Biz Stone already sports a pretty fierce resumé.
Twitter? He helped build that.
Blogger? That too.
Yet, perpetually in search of fresh adventures, the man responsible for forever rebranding what only my grandmother still refers to as a pound symbol, is now embracing two challenging new roles: film director and father.
Biz, it turns out, leaves few stones unturned.
He is preparing right now to partner with director Ron Howard to create a short film based entirely on user-submitted photos, as part of Canon USA’s Project Imaginat10n. The crowdsourced photo contest will feature films directed by celebrities including Stone, Eva Longoria and Jamie Foxx.
“I have never directed a film or short film or a play,” Stone recently told HLN. “Actually I once directed a play in high school. But that doesn’t count.”
“I’m not nervous about being able to execute because I feel so excited about giving myself over to this process. Instead of coming into this with a preset concept, I’ll wait for the photos and let them speak to me.”
Stone will publicly review some of the potential photos from which he may sculpt his film during a live event September 24 in San Francisco, California.
“I believe wholeheartedly in the fact that everybody’s creative and when I sit down with the photos there’s no end to the creative right I can take. I’m giving myself over totally to the creative end of it. It’s a little bit scary, but that’s what’s exciting,” Stone said.
No word on whether the film’s cast will include 140 characters.
This won’t be the first time a social media titan has crossed paths with Hollywood, but Stone said that’s where “The Social Network” similarities end.
If someone wanted to make a film about the rise of Twitter, “I think the movie would be a comedy, not a drama,” he assured.
And who would play him if such a thing ever happened? After first suggesting Jamie Foxx with a laugh, Stone goes with Will Ferrell. “Maybe he could wear some glasses.”
Additional casting would also now be required for the part of Stone’s 10-month-old son Jacob, whose arrival was announced -- of course -- on Twitter.
That means the man who co-founded Twitter will one day himself be grappling with the same social media challenges so many parents today are struggling with: How young is too young for a child to have a social account? What kinds of things are they sharing with friends? Are they jeopardizing their -- and your -- privacy with their online actions?
Stone remains optimistic on the topic, choosing -- as he so often does -- to focus on the positives and unpredictable excitement the next decade of digital technology will deliver.
“When my 10-month-old is old enough (to be active on social media) the landscape will be completely different and more mature, and hopefully much more for the good of humanity,” he predicts.
“On a very high level, I think society in general is trying to figure out the boundaries. When my child is old enough to participate in social media, we’ll be a lot more educated and informed about the pros and cons because right now we’re really fumbling through it.”
“It’s brand new in the grand scheme of things,” Stone stresses. “There are an incredible amount of pros (to social media): It can help you get a job, exchanging great ideas very quickly. And there are down sides, like losing a job, spreading terrible ideas.
“What we're doing is we’re experimenting.”
For now though, one of the largest obstacles for this new father is simply making sure he can spend enough time with his son. Between his official role as Twitter’s creative director, creating a film alongside Ron Howard and leading a new online publishing venture called Medium, Stone is already acutely aware of the importance in maintaining some sort of reasonable work-life balance.
“I decided to treat family the same way I treat work,” he explained. “It might sound strange, but I make sure my calendar has time blocked off for playing with my son.”
The Internet entrepreneur acknowledges his good fortune in being able to work from home many days, which allows for a little more flexibility.
“Most of my work involves decision-making and communicating with other people and I can do that over email and Skype. I can spend more time with my family. In a more traditional job it would be more difficult. I’ve made it a priority.”
Which works out well, since we can’t really imagine one of the Digital Age’s most significant visionaries holding down any sort of “traditional job” any time soon.
That’s good news not only for Stone’s son, but also for anyone interested in seeing the Internet evolve into a more exciting place with a more excellent purpose.
Follow Jonathan Anker on Twitter @JonFromHLN