Saturday, June 25, 2011

Interview Dave Charest

When not acting, playing music or being a loving husband and dad - Dave inspires indie artists to make simple, wicked smaht (yes, he's originally from Massachusetts) changes to their marketing for better results. You should follow him on Twitter And be sure to sign-up for his free Wicked Smaht New Media Marketing Made Simple e-Course.

What is the current project you are working on?

Personally, I'm creating on my first online course - Do Better Online: The Starter Guide to Compelling Web Copy (For people who don't have time for a full-blown course). I'm pretty excited about it as it'll provide people with simple adjustments they can make quickly and build on with each lesson. There's also a hands on component where people get to work with me directly in a members only forum. At the end of the day doing better online boils down to how effectively you can communicate and connect with your message. That's extremely important. Especially today when so many people are using crowdfunding sites to fund their own projects.

In my role as Marketing Director / Producer with Astoria Performing Arts Center, we just finished a revival of Galt MacDermot's musical The Human Comedy. That was a lot of fun. And we had a very successful 4 week run. Galt even came out to the show and he was thrilled with it.

Can you tell me some interesting behind the scenes facts from your show?

The Human Comedy is essentially a story about home and the community you have there. It takes place during World War II where members of this small town are getting drafted and others are receiving notices about the death of loved ones. They all come together to help each cope with loss while still continuing on with every day life. We actually lost a couple of cast members during the production. They didn't die or anything but they were drafted to other productions, one being The Book Of Mormon on Broadway. So in a way we were dealing with our own loss and the need to continue on.

Did you always want to work in the indie industry?

I'm not sure I've always wanted to work in the indie industry, but rather I enjoy working with people who share a system of beliefs - hard work, treating people fairly and pushing each other to achieve goals. Life is a collaborative endeavor. I'd rather be around people who know this rather than waste time with people who come at it from a selfish angle. There are lot of brilliant people in the indie world and thanks to these new media tools there are more ways to find opportunities to shine and share with each other.

What inspired you to create your podcast, New Media Conversations?

As a I mentioned before there are a lot of brilliant people out there. I started the podcast as a way to learn from them but also to introduce them to a new audience. There's nothing better than chatting with people who have something to say.

What is the estimated number of guests you've had on your show?

To date I've had about 22 people on the show. And I've just scheduled about 10 more on a variety of topics such as building an organic community, producing in Hollywood, online engagement and more. There's going to be a lot of great info in these conversations. I'm excited about it.

Who is your favorite filmmaker?

At the moment I'd have to say two come to mind, Darren Aronofsky and Christopher Nolan.

What is one piece of advice you can give to someone who also wants to make it in your business?

This is the advice I give to anyone trying to make it in any business because I believe the fundamentals are always the same: 1. Believe in something 2. Set goals 3. Surround yourself with people who can help you achieve those goals 4. Always be learning

Have you had any other jobs before you decided to create your show?

Oh sure and I still do. Currently I make my money consulting, coaching and selling my guides. But I'm always looking for the right opportunities and people to work with.

What are some of your favorite American films? Foreign films? Television shows?

Let's see American films: Babe (Yep, the one about the pig. And it's Australian-American so I guess that counts as both.) The Departed, Natural Born Killers, Cinderella Man, Ransom, Jacob's Ladder, Election, Happiness to name a few. Foreign films: Life Is Beautiful, Amelie, Cinema Paradiso, Run Lola Run. TV: Arrested Development, The Office (Both), Parenthood, Friends, Weeds, Dexter, Friday Night Lights.

How would you describe your education?

Ongoing. I do have a Bachelor's Degree. But I'm always looking for new things to learn and how they can be applied.

How would you describe the independent "scene" where you live?

I'm in NY so I'd say vibrant. :)

How has social media changed the independent industry?

My belief is that it's extended the network of opportunity. We are the media the now. Create and connect.

How does independent film differ from the mainstream?

From an audience member perspective the stories that get told can be a lot different. I love when an indie makes it to the mainstream. That opens a whole new world for those involved. It can be life changing.

If you could go back in time and see any classic film being made. Which film would it be?

Wow. Good question. I'd say Citizen Kane would be pretty great. I'm fascinated with Orson Welles. His whole process would be pretty amazing to watch.

 If you could be any animal. Which would you be?

A tiger. I have no idea why.

If you could have any super power. What would it be?


What is your opinion on crowdfunding?

I think it's great. But before you give it a go it's important to work on building your networks first. I've seen so many fail because they have no where to go once they start a campaign. Without the right support in place you may never get your project off the ground.

What is your opinion on movie remakes?

Hmm... It's one of those weird things. Sometimes they're good. And sometimes you want to scream.

What is your opinion on book to movie adaptations?

See above.




Thanks for doing the interview Dave. I'm going to check out your podcast, sign up for your course, and follow you on Twitter.