Audiovisual Cultures episode 99 – Pathways to Creativity with Daniel Hess automated transcript

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this is audiovisual cultures the podcast that explores different areas of the arts and media join me your host paula blair and the researchers practitioners and enthusiasts i meet along the way see our website at and other links in the show notes for more information for now enjoy the show

hello and welcome to audiovisual cultures the podcast that explores different areas of creative practice and cultural phenomena i’m paula blair and i’m really delighted to be joined this time by daniel hess daniel has had a really interesting life and career as a wedding videographer and is now exploring more creative outlets in poetry and fiction filmmaking daniel you’re so welcome and it’s really lovely to meet you how are you doing today well thank you for having me and i’m doing quite well over here today great and here is at baltimore is that right yep in baltimore maryland over in the states lovely i’ve had a really interesting day i’ve had a very international day because this morning i was speaking to someone in taiwan and now i’m speaking to you wow that yeah that’s quite the job yeah kovid has strangely made us all very international these days the zoom has has made the world smaller in a way daniel you’ve had quite a range of life and work experiences would you be happy to talk us through some of that give us your overview what do you think we need to know yeah i mean so taking him all the way back to before i was even in college i was originally going to do pharmacology and right at the last minute a friend of mine was actually getting into film but he had kind of been lifelong in the film and the summer before i started college it was interesting because i was doing a lot more writing really exploring my kind of creativity again after not doing it for a little while from when i was younger even younger and he was like you know why don’t you think about doing film you know you can tell stories you can write stuff and you can also have it kind of come to life so i made the last minute decision to switch everything over to film ended up going to film school came out had a few short films was getting a little bit of traction and kind of the creative spaces but after moving out from my parents house money sort of became the driving factor for life as it tends to be sometimes and i kind of fell into wedding videography really by chance a gentleman actually replied to an ad i had way back when on craigslist of all places and was like hey i need a wedding videographer to kind of help out with everything would you want to do it he had a good price so i was like sure and next thing i knew you know i was working a lot with him then i started branching out on my own and then i built up a business through you know my own production company and within a few years you know i was making a net about like close to 100 grand a year just in wedding videos and that was good for a little bit but that sort of work becomes very tedious very fast and i actually had a kind of a wake-up call moment and about two ways the first of which was someone who helped with one of my senior thesis film projects was checking in like hey you know what you’ve been up to these last few years and i explained about the wedding stuff and they sort of had this reaction of wow that’s a shame because you kind of had a lot of talent and i feel like you’re wasting it by doing these weddings and it was one of those like through the heart moments i was like that stings but i think i needed to hear it and then my next wake-up call was around 2017 i had my annual echocardiogram which i usually get every year for my heart condition that i’ve had since i was born and they kind of came back to me and said look you’re gonna have to probably get surgery in a couple years it’s looking you know kind of worse than it ever has before and so that was my second sort of thought of like whoa you know at some point i’m gonna have to get heart surgery don’t know how that is gonna go even though it’s not the most crazy kind of operation i’m gonna need to get and so kind of all these things started coming up and i just realized that like i had to stop you know wasting time and really get back into trying to be creative again so in 2018 i got back on the wagon with everything and made my first short film in like six years and then started writing and everything again and started collecting all the poetry that i was writing up until that point and you know it’s finally just started turning this corner in the last couple years now yeah you’ve had quite a lot going on there i imagine that was quite a formative experience all of those years doing the wedding videos it’s interesting how we think of certain things that people think that your talents are wasted and maybe you can’t be as creative as you would feel an urge to be doing them it’s not something i ever imagined i i’d ever be interested in my life so i don’t really know what clients really want out of them but i imagine you have to do what you’re told and try and achieve what they want so if you’re interested we don’t need to dwell on that but it’s just i just don’t really know anybody who’s worked in that kind of area before so it’s and i think it’s maybe an understudied area of culture because it is something that’s really quite common isn’t it probably all over the world so how was that as your main employment because it sounds like you were popular you were making money you had enough to live a good life you know but it seems like you weren’t fully happy or getting fulfilled by doing that work yeah i mean it’s i i give it credit for that that it really did get me in a really good spot as far as being able to buy my my house that i’m in now and everything like that i mean you can certainly be creative with weddings i mean i know plenty of people who do really amazing wedding videos and really put a lot into it but it takes so much to really get to that level and it’s just one of those days where any kind of wants or needs that you have are completely like out the window you’re really at the mercy of the way in which the couple or the coordinator is really laid out the day for better and for worse there’d be days where you know even trying to take a bathroom break was a big to do and that sort of stuff is taxing i don’t think it’s really taxing on everyone but at least for me personally it just makes you feel a little bit like background noise and it makes you kind of feel a little like undervalued in a sense and that sort of stuff like really after a while kind of started weighing pretty heavy on me and when you’re in in the same place where everyone else is really just having a nice fun day and everything and you’re kind of trapped in that world for 8 10 sometimes even 12 hours it’s just a strange feeling at least for me i can’t really speak for everyone who does it because i do know a lot of people that really do enjoy it just for me just that amount of time just being in a space where you’re usually by yourself and you’re not really you’re interacting with people but you’re not really interacting with people you know it just would cause a lot of strange feelings inside of me and then a lot of anxiety would come out especially leading up to the day because for a long time i used you know i used to have the biggest fear of just missing a moment of the day and so i can remember at like my peak of just paranoia with it i mean i would have five sometimes six cameras all set up throughout like a ceremony space just to make sure i wasn’t going to miss anything and so that was what a lot of it was it was just the build-up to it was pretty intense anxiety-wise and then the day of it was just all this pent-up kind of energy that was sort of coming out but not really coming out in a healthy sort of positive way and so yeah just became draining and then the monotony of it once you’ve seen one wedding you’ve kind of seen them all in a sense there’s little bits of variation here and there but you know you’re pretty much going to have your getting ready stuff your first look if they have one you know the main ceremony reception parent dances toast all that stuff you know it’s just like rinse and repeat after a while too that’s interesting to hear yes i imagine that you must be this spectral presence you’re there but you’re not there and you’re just this observer so yeah quite an odd thing really yeah interesting really really interesting i’ve never really spoken to somebody’s experience i know i have friends who have done it but they’ve done it for a friend you know and they’ve photographed a friend’s wedding and it’s been a one-off commission sort of thing but yeah it’s really interesting to hear that as a job you know as your bread and butter yeah and that’s not really even getting into like the chaos of the days that can come up you know when if you have like a photographer who might not be gelling really well with you or even just sometimes getting food at the end of the day can be a bear so just all those things are just like the little road bumps that could come up throughout the event and would you be in charge of the edit as well yeah so that would be the back end of it so i said photography and videographies have a flip-flop job when it comes to weddings like the day of we’re kind of in the background and they’re leading the charge but then when it comes to editing stuff most photographers it’s like they just put on music and it’s really laid back but when you’re trying to edit a wedding video i mean that’s like you’re talking hours upon hours of footage that needs to get condensed into a story and for what i was offering a lot of it was you do the the highlight reels which are usually about like five to ten minutes but then there’d also be like the hour-long video of just the entire day laid out and i quickly learned that i was not going to be tackling that and luckily i had a really good person who reached out to me that was actually overseas and they ended up doing most of that wedding video editing for me which i was fortunate enough to do because yeah there’s no way i was going to be filming it and then bringing it all together and making into something cohesive because it was just way way way too much that would be an editing suite it seems that there would be a very specific audience as well because realistically who’s going to see it it’s going to be the family of the people getting married and that’s probably it yeah it would be that and i mean occasionally you know they take the video and put it on facebook and i mean you’d be surprised that like the amount of people that that watch that stuff i think mainly just because facebook loves it when people post about weddings so when they would it’d be like blasted all over their their news feed and stuff so you know you would get like that sort of feedback which was always nice when you’d see like friends and stuff saying like this is so great this looks really good but it was to me like a short short answer to like a problem that was just too pervasive to have like a really good outcome in my mind at least so i suppose then when when you can go back to doing your own self-led projects you can have more creative license and how you show things you know and i imagine you’d have to do fairly conventional straightforward camera setups and things you framings and that sort of thing and you have no crazy crash sims or anything like that yeah i mean you know when when you’re doing it on your own it’s a completely different process and you kind of know going in like this is what elements i have and what i’m trying to do with and i mean you know you do have things that come up throughout like a shoot day or whatever but to me it’s that’s the even more interesting stuff because it like keeps your mind going and it really is keeping you on your toes and to me like more of a fun way than like let’s say when you’re trying to do a wedding and you’re basically just trying to make sure you don’t miss anything would you or someone you know make a great guest on audiovisual cultures then email audiovisualcultures to have a conversation when it comes down to your own work so you’ve mentioned your poetry and the short films that you’ve worked on and you’ve been working on screenwriting what are your interests what are the things that you’re saying you know what are you talking about what are you thinking about when you make those more creative projects you know i’d say with the first few projects that i’ve been doing since i’ve transitioned from everything again it’s really just been a lot of processing the things that i’ve been through in my life so i’d like to think of the poetry book and the screenplay i wrote last year as more of the catharsis to sort of analyze everything that i’ve been through especially with previous relationships and stuff because those have been just these big moments that were really tumultuous and really i kind of went through a lot with each of my long-term relationships that i’ve been with up until this point so the poetry is a lot of processing through that it’s a lot of processing through the feelings with the weddings that i’ve been doing and then just dealing with a little bit of grief and stuff over the years so that’s really where the inspiration for all of that has come from and i feel like that was a really good stepping stone for me because you know now i’m starting to think of stories that are really outside of that like the next screenplay i want to work on is something that takes place during like world war one and it’s just nothing that i’ve experienced in my own life so i feel like that was the starting point was really just pulling in everything i’d been through up until now and sort of using that as a jumping off point for trying to tell some stories i mean with your poetry you published that just this year is that right yeah i published it back in january of this year what kind of poetry do you think you write i mean do you do something structured do you do free verse do you have any particular styles or anything like that you know or is it these are the things that have tumbled out of my head for a few years you know what what kind of approach do you take when you’re writing poetry you know i’d say it’s not really super structured i say a lot of it is kind of free verse because usually my process is really just you know i’ll be doing something or maybe just walking or reading and i’ll just kind of have a flash moment and that’s when i’ll grab my phone and you know i have like a little notepad app and i’ll just quickly start with a few lines and then i’ll just keep it growing from there and i try to just find like a natural kind of conclusion for the piece and then just sort of write it all out that’s usually for me like a five to ten minute process when it all kind of just happens with this book that i published it’s really just super free verse there’s really nothing that’s like structured or anything but again like as i’m sort of moving forward with things you know with stuff that i’m writing now i’m trying to have a little bit more structure or at least have an ongoing theme for things a little bit better because i feel like with this first one it’s just been a lot of just brain dumping onto the page and there are common themes that like i structure the book through but i feel like now that i’m thinking about it a little bit more and have had time to digest what i’ve written before has helped me to move forward and start experimenting with different ways of writing and different ways of expressing you know what i’m going through and i’m also just kind of trying to create stuff that’s a little more fantastical i guess is the word not so much just based on my own experiences but just trying to think of different viewpoints on things and then having poems that are focused around that yeah interesting and is it purely on paper or do you ever read them do you ever perform them or anything like that is it a very sort of private thing that you’ve then put out in just print form or how does it work for you yeah i mean pretty much everything was just written down i didn’t really do much performing with any of them but i have done a few like book readings virtually and stuff and it’s been interesting because you know when i’m reading them out loud it takes on a new not version of it but it just sounds different than the way it sounds in my head so it sort of taught me to actually do that more with what i’m writing now is sort of like sound it out better because you know i’ll notice sometimes when i’m reading certain poems it’s like this sounds really good on paper but now that i’m reading it it doesn’t flow very well or there’s certain parts that if i would have maybe changed out a word or two could have just worked a little better so it’s an interesting thing that from the start i’ve known that that’s kind of always what you should do but i’m so notoriously bad for not doing that for myself maybe it’s because i’m just nervous that i’ll read it out loud and be like ah this sucks and i won’t want to do anything with it so maybe it’s my own like mental hurdle protection yeah i do understand i think it’s good practice for any kind of writing is to read it out read it out loud yeah because i i mean even with some of the more analytical work that i do and you writing research papers and things i always read the my lines just to make sure okay that sentence actually is a sentence and it says something you know or if it starts to trip you up you know okay i need to simplify how that’s said that’s too messy you know so yeah it’s a nice idea just i ask because a lot of the poets i know when i’m based in the northeast of england and there’s quite a nice community of spoken word people doing poetry slams and things like that so i think it’s been a way for me to find my way back to poetry because i used to write a lot as a teenager and then i just got fed up with putch i did an english literature degree and then got fed up with reading i could see that but actually seeing people perform it i think is a really special thing yeah even if it is just for yourself or it’s as you say it readings where you’re promoting your book you know it’s a really nice thing to do because it’s your voice they’re your thoughts so you’re feeling so it your voice being attached to it is really nice i think there’s a pretty good scene here in baltimore with that too it’s just one of those things where uh it’s really up to me to put myself out there and actually go to these things more but i’m pretty bad with that as well i think as much as i can peruse online and make connections that way i feel like i need to get a little bit better with the real world thing which i mean last year was a pretty much a wash for everyone but i think now that things are finally starting to get back to normal a little bit i think moving forward i definitely need to start getting out to more of those things and connecting with people in the in the live sense yeah it’s one of those i think you just have to rip the plaster off you know you just have to stop thinking about it so worrying about it i know it’s easier said than done i struggle with anxiety as well and you just have to trick yourself almost into just doing it and not thinking about it oh just send that email and just think about it because i think once you’ve done it once should be easier exactly i mean that’s you know just like anything i mean i remember personally like uh when i first started doing video production work a lot of it was in the city here and i used to have such bad anxiety with driving in cities and now it’s like old hat i mean i can do it all day and it doesn’t bother me even a slightest bit but that’s what it was it was literally just rinse and repeat and you just sort of get over that hump after a little while so i’m totally there with you on that point a massive thank you to our lovely members at forward slash av cultures your continued support is helping me make improvements to the show all the time so would you tell us a bit then about your film work so you said you’ve worked on shorts before oh what could you tell us about those and are they available to say yeah so pretty much everything i’ve done in the creative senses on the website for me or on like the vimeo page it’s been an interesting sort of journey for me in the film space because like i said it was really my my good friend who is a lot more in depth with film i’d always grown up watching films and really enjoying cinema but for me it was wasn’t something i really thought about getting into what was interesting was i feel like what i’ve sort of looked back and found with everything is that for me personally i think that the storytelling aspect is really where i feel like i’ve always had the most depth and success with but i’ve always kind of struggled with the transition from page to screen as far as like visualizing what angles to use and constraining myself to like okay if i put the tripod here with this sort of lens like this is the result i’m going to get i can’t do it in my head so you know for a long time i i really was telling myself okay you know i really want to do writing and directing and i can take on both but with the project that i did in 2018 i really found that you know while i can do it and i can make it happen i feel like it’s better for me to have the right people by my side that can actually translate what i’m writing better than even i feel like i can and again maybe that’s some kind of like weird mental hurdle which in 10 years i’ll figure out that like it was just me sort of protecting myself from actually making the films as a director myself but at least at this stage in my life i’m sort of feeling like where i need to go with things is finding really good directors who can translate the writing in the way in which i can write the writing if that makes sense it’s one of those things where as i’m writing something i almost see it as kind of a stage play whereas like everything’s just kind of a flat canvas and it’s all sort of coming to life around me but i’m not seeing like you know okay when this person is talking like this if if i have this sort of camera movement or something like that none of that enters into my mind even the least bit i think with you know as times going on i’ve just sort of made that mental jump so it’s been nice because as i look back on everything a lot of the films that i’ve made or worked on you know i was either more as like a co-director or somebody that was there just one set helping things go smoothly you know maybe more as a producer or something like that and those have always been in my mind the best films that i’ve made with a good team and not one of those things where you know when i’ve tried to make them i feel like they work and i feel like they have a good message to them but as far as how everything comes out on the screen there’s just not a lot of refinement you know i feel like i’m more of this let’s just have a camera free-flowing and stuff like that and that always just doesn’t work as best as it could for something that’s just more visualized by someone who can make that transition more than i can that’s really perceptive i think it takes a lot of self-awareness to really think that stuff through and go do you know what this is where my interests and talents are lying at the moment and then to be open to learning from other people and really truly collaborating that sounds great daniel yeah i think it was it’s a it’s a little bit of that and i mean it was i think it was honestly just kind of that youthful like stubbornness and pride for a long time uh i think because i’m kind of the first like artist type in my family that’s really gone into an artist’s field full time and i feel like for a long time it was i just had to keep trying to do that because i just didn’t want people to be like well you know he did it and he kind of failed and now he’s doing something else so i would say a little bit was that you know that i didn’t want to let it go because i didn’t want to tell people like look you know i did it it didn’t really work out as well or something like that that was that too i have to be uh fully transparent with that one as well no again really interesting and yeah it’s fascinating how we change as we move through our lives and the things that happen to us and you go do you know what actually i might have really wanted that to be my past but i don’t think that’s who i am so i’m gonna develop this bit of what i do for a bit i think it does take self-awareness to go oh okay look that’s just not quite working so you know let’s just hands up and admit that and develop this thing that is working a bit better you know i think that’s good because there are a lot of people who would just ploy ahead yeah yeah definitely i’ve seen that and it’s just you know it’s one of those things where you try to like steer some people when you see that in a direction and either realize it or they don’t and when it doesn’t happen it can always be a little frustrating because you’re kind of watching the same things happening over and over again with that person but yeah i mean it was it was that and i i’d like to say like for as crazy as last year was with everything that went on with covid i mean for me personally it was a nice refresh and a nice way for me to sit down with the writing and have the time to do that and really realize that like hey i think there might be something that’s here that’s sort of developing because i feel like i just kind of buried it for a long time with the film stuff and distracting myself in a sense with thinking that like this was the answer when really the writing was what was there from the beginning again as i kind of look back i see that a lot more clearly than i ever have and it could well be that the writing is what’s right for you at the moment and maybe that ability to visualize it in a cinematic way it may well come to you it may never but to really develop what you’re doing now and to work hard on that and to really acknowledge and recognize that film is a collaboration it is a team effort and if you can’t see something that’s fine because somebody else will and they know what to do that’s the beauty of such a collaborative medium i mean if you wanted to talk about it a bit more i mean are you working on a screenplay at the minute what sort of things in terms of storytelling are you working through now that you’re you’re more decided that yes i’m allowing myself to concentrate on the storytelling aspect of it yeah it’s a feature film screenplay that i started work on last summer and just this last couple weeks i finally got sort of the definitive version of it finished so it took about like a year process to really go through all the motions with it um but it’s basically you know one of those serious sort of drama film that’s set in like the early 90s and it follows the final day of this relationship of a tumultuous relationship of a young couple so it really started as a piece for me to finally kind of bury the hatchet in my own mind with my first sort of long-term relationship which was about six or seven years long just a lot of craziness went on with that whole experience and you know i kind of just really even at the start of last year kind of just wasn’t over it to be honest so as i started writing the script that was sort of the way for me to finally analyze everything i’d been through and i found that like each version of the script that i was writing and formulating were these different modes of getting over it so like one version you know sort of had an ending that was them having this moment of forgiving each other and so like that was sort of my first step so it was like very interesting for me because i was seeing like a therapist at the same time and you know as we would chat about it i’m like this is so weird that it’s just like each time i’m writing this it’s like i’m getting a different ending but they’re all different versions of things that i kind of needed to hear or go through myself so it was really really informative to sort of get me through all of that and now that i’m done you know i have this story that i’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from it’s it’s been in a couple like screenwriting festival type things where it’s gotten accepted to so you know now i’m in the process of just trying to get it into some sort of production i’ve met with a few like producers that are based in like new york and la i haven’t gotten any green lights yet but i have gotten a lot of really good feedback and you know now i’m really lining everything up talking with a few really good directors who has like work that i really admire so just making the process of trying to get it into some sort of live-action form but again that would be just me doing the writing and then possibly some like producing work to sort of make it happen it’s been a big process and it’s still kind of only at the beginning right now but it’s been a lot of fun and it’s really helped me to really understand the more business side of the industry and how to get things started and how to make things come to life so i’m hoping it by the end of this year all the ducks can maybe be in a row and maybe it’ll get into production sometime in 2022 or maybe even 2023 who knows but it’s been cool so i’m really happy that i have this now and we’re able to use it as a piece to move forward in my life but also have something that is representative of where i’m trying to go in life as well that’s great that’s a really lovely way of putting that as well you mentioned as well that you were visualizing it when you’re writing more like a stage play and is that something you consider as well is writing for theater yeah i mean you know because i was really sort of introduced in theater in my high school years and i always found it pretty cool you know i i thought it was just you’re doing this performance it’s live when there are things that go wrong you sort of just live with it and keep the show going and everything but i find it cool because you’re usually telling things that are a little more grounded you’re telling more smaller scale although you know i have seen plenty of plays where it gets pretty grandiose which is pretty cool so it’s definitely something that i’ve thought about writing for because i think it would be interesting to try to take a medium like film that i’ve been so like entrenched with and seeing something that’s similar but not quite 100 there and sort of having that come to life so it’s something that i definitely have been thinking a little bit about i don’t really have anything specifically that i’m thinking of writing for like the stage but it would be a nice next step for me to jail into that a little bit do you find that the main centers of filmmaking they’re still la new york is there really much scope for you in terms of nd production i mean i learned so little about how it all works in the states beyond those main centers of it yeah so i was just curious if there’s avenues there for independent filmmakers are there any state funds that you can access to maybe do an independent production that sort of stuff yeah i mean those are kind of still the main centers and more recently like atlanta is another city that’s really come up as a hub for film stuff but you know especially after last year i feel like it doesn’t really matter as much anymore i will say like you know if you’re just trying to get into an area that all they’re doing is productions and everything sure those cities are like really great if you’re just trying to work in the industry and maybe try to like work your way up through the ranks but i think as far as just trying to get a production made yeah i mean i think you can really kind of do it anywhere and different states do have different you know local state funding or arts funding but through my own experiences with it and chatting with a few people that are really kind of more vetted in the industry that i am i hate to just say it’s like a fruitless endeavor but it kind of is because unless you really know somebody that’s connected with the board of trustees or things like that you’re usually not going to get accepted to like different arts fundings for these different groups and like i said that was my perception of it and then i had the opportunity to chat with somebody who actually won an oscar for best short film a couple years ago and that was his same exact perception and i was like well you know this is a guy who’s won an oscar coming at me with this sort of knowledge that i feel like there’s some credence to that so the grant funding is there but it’s just it’s a really big wall to climb so the thought is to you know either take more of a crowdfunding approach to things if you’re trying to get financing or just hitting the pavement and sort of finding those investors that are looking to just put some money into a production and sort of chatting with those people because at least from the research that i’ve been doing the last few years on it all that seems to be still the best method is just connecting with a lot of people networking and finding the people who are financing and wanting those like unique indie productions and everything like that so if that person’s out there listening today then uh just send me your email and i’ll send you over my script yeah the hustle of it all you just have to keep putting yourself out there at any opportunity there’s no hustle too small i think in this industry yeah i mean that’s really what it comes down to is like i always say that for film especially you know the the fun part is when you’re writing you know the tough part is the next step which is just trying to find people who are willing to contribute to the project or really out networking yourself with everyone to run like a successful crowdfunding campaign which is just in today’s world especially so so hard to do because that’s the route that i’d say 80 percent of the people in the indie world are still trying to take so there’s a lot of noise with with everybody trying to get money but you seem to have your head screwed on at least and as you say you’ve been doing loads of research you’re not just expecting hey fund me i’m a genius you know yeah i mean i at one point you know i i used to think that it was like okay i’ll make i’ll make art and like somebody will come and it’s just you learn quickly or at least you hope to learn quickly that that’s really not the case the marketing and the networking of it all are just insanely vital because again it’s just there’s a lot of people trying to do the same thing and you’re just trying to kind of stand out from a crowd so really that’s what it is and just you know getting to know as many people have a friend who’s like he’s a published author and he’s gave me the advice of just trying not to say no to anything you know even if it’s something that feels like less than what you’re doing right now if you can make it work then try to say yes to it because you never know what that person will end up becoming or doing that can turn around in maybe a year so say hey well this this popped up and i thought of you and then there’s a connection that gets made and next thing you know it’s like a huge opportunity so that’s the approach that i try to take as much as possible because it’s true i mean you just never know what’s going to pop up from just having a conversation with somebody true and it can take you in so many different directions and directions you never imagined you’d go in but actually it could work out really well for you so it’s great to be open to that and as you say to put yourself out there and to network and to make friends and it’s networking in not a cynical way but in a i genuinely want to get to know these people because someday they might go oh there was that guy daniel he was really nice and he was interested in this stuff and yeah we should have a chat with him about this you know and that kind of thing is it can just open doors for you exactly and i i try to like stay connected as much as possible like right now i do a lot of film like short film reviews and stuff for people and you know i genuinely try to follow them online and really interact with them even outside of just doing the review um because i think it’s i like that you know i just like getting to know a lot of different people and being able to just have conversations with with them because you know i don’t know about everybody but like i find that a lot of times i’m sort of like you know maybe one day i’m feeling like listening this certain type of music and sort of in this kind of mood and i know that this person is like that’s what he’s into or she’s into and i’m like hey you know i was like listen to the song today and i i remember you like this and then you know have a little chat for a little bit but it’s just those sort of things that i just genuinely like really like to do and i just find the more people you know the more kind of cool interesting conversations that you can express to them but then they can share with you with just different stories that maybe they’ve been through in their life because i always find that cool like what you know even where you’re at you know it’s just like it’s all cool stuff to me i try to look at life almost with like a child like sense of like wonderment with things where i’m just like even the most mundane stuff like i could literally have a conversation with somebody who’s just you know maybe he’s just a day-to-day janitor or something like that but i find that cool i’m like what do you do like i know you you’re supposed to do this but like what really is going on and i love to hear those stories from people because i think it’s all just pretty fascinating yeah it’s great to encounter a different person and have the attitude of oh this is a potential new friend that’s so exciting and just be open to those experiences as you say and this has come up on the podcast a fair bit in the past few months actually is that idea of thinking as your contemporaries you know people you’re working around you your peers and everything thinking of them more as potential collaborators rather than competitors again with film again it is a collaborative medium but people are pitted against each other and so many of the creative industries people are competing for the jobs they’re competing for the contracts they’re competing to get their thing made and really we should be trying to break that system and be introducing a new one that goes nowhere all potential collaborators were supporting each other you know if i can’t do this saying that person can you know and we can do it together rather than being fragmented or just that competitive thing you know i think again yeah it’s just been coming up a lot and i think that just from everything from the past year humanity needs to work together a bit better and a bit more oh yeah yeah it’s i mean it’s crazy because you know especially in in film it’s just like nothing really to me shows when somebody’s sort of inexperienced with everything more than when they’re very like touchy-feely about sharing anything that they’re doing i’m like a complete open book you know and that was one of the best things that i was told when i was in my undergraduate in college which is like if you have a script or whatever like share it you know send it out send it to people that you know you know of course like there’s the writer’s guild and copyright to take to protect yourself but once you have that sort of protection like send the thing out you know and share it with anybody who’s willing to read it or wants to read it because it’s one of those things where like even if someone is let’s say like trying to steal something inevitably their version of it in your version of it are going to be two totally different things and what ends up coming out 99.9 percent of the time is not going to be as good as what you’re going to be able to do with your story in your head so i i’ve always had the mentality of just trying to to share and i offer it all time you know again with the the film reviews that i do now one of the things i always tell people when i send them a review of the film is like hey if you’re working on a story or if you’re tr having some ideas and you just want to like chat about it like i’m down like just let me know and i’ll tell you like and i hate it but it’s very rare that people actually take me off on that and i find it a little sad because i’m like that stuff excites me like if somebody’s trying to come up with this story like i love just chatting about that maybe giving them some ideas that they can utilize or something like that but yeah a lot of people just don’t do it because i think on one hand maybe it’s this fear of somebody critiquing what they’re doing and on another hand maybe they’re afraid that like if somebody gives them an idea and it’s not completely theirs 110 percent then it’s of lesser because it’s not who they are a hundred percent or i’m just like you know that’s just not the way it goes you know especially like if you’re working on bigger budget stuff you know network shows and things like that those are all a huge collaboration of people who all share different things that they’re good at and bring it all together and so that’s always what i try to say is like look you know maybe i can bring just one little element to the story that you’re just not seeing because sometimes it is easy to overlook stuff like that when you’re in your own head and that’s the difference between something that’s good and something that’s great so you just never know unless you have those conversations with people but yeah it is way too much of people i think being afraid of collaboration because everybody just wants to do it themselves a lot of times and while that’s great and while great things can come of that i think the majority of the time better things come of just having conversations and collaborating with others absolutely yes because it’s still their idea you’ve just nudged them a bit so that they can refine it that’s really what’s going on so some really great words of wisdom there daniel some sometimes i have them we’d love you to be part of the conversation with av cultures pod on instagram facebook and twitter and we also have discord is there anything we haven’t touched on that you’re really keen to talk about today not really anything as i’ve moved forward with everything with the book it’s been quite an interesting journey because i randomly just decided to self-publish it and had no marketing sense or anything like that so it’s been a lot of learning with that which has been great and i’m excited to you know have a follow-up come out and you know i’m sitting down to my first actual like novel right now too so that’s been a really cool journey so yes there’s just a lot of things coming up on the horizon that it feels like everything that i’ve been messing with and experimenting with creatively is sort of coalescing at this point in my life which has just been a lot of fun great it’s great that’s it’s really lovely to hear that you know and it’s great to hear that somebody’s had that opportunity to really just take stock you’ve worked so hard for so many years you’ve really earned this opportunity as well but to just have that space and time to get all of that out of you you know and then to see what you can make of it you know because you’ve got that raw clay and now you’re trying all these different ways of sculpting it exactly and i always feel like a little bit jealous because uh you know some people it’s just that’s so easy for them at such a young younger age and i feel like it’s just taking me like 10 years of refinement really going through highs and lows and all that stuff to get to this point so i feel like i’m a little bit of a late bloomer but i’m trying to make up for lost time well that’s interesting as well because i think i’m probably a bit older than you and a bit and i feel a bit like that too because i think you know in a way we’re pressured into you need to know exactly who you are at 16 or you’re worthless you know and there’s too much pressure on people to do that and i think we’re in a constant state of self-discovery we’re constantly learning who am i and who what are what am i doing in the world and all of this and some people don’t have the luxury of just knowing who they are and some people know exactly who they are and they’re not allowed to be that person and they have to overcome that you know and there’s all there’s so many ranges of experiences out there and you know even if somebody a bit younger you know it’s come easy to them what you’re saying well maybe they don’t have the life experience that you have you know so everything i think balances out and every experience is important and none of us are behind you know and i think it comes to you when you’re ready for it and hopefully when the time is right and i’m hoping that’s what’s happened with you and it sounds like you this is the time of your life that you were ready for all of this and that’s great well yeah i think that’s a really profound way to put it and uh hearing that through it’s like i agree i think yeah you’re kind of hitting it right on the head with that but i appreciate that hopefully hopefully that’s the case hopefully all the things are the dominoes are in a row now for me so just keep moving forward right yeah it’s never too late people are never too old i’m a real advocate for that we’re in a constant state of becoming i think and we shouldn’t put pressure on ourselves to do with our age because you can’t control the factors of your life it’s very true you just do what you can and you enjoy it if you can exactly so daniel you you mentioned that we can access pretty much all of your work from your website so where do we find your website yeah so the website is uh and that’s t-o-t-o-n-y productions with that’s the name of my production company and so yeah that has all the videos that i’ve done in the past and then all of my writing work and then the blog where you know i do the film reviews and film write-ups and things like that yep that’s kind of the one-stop shop for everything that’s great i will have that in the show notes everybody if you’re listening if you’re watching get down there and hit that link and check out daniel’s brilliant work daniel hess thank you so very much for your time today it’s been an absolute pleasure and a delight speaking with you i’ve really really enjoyed it yeah thank you so much for having me it’s it’s been a pleasure here as well thank you

this is a cozy people production with me paula blair the music is common ground by airton used under a 3.0 non-commercial creative commons license and is available at if you’ve enjoyed this episode please give us a good reading subscribe and recommend audio visual cultures to your friend all of our contact details socials information ways to listen and our mailing list sign up can be found on our website linked in the show notes thank you so much for listening and supporting take care and i’ll catch you next time



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