Marc Goldner of Golden Bell
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We’ve met so many fabulous new creatives lately! Today we introduce Marc Goldner, yet another brilliant mind behind Golden Bell Studios and children’s comics.
Name: Marc Goldner
A serial entrepreneur at heart, Marc has worked on many businesses. He has been involved with international water purification, manufacturing, distribution, production, and finance. It was always his goal to start an entertainment company. Never straying too far from that path, he spent years developing original content, be it a TV Series, Comic Books, or Animations. After Marc and Rachel met, they spent years developing original stories together, along with their newfound friend and business partner, Rob. The synergies that came from every meeting were just something special. The birth of Golden Bell has a great origin story, ranging from a Study Abroad trip around Europe, to coming up with “Golden Bell” in a diner. It was a long road to get here, but the journey makes it worth reaching for. With a background in Business Law, Entertainment, Entrepreneurship, and Film, Marc has led Golden Bell towards new heights and paves the road for shaping a beautiful future!
- How long have you been writing?
It’s ten years to the day for the most part. I decided to start writing back in 2006 but I’ve been a storyteller for as long as I can remember. What probably started out as making up outlandish stories then became the norm in life. I remember as I got older I would tell real true stories and no one would believe those things actually happened. When I would watch shows I would just spoil what would happen for people and I’d always be met with a “How’d you know? You should be a writer!” The rest fell into place over the next couple years when I created my first TV show in 2008, from there I met Rachel, then Rob, and the rest is history. You can read more about that so far in our company interview.
- What kind(s) of writing do you do?
Literally anything you can think of. While I love TV Shows like LOST, and Game of Thrones, I equally love any good children’s story, anime, fantasy, fiction, non-fiction, documentary, I do truly enjoy it all. I had told Rob the one thing I would never write would be a Horror film, I just happen not to like scary things, well it turned out because I’m so closed off from that world of cinema that I happen to have some real terrifying ideas and wound up creating a horror screenplay as my first collaboration with Rachel and Rob which ignited our partnership and wound up being the roots to forming Golden Bell.
- Why did you choose that particular field or genre?
I didn’t choose it, it chose me. Jokes obviously. I actually go back and forth on this. I never pigeon hole myself to be just a writer because truthfully I’m far from it. While I love writing and storytelling I’m also very much a Director. I enjoy running the business side of our company and doing all the in-betweens. It is definitely a passion of mine to get a great story out there but I suppose since I’m doing so much within the company that I’m used to jumping around and that leaks to writing different genres.
- What inspires you?
Paint Drying. Anything inspires me, the most mundane of things to the most complex conversations. I find that searching for inspiration from every corner of life is what creates an ideal story that others can relate to. The realities and intricate nature of the world may sound boring to some but everything in this world that exists shapes who we are and I try to tap into the most obscure things. Sometimes, I rarely need inspiration because I have a backlog of ideas probably that would last me a decade or so.
- Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing, etc. come from?
I grew up reading everything, watching everything, I just wouldn’t ever stop. My parents would take me to Blockbuster a few times a week, I’d rent movies, games, go to the the theater, go to the library, to Barnes and Nobles, I’d take every chance I had at consuming entertainment. It started when I was a toddler and looking back it’s very apparent why I was so insistent on not only focusing on one specific thing when we founded Golden Bell, but to focus on every single facet of entertainment. It all shapes us.
- How do you find or make time to write?
I sleep less and less as the days go on. I’m on a 120 hour work week here at the company. That is really essentially three full time jobs at one place. I devote my time to varying parts of the business, while one week may be solely focused on directing The Valiard Mansion or Drowning House, another may be spent outlining one of our TV Series, or writing a novel, or just dealing with contracts and business. I take a little time everyday to come up with a concept and it’s become fairly natural, we have a group chat that we all talk in hundreds of times a day and come up with new ideas to implement into already existing properties. I’m doing what I love and I know to make it we’ll need not good but great stories.
- Do you write more by logic or intuition, or some combination of the two? Summarize your writing process.
It’s neither logic or intuition, I start off, much like this interview, just writing on a train of thought. Many writers don’t do this, I remember back in school people were sometimes afraid to do this. If it doesn’t come out good, oh well, I’ll try again and maybe take something away from what was written the first time. Creating stories with Rachel and Rob is always my favorite part of the process, there’s no hiding it, I’m an ideas guy, I’m big on coming up with premises, concepts, and all that jazz. I enjoy writing the rest too don’t get me wrong, but collaborating with Rob as a writer is always ideal because we have checks and balances set up, we have short hand, and we know the way each of us work. He can pick up not only from a chapter that I finish but he can finish my sentences, that’s the type of synergies you want to create with a writing partner. With Rachel doing all the art, she fills in all my gaps, I don’t need to outline panels for her, she knows it in her head, and then we can go back and edit angles and have some matches on which works better and all that. Butting heads is great so this paragraph is a bit of insight into how I write, it can veer off into tangents for better or for worse, but something is still here if you look hard enough. However, if I have an outline or structure already there it’s much more about following steps.
- How did you get to be where you are in your life today?
I just did it. To narrow it down all to one day sounds like a fantasy story but it’s true. I mentioned the horror story that we all worked on, and I’m sure Rob went into even more detail in it. However what people always forget is that, all that, all this that we’ve built, almost didn’t happen because of chance circumstances. While luck may play a factor in alignment, the ability to just do it is what got us here. Pushing through no matter what, never looking back, and never looking down, staying optimistic, and being able to focus solely on the vision is how I got here today. There is a long way to go and we all are by far a decade away from where we want to be, but it’s a start and being here today shows that we’ll do it!
- What projects are you working on at the moment?
I’m Co-Directing The Valiard Mansion, one of our upcoming novels that we’re publishing written by Ezelle Van Der Heever and that’s being turned into a 2D Animated Trailer, I just finished Co-Directing Drowning House, written by Zacharey Owens and our first venture into Live Action. As well as on the Fatterpillars graphic novel, a bunch of novels, a TV show, and some comics. Truthfully the list is endless.
- What process did you go through to get your work published?
Owning a publishing company does have it’s benefits!
- What is the hardest part of writing for you?
It used to be dialogue. Now, it’s just that I don’t like editing, what can I do? I’m not a fan of re-reading.
- What do you enjoy most about writing? Share your favorite work.
I mentioned before but it’s the stories. I love world building, creating the concepts, the bare bones to the foundation of what we all love, the first cause if you will. I love it all, I rarely play favorites, I always say my favorite project is the one I’m working on now. That does happen to be InsecTales, a story about a trio of traveling bugs going cross country in the gold rush era, it also so happens to be the first collaboration that Rachel, Rob and myself completed together so that’s solidifying it as a favorite.
- What is the biggest thing people THINK they know about your subject/genre, that isn’t true?
That we all make money from invisible sources. You can not imagine how many people think that just because you wrote a story or drew a book that it means you’re rich and famous. It actually boggles my mind sometimes but I’ve gotten used to it now. The lesson I have for all of you is one word: Distribution
- What is the most important thing that people DON’T know about your subject/genre, that they should?
How to make money, and again the only thing that actually matters in this business is Distribution. I can’t stress that enough, you can have the best story in the world, and trust me we’ve seen some of the best that we’ve ever read, but if there’s no distribution, no one in the world is going to know it exists.
- For those interested in exploring the subject/theme of your work, where should they start?
Extract the favorite parts of your favorite stories. Look at what you love about it, and think about what makes that story special. Write a story with those themes, with characters that are similar. If it’s not different enough to your favorite story write the opposite, write something you hate and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you come up with. Surprise yourself and you’ll always be surprised.
- What are some ways in which you promote your writing? Do you find that these add or detract from your writing time?
I probably should do this more. I rarely promote that I write, I’m sure most people don’t even know that I do in fact. Most people know me as running Golden Bell and I always get shocking responses when people find out I write and direct. Hey, even my own parents can forget every now and then!
- Who are some of your favorite authors? What impact have they had on your writing?
I try to write in different styles with each genre I tackle. Rather than having one specific stylistic tone to how I write, I change it up. I’m a big fan of all the creators behind LOST, Breaking Bad, 24, Heroes, and Game of Thrones in recent years. However classics like A.A. Milne, J.K. Rowling, Arthur Conan Doyle, Stephen King, Mary Shelley, Jules Verne, Arthur C. Clarke, H.G. Wells, Ray Kurzweil, honestly the list goes on and on and on once again. I love it all, and everything has its place at the right given time!
- What makes your writing stand out from the crowd?
I don’t follow rules. I break them, I break them to the point where they can’t be broken anymore. I don’t follow conventional wisdom because I believe that is what makes everything the same. I do understand the necessity of formulaic stories but what we are creating here at Golden Bell is true original content, and the amount of stories we’ve produced just this year alone has already surpassed what many authors or companies create in a lifetime. Originality is key, that is what creates fans here.
- What are you currently reading?
Everything that Rob writes and we are publishing. I rarely have time to ever read anymore. I read the first chapter to Game of Thrones so that was cool, I used to read for hours everyday but now, that’s the sacrifice I gave up with starting the company. TV, reading, those things are out the window and instead replaced with writing and reading our stuff. I can say that I just finished The Valiard Mansion, the trailer I’m directing and like a little fan boy, I geeked out quite hard. The author has become one of my nearest and dearest friends and I kid you not when I say this is going to be the next big thing. It is by far one of the best stories I’ve ever read in my life, take it for what it is, but I promise you are going to LOVE it!
- What do you think is the future of reading/writing?
I don’t want to get too much into Futurism here but I’m 99% sure that within about 50 years the future of reading will be downloading information. I don’t mean downloading it onto an e-reader and then having to read it, I mean directly downloading information like books into your brain and having that immediate knowledge accessed. We are quite far from there, but if the technology continues to grow as it has, contact lenses with the internet won’t be the only thing we have soon. With writing, goes the same way, we will be able to write what we think and dictate it. Human-Brain-Computer synthetics have already been created, it’s now about utilizing them for public consumption. It may sound like science fiction, but remember, Sci-Fi is just technology that hasn’t been created yet. Fifty years is honestly quite short, but people think it’s very long. 50 Years ago the TV was just invented, ten extremely short years ago no one had a smart phone, so now think about that and then try to say “that’s impossible!”. Dream big, and remember anything is possible if you work for it no matter what!
Thanks for taking the time out of your busy days to answer our questions. We love what you’re doing! Write on!
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