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By Mike Kuczkowski In 2003, I wrote a 367-word biography of Alexander Hamilton for Columbia University as part of the Columbia 250 celebration. I remember struggling with it and the 30 or so other biographies we had committed to write for the launch of the Columbia 250 web site (an innovative idea back then). How to tell the story in what was supposed to be 250 words of such an accomplished, intelligent, intriguing and comparatively underappreciated figure? So...

The Kinks's songs were often inspired by everyday scenes of British life, like this Waterloo Sunset. Photo by Steve Walker, is licensed under CC BY 2.0 By Mike Kuczkowski In the early 1960s, a band emerged from Great Britain that would change the very face of rock ‘n’ roll. Led by a dynamic duo, this band started its career by recording covers of songs by American R&B and blues artists. In the mid-1960s, they began penning their own tunes. Their third single...

Filmmakers at the Mill Valley Film Festival spoke about how transmedia storytelling boosted their projects By Mike Kuczkowski The rise of what many call “transmedia storytelling” has been both exciting and disruptive for communications professionals. My former Edelman colleague Steve Rubel speaks and writes usefully and at length about this concept; I’ve lectured on it to college classes and found it quite a powerful organizing framework for communications efforts. The concept involves developing a single piece of content or a...

By Mike Kuczkowski After Robin Williams’ death last week, many media outlets produced some fine tributes (and some have done some disgraceful things, too.) If you have not listened to Mark Maron’s podcast with Williams, you should. Having just published a piece about Philip Seymour Hoffman, I didn’t want to write about Williams at first. But, I realized that while people were talking a lot about Williams’ career and his legacy, there was a point to be made...

Last month, to evaluate Philip Seymour Hoffman's acting career, we created a framework called the Awardscore [1]. Here's a look at where Robin Williams ranks. Actor Age Noms Wins Oscar Noms Oscar Wins Awardscore Jack Nicholson 77 71 95 12 3 351 Daniel Day-Lewis 57 35 127 5 3 344 Tom Hanks 58 86 71 5 2 288 Denzel Washington 59 85 73 6 2 281 Philip Seymour Hoffman 46 64 88 4 1 270 Javier Bardem 45 53 91 3 1 260 Sean Penn 54 63 76 5 2 260 George Clooney 53 92 60 4 1 242 Leonardo DiCaprio 39 122 50 4 0 242 Robin Williams 63 60 70 4 1 220 Among the peer set of Best Actor nominees for the past 30 years, Williams ranks 10th. He is also arguably the greatest star to cross over from comedy to drama. While one could make the case that Tom Hanks similarly moved from sitcom acting...