Interview with director Dizzy Daniels

  • Was there a particular event or time that you recognized that filmmaking is your way of telling stories?

As soon as I saw comedians like The Marx Brothers, W.C. Fields and Woody Allen, and especially silent comedians, like Buster Keaton and Harry Langdon, I’d say.

  • Do you think it is essential to go to a film institute in order to become a successful filmmaker?

No, you can learn on your own by picking up a camera and reading books.

  • Is it harder to get started or to keep going? What was the particular thing that you had to conquer to do either?

Probably to keep going. Sometimes things can go terribly wrong, and you can get discouraged. But, if you like what you’re doing you’ll always find that inspiration somewhere.

  • What was the most important lesson you had to learn that has had a positive effect on your film? How did that lesson happen?

If you want to make a short silent film that you intend on showing at film festivals, make sure that it’s not 22 minutes long! I learned that the hard way. But, after reading several articles online about film festivals preferring films that are under 10 minutes long, I reedited TEED-OFF! down to under 9 minutes, and since then, I have had nothing but positive reviews.

  • What were the production realities from casting through editing that you had to accommodate? How did you navigate those compromises or surprises and still end up with a cohesive film?

I had an actor quit after filming a couple of scenes; replaced him with someone who came in one day feeling sick, and not able to do a scene properly. I had to reedit that scene differently, but I’ve never really been satisfied with the scene because of that.

  • What was the hardest artistic choice you made in the making of a film, at any stage in production?

Having to shorten TEED-OFF! was the hardest part. Even though I realized it would be better shorter, for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how to do it. Then all the sudden it hit me how I could do it. Now, as it stands, I could release the rest of the movie and it would stand on it’s own without the scenes I took out!

  • You are a collaborator. How have you discovered members of your team and how do you keep the relationship with them strong?

I discovered the members of my team from want ads. Some remain friends and others don’t. The ones that do, will continue to help me in the future, I hope.

  • What do audiences want? And is it the filmmaker’s role to worry about that?

When you make silent comedy films, your goal is to make people laugh, so I feel that it’s my duty to deliver those laughs. Then, and only then, have I done my job.

  • What role have film festivals played in your life so far? Why are they necessary? How do you get the most out of them?

Short to the Point is the first film festival to have played a part in this film’s life. Film festivals are necessary in order to get your films seen ― especially short films. If they get some sort of recognition, others may want to look at them. In turn, if you make another film, people will be more inclined to want to see it.

  • Do you believe that a filmmaker should be original and fresh or he/she should stick to classic but safe cinema style?

You should always do what interests you, even if it’s a “classic but safe cinema style”.

Teed-Off! | Canada | 2018 | 9’
Actor: Dizzy Daniels
Director: Dizzy Daniels
Writers: Dizzy Daniels
Producers: Dizzy Daniels
Key Cast: Dizzy Daniels, Caroline Therrien, Mario, Mario Simon Fortin Gauthier
Synopsis: Our hero spends the day playing golf, but has to contend with pesky newspapers and getting his ball stuck in mud. Later on, he proposes to the girl of his dreams – but loses her to her irate boyfriend.