I'm Tom and welcome to my site.

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E-Book Testimonials

"Thomas Clifford has made something useful here. This report will give you some really catchy, useful ideas.

It made me reconsider how I do what I do, so you might give it a look-see, too!" 

Chris Brogan, President, Human Business Works 

"Tom Clifford is by trade a filmmaker. For most of his life, he rarely wrote anything longer than a brief comment in the margin of a script. 

Now, though, he's producing tens of thousands of words a year, first as a Fast Company "Expert Blogger," and then as a writer for the Content Marketing Institute. 

How did Tom go from a non-writer to a prolific and much-read one? His eBook, '5 (Ridiculously Simple) Ways . . . , ' holds some of his secrets."

Mark Levy, Author of "Accidental Genius: Using Writing to Generate your Best Ideas, Insight, and Content"

“Tom is one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet—if you have the privilege to meet him. And he does sterling work as well. But don’t just take my word for it.

Read this free report and you’ll not just love its tone and content, but learn a lot as well.”

Sean D’Souza, Psychotactics.com

“Anyone who wants to improve their writing needs this e-book. A lot of ebooks are short because they just don’t have much substance to offer. They’re not worth your time (and so are many of the long ones, too, for that matter). Tom’s is short because he’s so good at giving you only what you need to know. 

‘5 (Ridiculously Simple) Ways to Write Faster, Better, Easier’ lives up to its promise by example as well as in the words themselves. Tom used the very same techniques he teaches you to write this book. 

And what’s in here is not just a rehash of the same tired ideas you find coming from people who have suddenly fancied themselves as writing gurus. There are tricks in here I never heard of (like the Writing Funnel) and some I had forgotten about and was glad to be reminded of (like Sporadic Writing).” 

Michael Martine, Blog Alchemist, Remarkablogger.com 

Entries by Thomas Clifford (309)


Six Ways to Make Your Corporate Film Pop!



Seth Godin's new post on pilots reminds me of seeing those boring corporate videos...you've seen them, too.

These videos follow directions flawlessly; no soul, no energy, no imagination.

To avoid falling into the trap of having your video look like everyone else's, remember:

1.  Use authentic voices.  Let your people tell your story. 

2.  Avoid, as much as possible, scripting what people say...you're audience is smarter than you think.

3.  Be clear on why you are making your film...end-of-year spending maketh not a great film.

4.  Remember your audience.  You are making the film for them...not for you.  (That'll rattle some cages!)

5.  Seven minutes or less is a perfect length for most films.  Avoid buying video "by the pound."  Less is more. 

6.  Consider multiple ways of distributing and re-purposing your film.  Digital files offer more opportunities than ever before to maximize your message.

Seth is right.  We don't need more people to follow directions exactly. 

Your video shouldn't follow a set of directions, either.



Ball of Whacks


If you haven't heard of Rodger von Oech, you do now.

Rodger is an author, inventor, consultant.  He's well-known for his Creative Whack Pack deck of cards.

He recently came out with a new brain tool to stimulate creative thinking...a Ball of Whacks.

It's been getting rave reviews so I'm ordering one now :-)

Do check out his site, as it's packed with goodies.



You Thought You Had a Bad Day?

 (photo: reuters)


It's good to keep things in persective. 

Asteroids have a funny way of doing that to you.  

What would happen if you lost your biggest account? 

In a single moment? 

Would you survive?

Something to think about from time to time.



"I Have No Life! Don't Laugh...You Don't Either!"



I won't be producing videos for Warren Greshes any time soon.

He likes this video I produced and directed for him in 1999 so much he won't update it...at least anytime soon.

How come? It still works...and it works well.

Warren Greshes is not your typical speaker.

His amazing stage "presence" is considered "performance art." Like any great art, Warren's "art" is outrageous, inspiring, educational and solutions-based.

I produced this short video for Warren for one reason: to showcase his talents and skills as a world-class speaker and to attract more speaking engagements for Warren.

Did it succeed?

Here's Warren's own words:

5 Reasons Why I Love The Video You Produced For Me:

1. It paid for itself in less than a month. That video has been directly responsible for literally hundreds of thousands of dollars of new business for me over the years.

2. The editing is genius. The video flows beautifully and never lags. It catches your attention and holds it.

3. By shooting it in 35mm film, the quality is outstanding.

4. Even though the video is from 1999, it is still timely.

5. You and your crew were a pleasure to work with.


From a filmmaker's point of view, here's why I think the film still works. The film is:

1. Simple. Nothing fancy, cute or over-the-top.

2. Emotional. You're dead if you don't get a "kick" half-way through this video.

3. Short. A few minutes is all you need to convey the essence of someone.

4. Authentic. It's pure Warren. No voice-over trying to sell you something.

5. Identifiable. Most of us can identify with Warren's "I have no life" rant mid-way into the film.

Even though I won't be producing a new film for Warren in the near future, it's nice to know his film is making a difference in the world...and that, my friends, is what it's all about.



Free-Conomics: What Happens When Things Are Nearly Free?

tail.jpgChris Anderson, author of The Long Tail, has a great riff on what happens when things get to be nearly free.

Chris suspects we move out of the conversation mode and into exploitation mode.  

True...look around you.  Lots of stuff, yes?

So what happens when things get to be nearly free?  It's worth pondering.

Here's my comment on Chris's riff:

For over 23 years as a documentary filmmaker specializing in corporate-image films, I used to edit in edit suites that cost $750,000 or more to buy.  Oh...catered lunches, with that, thank you.

Same holds true for cameras and the filming production equipment.

Now, for a few thousand dollars, anyone can grab a camera and be an editor.  It's free, in essence...they're giving it away.

So what happens now? Michael Schrage, quoted in Chris's comment, says it's hard to beat free.  I think he's right.  

Here's how I and my fellow producers/directors in this industry will survive: through the power of a great story. 

There are a ga-zillion videos on You Tube...testimony to the power of free.  But how many powerful and gripping stories are stored on the ga-zillion storage devices?  My bet, very few.

Those who tell a compelling story and those who can capture it in creative and moving ways, may just have a shot of staying alive in these "free times."