How The World Shrinks or Grows Every Day…

Ken Lee
Michael Wiese Productions
August 19, 2020

I’ve been thinking a great deal about the expansion and contraction of the world over the past several months.


In March 2020, when it was announced that Seattle would be going into lockdown, the world started to shrink . . . rapidly. Business trips to London and the U.S. East Coast were the first casualties. Then a family vacation had to be canceled.


And soon, we began to work and play in an ever-shrinking circle of locations than ever before.

Fly to see the family?             Let’s Wait.
Dinner with friends?              No, it isn’t safe.
Coffee with a neighbor?        Pass.

Our world, which was expansive and open just a moment earlier, had suddenly become very little. To someone like me, who loves traveling for business and fun, this new “global paradigm” was difficult to accept. My travel wings had been clipped, and even social interactions with friends, family, and business associates were limited. It was quite a jolt to the system.

But then an interesting thing occurred. Loved ones and close contacts got in touch, and my international network of contacts also reached out to me—just to check in.

•WhatsApp chats from my Indonesian friend who lives in Switzerland.
•Messages from a friend in Barcelona who I met over 20 years ago.
•Facebook chats and jokes from a friend in Denmark—who I’ve never met in person.

The world started opening up again, and I saw that it wasn’t necessary to think of myself as a VSIP (Victim of Shelter In Place).

Business-wise, I was also surprised when the universe seemed to grow and unfold, not close in.

I’m Vice President of Michael Wiese Productions (, the world’s number one publisher for books about filmmaking and storytelling.

After SIP, we had to pivot quickly and find new ways to connect with our customers. To our surprise, the international community reached out and asked us to license our books for their country.

A typical email began with a very human and genuine greeting—I hope you and your family are well—and then proceeded to request the right to license our books.

In the last few months, MWP has been delighted to see our international editions expand to over 25 countries, including the newly signed territories of Serbia, the Czech Republic, and Saudi Arabia.

This news gives me hope for a brighter future, and also points to a new and expansive way to look at the world.

Even in the midst of a difficult downturn, our family of storytellers and filmmakers continues to grow, breathe, and , most importantly, support one another.

I encourage all of you to connect with your fellow citizens of the world any way you can. Reach out to old contacts, make new friends, and use your unique gifts to expand the world in ways that ensure your friendships and passions flourish.

I hope you and your family are well.

Stay strong.

Ken Lee
Vice President
Michael Wiese Productions

P.S. Many of you have asked, and yes, please feel free to translate this article into any language you wish and share with your community.