"Most of us grow up being taught that talent is an inheritance, like brown hair or blue eyes. Therefore, we presume that the surest sign of talent is early, instant, effortless success, ie, being a prodigy. In fact, a well-established body of research shows that that assumption is false. Early success turns out to be a weak predictor of long-term success.
Many top performers are overlooked early on, then grow quietly into stars. This list includes Charles Darwin (considered slow and ordinary by teachers), Walt Disney (fired from an early job because he 'lacked imagination'), Albert Einstein, Louis Pasteur, Paul Gauguin, Thomas Edison, Leo Tolstoy, Fred Astaire, Winston Churchill, Lucille Ball, and so on. One theory, put forth by Dr Carol Dweck of Stanford University, is that the praise and attention prodigies receive leads them to instinctively protect their 'magical' status by taking fewer risks, which eventually slows their learning.
The talent hotbeds are not built on identifying talent, but on constructing it. They are not overly impressed by precociousness and do not pretend to know who will succeed. While I was visiting the US Olympic Training Centre at Colorado Springs, I asked a roomful of 50 experienced coaches if they could accurately assess a top 15-year-old's chances of winning a medal in the Games two years from then? Only one coach raised his hand.
If you have early success, do your best to ignore the praise and keep pushing yourself to the edges of your ability, where improvement happens. If you don't have early success, don't quit. Instead, treat your early efforts as experiments, not as verdicts."
(Daniel Coyle, 25 August 2012, The Independent)
"During the planning and construction of Disneyland, Walt had been introduced to the basic concepts of urban design and slowly became a self-taught expert in the field. Such seemingly dry concepts as city planning and urban decay fired his imagination. When Disney's Chief Archivist Dave Smith catalogued Walt's office in 1970, one of the books on a shelf behind Walt's desk was architect Victor Gruen's The Heart of Our Cities: The Urban Crisis, Diagnosis and Cure.
'Walt was serious about that city,' Marty [Sklar] explains. 'And he had a lot of work being done at the time' to explore its viability. Walt asked for Marty's help to coalesce his thoughts so he could produce a film to explain the project, and, over the next several months, Marty wrote a script for a 24-minute film that detailed the 'Florida Project.' In the film, an ebullient Walt explains the concept of Epcot - a full-scale city of the future where people would live, work, and play in comfort. An international shopping district would re-create scenes from around the world, and American industry would have a showcase for the latest technologies.
Walt shot the short film in October 1966. Eight weeks later, he was gone.
The brief-but-potent film, however, lived on. It was shown a handful of times in early 1967 to key constituencies: the Florida Legislature, invited guests (for a packed presentation in a Winter Park theater), and once on statewide television. The film proved vital in convincing both the Legislature and voters that Disney's Florida Project should be approved, which it was. From the moment the project was given the go-ahead, Marty says, the Company's resources were dedicated to getting Walt Disney World up and running and to regaining confidence in the absence of its founder and leader."
(John Singh and Steven Vagnini, 07 June 2012)
"Gerald Scarfe is known for thirty years of brilliant caricatures that have appeared in Private Eye, the New Yorker and the Sunday Times, as well as his artwork for Disney's Hercules, the titles fo Yes Minister and Pink Floyd's The Wall. In this film, shot in his studio, the distinguished British illustrator and cartoonist draws us a picture and discusses the lasting influence of the V&A."
Fig.1 video interview with Gerald Scarfe, published by the V&A Channel.
"Disney Interactive Media and YouTube, a division of Google, will spend a combined $10 million to $15 million on original video series; those shorts will be produced by Disney and distributed on a co-branded channel on Disney.com and YouTube. The channel will also include amateur video culled from the torrent uploaded to YouTube daily.
The Disney-YouTube partnership follows YouTube’s announcement late last month that it planned to create dozens of channels featuring comedians, sports stars, musicians and other entertainers. It is also offering cash advances to prospective producers that totaled more than $100 million, according to people with knowledge of the plan but who were not authorized to speak publicly. The investments in the channels reflect Google’s belief that the Internet is the third phase of the television business, after network TV (with a few channels) and cable TV (with hundreds). "
(The New York Times, Brooks Barnes, 6 November 2011)