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Behind-The-Scenes Look At Twitter Co-Founder Biz Stone’s Film With Ron Howard

As we shared with you back in August, Biz Stone, who co-founded Twitter alongside Jack Dorsey and Evan Williams, is one of five celebrities who are teaming up with Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard to each make a short film as part of the Canon Project Imaginat10n Film Festival.

The “10” in “Imaginat10n” represents ten storytelling elements and ten films that will ultimately be produced, each from ten photos that were submitted by random users and voted on last fall by Canon, Ron Howard and the community.

In anticipation of the films’ release at the Canon Project Imaginat10n Film Festival this fall, Fast Company’s Co.Create talked to Biz Stone about the film-making process, and how it’s similar to and different from building a start-up.

Below, highlights from the chat plus a look at the 10 photos that inspired Biz’s film.

Biz’s hopes for the project:

“I want this to be a real imprint of my work. I want it to carry my philosophy toward creativity and I want in a poetic way to advance the themes that I’ve been trying to advance with my own work over the last 15 years on the web…. Creativity comes from constraint. That’s one of the basic rules of Twitter. That 140 characters seems like a constraint, but look what people have been able to do with it — it’s amazing, right?”

How he turned photos into a film script:

“I looked at the one with the boat and thought, What can I do with that that would be different? What if I miniaturize it, what if it were a tiny mini boat? So, if there’s a tiny mini boat maybe there’s this old man who runs a hobby shop making this miniature world.”

Turning to the photo of a woman falling into water, he said,

“It really spoke to me, it suggested to me a depression so I thought, okay, what if there’s a death.”

And to the photo of an ant and the photo of an old man sitting:

“In my mind the old man is looking at the ant; the man is also lost, he’s empathizing with the ant. Okay, we have a sad old man who lost his wife to suicide because of depression that he didn’t want to acknowledge and because of that he has a difficult relationship with his daughter.”

And so on.

The difference between start-ups and film sets:

“One huge difference: We don’t work outside and we’re not freezing while we’re working. It’s similar in that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts; everyone is doing one little thing. One person is creating the tiny figurine for my model, another is selecting lenses, there’s one technical team and one artistic team and everything comes together to create one unified product that people will hopefully enjoy.”

Here from Mr. Stone himself on the project, including a look at each of the 10 photos he’s working with, in this video:

(Images of Stone on set and Stone and Howard from Co.Create

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