Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Director Daniel Hodge


As Tamirfilms’s Independent Director, Daniel Hodge oversees a broad range of the company's activities – from script analysis to casting.

Mr. Hodges credits include directing documentaries, webisodes, commercials, PSA’s, and music videos with such celebrities as apl.de.ap from the Black Eyed Peas and many others.

Directing has always been Daniel’s ultimate creative desire but he continues to hone his directing skills by wearing a variety of hats in the production world including cinematographer, editor and producer.

What is the current project you are working on?

Directing a gritty, urban drama entitled Silencio.

How do you handle rejection?

I dust myself off and keep going, that or cry really softly into a pillow..

Did you always want to be a filmmaker?

No. When I was young I wanted to be a professional football player, Then A lawyer, then a filmmaker. But I've always been a writer.

 What inspired you to become filmmaker?

I can't say that I was exactly inspired to be a filmmaker, for me, It was the next logical step as an unemployed writer.

 What is the best thing about being one?

You get to play with really expensive toys, and everyday is about your creativity, imagination and telling stories.

 What is the worst thing about being one?

Probably that everyday is about  your creativity and imagination.. some people have tendencies to loose themselves in their own imagination and the whole pseudo philosophical "Hollywood" lifestyle.

What is the estimated number of projects you have worked on?

Wow, no clue. 100, 200? Maybe we should define "projects" first.

 Who is your favorite filmmaker?

Honestly that's a tough question, I like different filmmakers for different reasons. If I had to narrow it down, Jean Pierre Jeunet and Frederico Fellini, I also really like Joe Wright and Guy Ritche.

 How has your life changed since you became a filmmaker?

Although the film industry is a grind, I can't say I feel like I am in an endless rut as I did when I had the atypical 9-5. Wow, that didn't sound pretentious at all.

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

Don't listen to ANYONE. Always ask questions and be willing to learn and accept criticism and creative input but ultimately your career is in your own hands, no one will take credit when things go bad for you. It may sound sad to say but it's true.

What do you like to do besides filmmaking?

I am a HUGE sports fan, I also consider myself a decent poker player. If I hadn't come into film I would have pursued a professional career in poker. The two (film and poker) are very similar. In both you're just telling a story, in poker, each hand that you play you are trying to tell a story using your betting patterns. There are several different "styles" of play but you have to find what suits you best and what feels right, just like in filmmaking.

Have you had any other jobs before you decided to become a filmmaker?

I have worked every job known to man with the exception of politics. I've worked everything from food service, to door to door vacuum salesman to fork-lift driver. I seriously have done it all which I think helps me in filmmaking. There is very little, if any, character research I  ever have to do.

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

Man, thats like choosing your favorite child.

(Amer.) Rainman, Goodfellas, Awakenings, Fight Club

(Foreign) Amelie, Otto e Mezzo, Micmacs, Atonement (all English cast and director still count as foreign right? haha) Breathless (A bout de souflee)

(T.V.) Band of Brothers was awesome, NBC's Kings was groundbreaking. To take the epic tale of the Bible's David and Goliath and bring it to a current time period without completely diluting the power of the messages and lessons of the tale was inspiring to see as a filmmaker.

 How would you describe your film education?

I study people. I study films.

What is the casting process like?

Exciting, like an Easter egg hunt as a child. Searching for and then finding all the unique and beautifully decorated eggs and putting them into your basket.

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

Hollywood is Hollywood. If you live here nothing more needs to be said, if you don't live here or have never been it would be pointless to describe because you would never believe/understand it. Hollywood is crazy.

 How has social media changed the independent film industry?

I couldn't say, I wasn't around before Skynet launched. Anyway, hasn't the internet always existed?

How does independent film differ from the mainstream?

If I can change the question a bit. (an indie film can also be mainstream, right? Snatch, Blair Witch, Sideways, Paranormal Activity) Maybe, indie film vs big budget studio film? In the Indie arena there are no rules baby! I think the indie film is the film we make as true artists, staying true to each and every molecule of the story. On a big budget film it's more about putting together a package, there is a model and that model has been proven and cannot be changed, very corporate, very methodical. Both serve a purpose, and you couldn't have one without the other.

 You could go back in time and see any film being made. Which film would it be and why? 

Great question, just off the top of my head I would say Taxi Driver. All of the actors in that film were perfectly cast for the story. I would have loved to be on set and see how much or how little directing Scorsese had to do as far as positioning the actors, that would have been fun. One of the first lessons I was taught was as a director, great casting is 1/2 of good directing.

 What's your favorite movie quote and why?

Braveheart - Patrick McGoohan as King Edward the Longshanks .."Who is this person who speaks to me as though I needed his advice?" it's just a cool line.

Do you believe in life on other planets?

Sure, why not.

Do you ever wish you had a super power? If so, what would it be and why?

I've always been content with the abilities I've been given.

 What is your opinion on movie remakes and sequels?

Remakes, If you can't do it better, don't touch it. As far as sequels go, if you aren't advancing the story in a meaningful way leave it be. *cough Dumb and Dumber.. yeah I went there.

What is your opinion on book to movie adaptations?

There are some great ones, Pride and Prejudice, The Color Purple, Silence of the Lambs.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

uhh lets see, nope. I'm good!