Shaun T. Pulsifer Mastery Journal Full Sail University Master of Science Entertainment Business

About Me

Shaun is an American-Canadian from Reno, Nevada, currently based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, where he became a Canadian citizen in 2018. He graduated from The Los Angeles Film School in July 2022 with a Bachelor of Science in Digital Filmmaking, where he focused on Directing, Writing, and Producing. During his final few months at The Los Angeles Film School, he decided to take the leap to pursue a master's degree in Entertainment Business, as he wants to open a production company and studio. Calgary and Alberta are seeing a boom in film productions. However, there is currently limited space.

His passion is to open a full-service production hub to allow productions to have access to all resources and be able to do production in Alberta from pre-production through post-production. Shaun is also interested in politics, where he would like to get involved with expanding the Alberta Film Tax Credit program to be competitive with other jurisdictions. He was a candidate for the Green Party of Alberta in the 2023 provincial election, and now sits on the Executive Council of the party serving as Secretary.

Intention Statement

I enrolled in the Entertainment Business MS Program at Full Sail University because I decided it was the natural next step for my mastery journey. As a filmmaker, I decided to pursue this program for professional reasons because, as a Director and Producer, I believe it's essential to know the industry's business aspect. However, I also chose to pursue this program as part of personal growth journey

In my professional journey, completing this program will give me a greater understanding and awareness of the business of the Entertainment Industry. In addition, the Entertainment Business program will assist me as a filmmaker in understanding the decisions made by executives and provide me with the skills and knowledge to pursue my career goals as an entrepreneur to launch a film production company and studio.

Over the next 12 months at Full Sail University, I am looking forward to developing my skills and knowledge in Executive Leadership, Project and Team Management, Business Storytelling and Brand Development, Entertainment Business Finance, Digital Marketing, Negotiation, and Deal Making, Product and Artist Management, Advanced Entertainment Law, Entertainment Media Publishing and Distribution, and Business Plan Development. All these courses will provide the foundation I need to go out and fulfill my Life's Tasks.

Upon completing this program, I hope to be more confident in my business decisions, not waver when I face challenges and consider new opportunities with clarity and understanding of whether they are suitable for achieving my Life's Tasks.

Inspiration #1

“I dream, I test my dreams against my beliefs, I dare to take risks, and I execute my vision to make those dreams come true.” -Walt Disney

Walt Disney has always been an inspiration for me. He has many inspiring quotes that focus on creativity and living your dreams. Whenever there is a moment of doubt or frustration, I turn to his wisdom for encouragement and inspiration. This quote fits explicitly right in with my journey of Mastery. I have a dream; I must test that dream with my beliefs and be willing to take a chance and, in the end, execute that vision. Your dreams can't come true if you aren't willing to dream and take chances. Dreams are realities that have yet to be manifest, and it is up to us to make those dreams a reality. Upon completing this program, I hope to be more confident in my business decisions, not waver when I face challenges and consider new opportunities with clarity and understanding of whether they are suitable for achieving my Life's Tasks.


Follow the link above to connect with me on LinkedIn
As a creative, many I follow on LinkedIn are production companies and studios, especially ones I would like to work for. I also follow other directors, producers, and screenwriters to develop connections as part of my loose ties network.

Inspiration #2

"Buried deep within you…is the potential to make yourself a better man. And that is what it is to be human. To make yourself more than you are." - Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Star Trek Nemesis)

Star Trek has been a source of inspiration for me since I was a teenager. The hope for a better future and the drive to better ourselves and humanity. That is a vision of the future for myself that I can grab hold of. I desire to better myself every day and use the lessons of yesterday to inspire me to move forward to make me a better man and to achieve my goals and dreams. Doing so will impact not just my life but those around me and my work.

Mastery Timeline

Long Term and Short Term Goals:

Career (Long Term Goal): I will become a professional filmmaker who owns a full service production studio.

Graduation (Short Term Goal): I will produce and begin distribution of a proof-of-concept short for my passion project, Pathfinder within six months of graduation.

Deconstructed Steps to Accomplish the Goals:

1 month: I will write the script.

2 months: I will connect with investors for financing.

3 months: I will search and secure locations, cast, and crew.

4 months: I will shoot proof-of-concept short.

5 months: I will have short in postproduction.

6 months: I will submit the proof-of-concept to festivals

Leadership Style

This month has been exciting in discovering the various leadership styles that Greene and Maxwell discussed. Through this month, with the readings, discussions, and self-reflection, I would have to say I am, without a doubt, primarily a Maxwell style of leader. Maxwell’s concepts throughout the reading resonated with me and how I am as a leader, while Greene got under my skin. I couldn’t believe what I was reading about most of the principles that Greene covered. It was very out there, which also doesn’t reflect my personality. In reading Maxwell, I feel as an introvert, and his principles fit more within my character as a quiet, laid-back person who cares about people. I’m not about screwing someone over to achieve my goals. Instead, I’m about working together to achieve a common goal.

Greene did have some interesting thoughts, especially as we began reading the higher laws. That’s when I started resonating with some of what Greene was saying; for example, Law 28, Enter Action with Boldness, is a Law I would like to see myself acting upon; I am timid, as I do think of what others will think of my actions. However, that is something that I want to change. I want to be able to act on Green’s 28th Law. That is something that I believe will further my career and help me achieve the goals I am setting for myself. Another law that I agree with is the 35th Law, Master the Art of Timing. This is another law that I would like to incorporate into my leadership. I do find that I tend to put things off because it doesn’t fit into my current timetable, and as a result, I miss the boat. Therefore, I will work on Mastering the Art of Timing; this Law will once again benefit my career goals; the 28th and 35th laws work well with each other, and taking action with boldness will aid in mastering the art of timing.

I began this post saying I am a Maxwell leader, which is still very accurate, but I also have some Greene mixed in, even though I don’t necessarily agree with his approach to leadership. I am only a tiny percentage, Greene. When I look at the percentage, I would say that I am primarily a Maxwell Leader, about 97 percent. That leaves about 3 percent of Greene. I know that will change over time, as well as the situation. Nothing is absolute, especially when it comes to growth, so even though right now I say I am 97 percent Maxwell and 3 percent Greene, I would say that Maxwell is always in the 90 percentiles of my leadership style, and Greene will remain in the ten percentiles of my leadership style. I am open to change and would be surprised if those margins change, but I’m ready to see the possibilities as I grow and mature as a leader.

Project and Team Management

During the past month in Project and Team Management, I have learned a lot about developing a comprehensive project plan and myself. First off, as someone that does enjoy planning, I never really thought about the process of creating a project management plan, all the high-level details from not just the plan and budget but also when it comes to conflict resolution policies and risk management. The skills learned this month would undoubtedly aid in future project planning and guide the project team to stay motivated and resolve any conflicts efficiently as they arise.

My favorite part of this month was the dive into my personality. With the MBTI assessment, I learned that my personality type is INFJ (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Judging); I 100 percent agree with that assessment. I always say I beat to my own drum and don’t want to conform to society, which is undoubtedly true with INFJ personalities. According to 16personalities.com, INFJ personalities are “conscientious to the core, they move through life with a clear sense of their values, and they aim never to lose sight of what truly matters – not according to other people or society at large, but according to their own wisdom and intuition” (Advocate personality n.d.).

With this new awareness of myself and how to successfully create a high-level comprehensive project management plan, my future goals and dreams have a higher chance of success. This month has been another eye-opener as someone who regularly seeks ways to improve and learn about myself. I have a new tool to add to my tool kit for personal and professional success. Having these tools will aid the team to work more cohesively; if the team all take these assessments, they will have a better understanding of each other as well as communication can be handled in a way that benefits the personality type, as well as conflicts can be handled differently because everyone has an idea of what each other’s needs are based off their personality types.

To add to the assessments, we used this month my love language from “The five love languages” by Gary Chaman is Words of Affirmation. So, for me, this month, in addition to learning project and team management skills, was just another layer added to the understanding of what makes Shaun tick.

Business Storytelling & Branding

Going into this month, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. So far on this mastery journey, nothing has been as I expected. Which is a great thing; I think it’s better to go in without expectations rather than going in and having what eventually turns into unrealistic expectations. I have learned a great deal in this class about branding; as a result, my branding has gone to a new level. The evidence is on my website, the website that exists now because of this class is far superior to what existed a month ago. My website now tells a complete story of who I am and represents the personal brand I want.

Branding is essential, especially in our modern world. So one of the first lessons this month was brand is not a product or logo; it’s “a person’s gut feeling” of a product or service (Neumeier, 2006). I like to think that the brand that I have created because of this month will give people a positive gut feeling and speak positively about my brand when I am not around to hear, which will, in the long run, make my brand as a creative in the Alberta film and television Industry all that more desirable to work with on projects big or small.

The brand that is Shaun T. Pulsifer is a brand that is laid back and seeks to get the job done quickly and efficiently. The brand is driven and is an open book to pursue goals that make a positive difference not just to those immediately around but to the industry and the world. My brand is to live with passion and fulfill a calling to tell stories, not just my stories but tell the stories of those who entrust them to me. By trusting that story to me, I can manifest their dream into reality.

This brand expands into the brand design of the Production Company I will be launching, Pathfinder Entertainment. The personal qualities I value will be instilled into the brand values of Pathfinder Entertainment. With me leading the brand and incorporating elements of my personal brand strategy Pathfinder Entertainment will see the same “gut feeling” my personal brand will experience.

Neumeier, M. (2006). What a Brand Isn't. In The Brand Gap (p. 2). introduction, New Riders.

Entertainment Finance

This month didn’t go as I expected. I knew this month would be about finances and the financial structure of a business, but there was one piece I thought there would be more detail on finding resources for finding the start-up capital for the business. Despite this course not meeting the expectations I had, I learned a lot when it came to finance. I also have a solid foundation for dealing with the finances of starting my business, Pathfinder Entertainment. I now have the tools to move forward and plan for all the expected expenses and examine unexpected potential expenditures to plan and be prepared for those unexpected expenses.

In addition to building my toolbox for success as a business owner in the entertainment industry, this course gave me an understanding of why the head office of the company I work for, Cineplex, makes the decisions they make, even if I disagree with them as a manager. Going through the annual statements for Cineplex helped me see the big picture of where Cineplex sits post-pandemic and why they are hammering us to save money and, at times, spend no money. It makes so much more sense, there may be times in business when decisions have to be made that don’t make sense to those that need to follow through with those decisions, but that is where transparency needs to come in. Being transparent and explaining those financial decisions will get those that need to act on them to be more on board with following through. Being transparent will be an aspect that Pathfinder Entertainment will strive to be; finances are a messy topic that no one likes to talk about, but it is a necessary evil that when everyone understands the ins and outs of the financial landscape, the financial goals can be achieved because everyone is onboard.

Digital Marketing

This course couldn’t have come at a better time. I say this because, while taking Digital Marketing, I was running as a candidate in the Alberta Provincial Election; for my American counterparts, this would be the equivalent of a State Election. Even though I ran as a paper candidate, which meant I couldn’t spend money, I still used social media and attended forums or debates. This course allowed me to see campaign ads in a new light and how others used social media throughout their campaigns.

I used the knowledge I acquired to adjust the social media channels that I used during my campaign to reflect different information rather than regurgitate the same thing on every channel. Now that I have better knowledge of Digital Marketing and an understanding of the four marketing purposes, Awareness, Education, Engagement, and Action, I believe I can be a more effective marketer with my business and other pursuits.

The practical usage during the election campaign, which wraps on May 29th, is an excellent example of how I used my acquired knowledge. Some channels worked better than others, and I even enjoyed using traditional marketing means by attending an all-candidates forum in which I was the only candidate to appear.

Now thanks to this course, I have the knowledge and awareness on how to develop a comprehensive digital marketing plan and understand how to optimize marketing by taking advantage of tools available to maximize marketing campaigns. Digital Marketing is a practical course that all entrepreneurs should take because the knowledge obtained is valuable. I will admit I didn’t know what to expect from this course, but it was a course I was excited to take when I started my Mastery journey at Full Sail University, and it certainly was worth the excitement.

The election journey from registering as a Candidate, to attending a All-Candidate Forum, to voting. It's exciting to have the opportunity to vote for yourself.

Negotiation & Deal Making

"Be the example of the behaviour you want to see." -Simon Horton

This month’s course, Negotiation and Deal Making, is precisely what I expected it to be, as well as being as challenging as it has been. The reason I say that is this course is well outside my wheelhouse. I have never been one to feel comfortable haggling over a price of an item; being more introverted and having interactions that require negotiating is rather uncomfortable, as well as this was not a skill set that I had had the luxury to be taught.

This course has been enlightening regarding the negotiation process, especially for someone who has never felt comfortable with the idea of negotiating. As mentioned by Professor Miles, negotiating isn’t what movies and television make it out to be, and that is certainly what my negotiation mindset was supposed to look like. What I thought it to be wasn’t what has been taught this month.

It is a relief to know that my personality style can negotiate successfully. It is also a relief to know that even if it didn’t appear to be negotiating, I have successfully participated in negotiations all my life on a daily basis. Even if it wasn’t being defined as negotiating, simple life discussions, such as what’s for dinner, is a negotiation. Life is full of negotiating and deal-making; seeing life through that lens, I realized I could do it too. I must look at it as a relationship-building exercise.

Relationships are the cornerstone of a successful win-win scenario in negotiating. As someone who believes in win-win scenarios, it is good to know that that is the true end goal when negotiating, both sides getting what they want. The idea of one person getting everything is the idea I had of negotiating before this course, which is the perception that movies and television like to give. However, to a degree, it is valid within the Entertainment Industry, and Disney is the worst, according to the below quote from Bill Plympton.

“Negotiating with Disney isn’t like good cop/bad cop; it’s like bad cop/Antichrist.”

I can attest that this sentiment is true; as a Theatre Manager, the House of Mouse doesn’t take anything less than what they expect at everyone’s expense. So even though a win-win is the goal, the top dogs don’t always see it that way and will stop at nothing to achieve their goals without empathizing with those they are negotiating with, so when it comes to the big picture, I wouldn’t want to give those that do that my business; much like when it came to acquiring a new lease, my concerns didn’t matter, and the dealerships bottom line mattered more, so my partner and I walked away. It may not always be the wisest thing to do, but my values matter more than making a deal that I will regret in the long run.

Product & Artist Management

“It’s not Show Art, it’s Show Business.” – Steve Mosko, CEO Sony Pictures Entertainment

This month's course, Product and Artist Management, was one of the courses that I was excited to take from the beginning. This course, when it came to the content, exceeded my expectations at the beginning of the Entertainment Business Mastery journey. I never anticipated that because of this Product and Artist Management course, I would have a genuine interest in managing artists.

Now that I am at the end of this chapter of my Mastery Journey, I have a newfound confidence and interest in managing talent. I believe I can add management to my Entertainment business model to aid in paying the bills during the quiet production times here in Calgary. Another benefit this course has provided me is that it has made me a better manager for my staff at Cineplex. I have always encouraged growth in those I work with and to build people up to be their best selves.

That is the direction I would go as a talent manager. I would work one-on-one with the talent to define their career goals and guide them through the steps to achieve them. I would also work with talent to uncover what is holding them back from achieving those goals, as personal development and understanding are essential to achieve and understanding why the goal is being sabotaged. Having a clear understanding of the goal can significantly help not just the talent to succeed but also for the manager to succeed. That is why that would be one of my primary focuses when managing talent.

This month has been great, and as mentioned above, I have learned a lot and have grown in my confidence as a manager. Even if I don't manage talent, I will always manage a team as a director, so this month's lessons will significantly help develop my leadership style on how I manage those under me. The key takeaway from the final week is authenticity; people will take notice and naturally follow you if you're being authentic. That is how I always am, I present my authentic self, and it generally gets people to enjoy being around me as it makes their day better being around someone positive and authentic.

"The person born with a talent they are meant to use will find their greatest happiness in using it." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Advanced Entertainment Law

"The most important thing about intellectual property vs. creative expression is that copyright law was created not to stifle creativity but to encourage creativity." - Shepard Fairey

This month has been fantastic. Advanced Entertainment Law was a class that I have been excited about since the beginning of the Mastery Journey. Advanced Entertainment Law covered some elements I was initially familiar with from my Los Angeles Film School courses. However, the course material and court cases studied added a new layer of details to examine. For example, if I’m the author of both script and final product, I should be filing for the copyright of both script and final product.

Law, in general, is complex, but entertainment law is even more complicated. Ensuring intellectual property is protected and agreements with all parties involved with the creation of intellectual property. All aspects of the process must be protected. Obtaining an entertainment lawyer is essential for any entertainment business or creative project. As a result of this course, I have already begun exploring potential Entertainment Lawyers here in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

I believe that because of Advanced Entertainment Law, I have the tools required to be successful in my endeavor to build an entertainment business through Pathfinder Entertainment. The textbook The Permission Seekers Guide Through the Legal Jungle is an excellent resource to have on hand to answer potential legal questions that may come up along my journey beyond Full Sail. I purchased a physical copy because it is that good of a resource.

This course covered US Intellectual Property laws as well as business structures. Still, it got me to look into the Canadian counterparts, as I am based in Canada, which are relatively similar as both countries’ close allies and cross-border business is a regular occurrence. I plan to operate Pathfinder Entertainment as a cross-border company and establish a United States location in addition to a Canadian location, which will be the starting location. I also plan to work with United States companies like Media Arts.

The future is bright, and the possibilities are endless, provided the rule of law is obeyed. As the law is there not to stifle but to encourage the creative journey.

"When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.” - Walt Disney

Entertainment Media Publishing and Distribution

"I believe that the internet as an open platform for distribution could be a great chance for the diversity of film production." -Agnieszka Holland

Entertainment Media Publishing and Distribution was a fantastic course. I learned so much when it comes to finding and gaining an agent and writing a successful treatment for various projects. When I started my Mastery Journey, I knew this class would be valuable, and I was correct. The tools made available in this course will be tools that I will refer to regularly as I continue my journey after Full Sail with my production company, Pathfinder Entertainment.

The goals I set out in the future because of this course are endless. There are a few that are easy to name; one is to self-publish my content using aggregators. My content is unique to me, and I have been working on some of it for years, so having autonomy over my creative work is essential. The second goal is to serve as a consultant to those who don’t have the knowledge I have to get their work out there. Whether it’s to find an agent to get their work optioned or to get their work self-published, my services will aid them in the process.

Goal two is already beginning! A couple of months ago, an acquaintance reached out looking for me to consult on their pitch deck. At the time, I didn’t feel confident in my abilities to take on such a task; however, now, with the knowledge I have gained this month in Entertainment and Media Publishing and Distribution, I feel not just comfortable taking on the task but confident in providing them a great consult on their pitch deck, which could give them the results that they are looking for; which is to get their project funded.

This course provided so many invaluable resources that I will be returning to the textbook written by Course Director Kim Craft. Her wealth of knowledge is a resource I will draw on for years to come. I can’t wait until the next edition of the text is released so that I can get my hands on it to discover new resources regarding the ever-changing landscape of Entertainment Publishing and Distribution.

2023 Calgary Pride Parade with the Green Party of Alberta (September 3, 2023)

Business Plan Development

"Creating value for humanity should not be an afterthought but a core business strategy." –Anonymous

Month 11, Business Plan Development, has been a fantastic class. Before this month, I had minimal knowledge of how to develop an effective business plan, but now I feel that I have been set up for success in the future. Back at The Los Angeles Film School at the start of my second year, I began exploring the possibility of pursuing a Master's in Entertainment Business. When I reviewed the program and class list and saw that the end project was a business plan, I knew I had to pursue this degree after graduating from The Los Angeles Film School. That decision all those years ago didn't disappoint.

Business Plan Development was everything that I had hoped it would be! Challenging and informative. As of writing this journal entry, I have a business plan strategy that is currently 23 pages; some revisions need to be made. However, thanks to this class and Course Director Burhoe's valuable guidance and feedback, I feel it is a successful document. I have written a business plan in the past, but it never turned out as comprehensive as the current one that has been developed over the course of this month. Everyone who wants to be an entrepreneur should take a course like this course. Perhaps as a result of seeing the value in this class, I will offer business plan development assistance as part of my consultant services.

My formal education journey is ending in a month, and I am grateful for everything that has been revealed to me over my time at Full Sail University. There isn't a shred of doubt that I did the right thing to pursue my Mastery journey at this school. I have fantastic instructors teaching valuable topics and providing tools that will undoubtedly be used throughout the next chapter of my professional journey.

Canadian Thanksgiving in Arizona October 2023

Final Project: Business Plan

“When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionably.” - Walt Disney

To put it plainly, this is the class that made me choose to pursue my master's degree a year into my undergrad degree three years ago. I saw fellow Los Angeles Film School grads participate in this program, which led me to explore the option. When I saw that the final project was a business plan, I knew I had to pursue this degree program, and it certainly didn't disappoint.

This course, Final Project: Business Plan, wasn't entirely what I had expected. I initially expected that the final presentation would be during our last week of class and preparing for that presentation the whole month. It was great to know that the previous month and this month worked together, beginning the plan and finalizing it this month. The wealth and knowledge that this class provided outside of the business plan were phenomenal. This class will undoubtedly be a resource I will draw upon during the next chapter of my journey.

It is certainly a different perspective at this end versus three years ago. The expectations and excitement of knowing I would get to this point in my journey were met; I had a goal to maintain the same level of passion and excitement for every assignment I had for my undergrad. Was it more challenging this time around? Absolutely, but I wouldn't expect anything else; this is a mastery journey.

This month's lessons through the lectures were inspiring and full of valuable information. I downloaded them for future reference, as I can see them being helpful, as the wealth of knowledge from the experience will be invaluable. The future is certainly bright, with many opportunities waiting to be grabbed. The experience from this month and the previous eleven will certainly be used as I go out into the unknown and prepare to have fun achieving what many will consider impossible.

"It's kind of fun to do the impossible." - Walt Disney