We've been waiting for this profile from Daniel for quite a while but here it is, our 100th. Hope you enjoy the read.
Daniel, please introduce yourself although many will already know you.
Most people will recognise me from Pro AV Solutions where I oversee the Pro Video Team and have resided for the past 16 years, filling all sorts of clients’ imaging needs. Many wouldn’t know that I have also run a small production company for the past 17 years and have a strong background as a camera operator in stage production, live event and live streaming work. I’ve owned more cameras than I care to think about (or want to know how many dollars I've spent) and love the technical side of filmmaking and production.
How did it come about that you ended up working in this industry?
I got into this industry from a relatively young age of 14, fortunate enough to get a head start by making short films and being given an educational copy of Final Cut Pro 1 as a prize. This then led to my start as an editor and getting some great work experience opportunities in high school on the set of Blue Heelers. Then it flowed from there.
Did someone have an influence on your career?
My father Bryan was a photographer for The Advertiser and The Age for close to 40 years, then a freelance photographer after that, so I’d been exposed to imaging my whole life, with a darkroom at home and learning how to use Photoshop on a black and white Mac. Having cameras around and film in the fridge definitely sent me on the way to working within the industry. The pic is of me being insufferably cute whilst my dad Bryan was being totally professional.
When did you first become attracted to working in our profession and what was your first job?
One of my first real gigs was as an editor for a music video for local band “The Hiptones”, shot by Ernie Clark ACS. From this I got the opportunity to sit with Ernie & the director for a few review sessions of the clip, as well as watch it being created on set.
What’s the best advice you ever received?
Just Say Yes. Then work it out how to do it later.
Who do you look up to in the industry, did you have any mentors?
I was heavily influenced by Kym Rogers (pictured with me at an ACS awards), who was a big part of me becoming the Daniel you’d know through Pro AV. He taught me all the base knowledge I know today about gear, but most importantly about client relationships and making sure you’re always there to support the industry, and how to have fun along the way doing it.
Have you won any awards along the way?
A couple of film festival awards in various supporting roles. Although not an award, at one point I was the youngest certified Apple trainer in the world for Final Cut Pro.
How do you approach shooting or creating a new project?
I ask lots of questions so I understand the requirements, then see what I can do to improve what they want. The pic is of our son Angus getting an early lesson on camera operating.
What keeps you motivated to do this?
If it doesn’t feel like work... then it’s not really work, it’s just turning up to something you love doing every day. When that feeling goes away, I’ll stop turning up and find something else. I love being given tricky tasks for live streaming, saying yes, then working out how to make it happen seamlessly.
What specific skills do you need to do your job?
A detailed understanding across all aspects of a production so you can jump on any piece of kit during a show and make it work. Especially relevant for live streaming where things don’t always go to plan and you have to think on your feet, fix the problem with seconds to act and make sure the client think it was all part of the plan.
What’s your favourite film or TV show?
The original Jurassic Park. When I was a child I watched it at the cinema more than five times! The latest animatronics technology at the time coupled with dinosaurs and Steven Spielberg - what more can you ask for? If anyone has a 1994 Ford Explorer hanging around, I’d love to paint it up just like one in the movie.
Favourite TV Show?
Boardwalk Empire. Amazing period drama with a great story. It was my first introduction to long form TV and one of the best examples I’ve watched to date.
What would you be doing if you weren’t shooting films?
Probably building houses or working as firefighter for the MFS. I’m currently working pretty hands on renovating and extending our house. I’m also in the Burnside CFS as a volunteer firefighter. Both of these things I really enjoy.
What do you do to relax?
If it’s just me, I like to go bouldering. I find it both physically and mentally challenging as you have to adapt your movements to suit the climbing problem.
Do you have any advice for other young people getting started in this job?
Thanks Daniel, I know a lot of our members rely on your in-depth knowledge and assistance when you're at work at Pro Av Solutions. The SA committee also appreciates your enthusiasm for our branch and your commitment to it.
The same as the best advice I received... “Just Say Yes! Then work it out how to do it later.”
Here's Angus attending his first ACS Awards at a couple of weeks old with his mum Kirsty and I.
Our 100th profile made me realise we've been putting Profiles in our newsletters for over 9 years since we only put 11 newsletters out a year! Many thanks to all the contributors so far and also thanks to Mal Ludgate ACS who has had the unenviable task of extracting some copy and pics from some reluctant members.