Ryan Bilsborrow-Koo is now Ryan Koo
I'll have more from this weekend's terrific Script to Screen conference in the days to come, but for now, a meta-update.
On the web, my name is often misspelled, and in person, no one knows how to pronounce it (even though it's phonetic). So at the start of the panel I spoke on, Writing for a New Landscape: New Media & Cross-Platform Opportunities, I ripped my name placard down the middle, eliminating the "Bilsborrow." I placed the two end pieces together, and in doing so, changed my public-facing name to Ryan Koo (I'm not legally changing it). My logic: "In terms of personal branding, you have to have a name that people can spell."
Mobilizing audiences from project to project is an increasingly important component of realizing a self-sustainable career, so this move seems like a no-brainer. As a filmmaker, or as any kind of artist, your name is more important than any corporate brand. The music industry is learning this the hard way: "Nobody really cares about Sony records or Universal. You don't seek out stuff that's being released on Universal as a fan." But you do seek out a band or individual's work. When I saw a recent article that attributed Avatar to "20th Century Fox," I just shook my head; no one outside of the film business cares that it's a 20th Century Fox film. They care that it's a James Cameron film.
Afterward, I opened the guide to read about the next panel, and immediately realized I'd done the right thing: there in the conference guide was my name misspelled as Ryan Kilsborrow-Koo.
[Photo from eisenw]