mark feels about his input in his career. As being a film producer, they have a tremendous amount of input into many areas of the film.  This ensures that everyone is staying on the same page – enabling a successful outcome for the film.
  • With eared dog determination, Steve goes for it when he believes in something. When people would say no to Steve, in particular with his film of Oddball. He believed in what he was working for and kept persevering and eventually created a film that is now apart of Australian history.
  • Trusting in your knowing and intuition is key to success. Going with by the horns and go with it. Believing in it is everything. “If you believe it, they believe it.” Steve says. “It’s the story that keeps giving to you, as you peel back the layers, films can become like a friend, you don’t want to give it up.”
  • Oddball took 8 years to produce, and it became this thing that he really wanted to witness the unfolding and see it come to life.
  • Creatively when you see it all come together, when there is a studio, and you’ve created an island and the real penguins. You see the unfolding as you visualised, the level of satisfaction is extraordinary.
  • Visualisation is one of the tools, both Mark and Steve utilise when bringing together a film.
  • Mark and Steve use their sense of vision to see where they want to be, utalising the power of creative visualisation, to give you a signpost and a goal post to find your destiny.
  • Feeling braver as he ages, Mark is continuously working with other creatives such as his wife, an award-winning novelist. Working with dynamic people, he enjoys making a better story finding immense satisfaction to the point of ecstasy, when the story is told. Both Steve and Mark feel incredibly fortunate to have such a high level of work satisfaction.
  • Imposter syndrome still niggles away even with such successful careers, both Mark and Steve have witnessed the voice in your head telling you lies. We all feel frauds, at times. But to wrench a feature film almost of thin air, it’s a monumental effort. There is an enormous amount of rejection, and derision from other people thinking they know better than you. You have to have the bravery to believe in your own convictions.
  • Many people have stopped producing because they don’t have the gumption to continue.
  • Part of the creative process is to be able to see other people’s vision, even though you may disagree with it. The inclusivity in feature films is often tricky. If you can make people think your idea was their idea, you have a much better chance of getting your ideas across. Mark shares his experiences as to how he has had to work with different people and how he has found a balance.
  • Radiate positive energy, and it comes back to you.  You learn lessons, but try to keep it simple. The more positive energy we put into things, the more we get out in every aspect of our life.

Mark and Steve's Tips for living a Brave Life

  • Steve’s performance is his attribute. He uses the ability to sell a joke or a character or a platform to sell an idea, which is very difficult. Steve aims to get into the world an idea that they have never head about before. You need to be clear and figure it all out.  There is always an audience, and you want to connect with your audience. Having confidence is key. Steve goes for it, regardless of the outcome, always believing in his own knowing. Utilising the skillset of understanding body language, being flexible, taking onboard new skills, reading the energy in a room and forever learning. He has become the master of his own creations. 
  • What makes Steve a fabulous producer – Steve has a fantastic ability to have an antenna for what is going to work. He wants to make movies that reward an audience and that people want to go see them. He is willing to do the hard work, too, to make it happen.
  • Mark is riddled with anxiety, and rage and fear and guilt, but his trick is to be prepared. Just put one foot in front of the other and keep pursuing your goals, even when it feels like it’s hopeless. To do anything worth doing, if you can keep taking that first step after another, it’s a really important skill, to just keep going.
  • Stop thinking that everyone knows more than you do. Don’t just assume that everyone knows more than you. Stick to your vision. Stick to your goals.
  • Steve knows too, that Persistence is key. Something you believe in is worth fighting for, and you never know, it just might happen!

Connect Steve and Mark

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kearneysteve@icloud.com

mark.lazarus@sydneyfilms.com.au