From the city of Brighton, what appears to be a secret lively hub for film innovation in England, we speak with Dominic Dandridge, a filmmaker who shares his opinions and experiences in the film industry. We also get to know his thoughts on current affairs, film schools and his own business. With a background in live music productions and producing for corporate clients including BAE Systems, Marathon Oil and Twinings Tea he has plenty to share with filmindustrynetwork fans.
“Creative people win first during a recession because they push the boundaries to the limit.”
Michelle: What is the situation like now in England for film producers?
Dominic: Now is a very exciting time. I can feel it here in Brighton; there is a very creative hub of professionals and students either living and doing their own projects. As the budgets tighten in the industry, it makes people find ways to be even more creative.
Michelle: Why did you initially set up your business?
Dominic: I worked for 6 years doing screen visuals for music tours and concerts and also documentaries about stars such as Robbie Williams, Kylie Minogue and David Bowie. I realized that making documentaries was possible using less resources and I would be able to do it on my own as long as I could get business in. This allowed me to get closer to the subject matter and not get caught in all the corporate barriers.
Michelle: How did you deal with the added responsibility that came with having your own new business?
Dominic: I have no fears, I feel like I am professional and I don´t make mistakes.
Michelle: What are you doing at the moment?
Dominic: Currently I am balancing two lives. On one hand, I have international corporate work through my company CREATE4TV and on the other hand, I am a filmmaker. One current film is a biopic feature documentary about an inspiring legend from the arts and film industry, Rico Zermeno who worked on some of Hollywood’s greatest classics including the original ‘Alice In Wonderland’ and ‘Curse of the Living Dead’. The story starts with a drinks party at Rico’s, together with four young friends: an artist, filmmaker, journalist and physiologist, all emerging in their careers and looking for inspiration from an erudite gentleman who appears to have had amazing success alongside the rich & famous.
Through the epic stories of Rico and the ears and eyes of these people, the emotion and feeling of: “you can achieve” is felt from the heart as the viewer learns of Rico’s artistic life and philosophy.
The independent film is in postproduction and looking for extended funding to finish and promote through the film industry network, please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org
Michelle: If you could avoid doing corporate work, would you choose not to do it?
Dominic: I think it is healthy to have a balance in life, I know where I stand with corporate work but I don’t want to get lost in it. It allows me to buy decent equipment and lead a stable life… The documentary filmmaking engages my mind and creative edge.
Michelle: How did you go about getting clients when you started out?
Dominic: Referrals, recommendations and word of mouth… I prefer old-fashioned principals.
Michelle: Do you work alone?
Dominic: It depends, I can work alone or put a group together, it totally depends on what I am working on. I particularly work with Andy Hayes, he is my right hand man and a total professional.
Michelle: As a film director, what is your dream?
Dominic: Haha, I have many! One is to get on a yacht with a camera crew and film the stories of real people who lead amazing lives and who have incredible backgrounds. It is always people that have interesting lives that have something to say, not so much those who talk about others.
Michelle: Do you think it is helpful to go to a film school or is it best to just get on with it?
Dominic: I think, particularly in England, further education has too much emphasis on money and not education, it is too expensive and looses it´s goal. After starting at the bottom of the ladder in the industry, I did an intensive final cut pro course and I learnt more in two weeks than I did in four years at Uni. I think apprentices are the key. If I had to advice somebody I would say: study a 6 month intensive course and then get your hands dirty. Some degrees are overrated; teaching to keep you busy and not really teaching.
Michelle: Do you think the industry is greedy?
Dominic: Greed and arrogance kills every company. Right now there is not much room for greed because there are so many great low-budget films created with cheap equipment. It is so much more accessible than it was 10 years ago. There is also more competition coming from other directions: we are seeing countries emerging that you wouldn’t have thought capable of producing such amazing work. Europe and the US will control distribution but creativeness can come from anywhere.
Michelle: What advice would you give to future film fanatics?
Dominic: You have to be inspired, learn the skills in the trade then practice a lot.. Have self-belief and at the right point, take the necessary risks!
For more information about Dominic Dandridge check out: http://www.create4.tv