What made you become a director or writer?I actually realized pretty late. I always aspired to be a dancer/choreographer and even my major at Clark Atlanta University was Mass Media with a concentration in radio. So film was the last thing on my mind. It wasn't until I ran into an event called campus moviefest, where they went around to different colleges and provided students with all the necessary equipment for making films. We had to make a 5 minute film, I knew all I needed was an idea and drive to produce it. So I got a couple of my friends together and produced my first short "Return of the DaQ"...I know pretty ridiculous huh. But it made it to the finals, I witnessed hundreds of people react to my film on the big screen at the Fox Theater. From that night I knew that this what I wanted to do. Then shortly after I switched my major over to film. Where I was introduced to my mentor Dr.Eichelberger.
What was the first film you ever remember seeing? What about it stood out?
Man that's a tough one...But honestly one of the earliest films I remember seeing that stood out the most was "Who framed Roger Rabbit" I was Astounded as a child by the human interaction with the cartoon characters. I remember asking myself how did they do that? It broadened my imagination even more as a child, I probably seen that joint like 100x's.
Who has influenced you? How do you stay motivated?
Mainly knowing that I'm not just doing this for myself. I'm surrounded by a lot of talented and genuine people, that inspire me to keep writing and producing. I posses the capabilities to put talented people in the light they deserve and at the same time bring my visions to life. if I didn't do it I feel Id be wasting God's gifts.
Who are some of you favorite filmmakers?
Tim Burton, Quentin Tarentino and Spike lee because there styles are very unorthodox. They stuck to their own signature styles and never conformed.
How do you research the projects you put together?Well, It really all depends on the type of project. For example, Usually for music videos, I lock myself in the room, light some incense , grab a pen and paper , and run the song on repeat with the volume high, until I come up with the treatment. Then I run it by my team for the thumbs up. They keep me grounded and usually let me know when my ideas are a little too out there and may go over audience's head.
What do you want people to take from you films?
That varies. I usually like leaving things up to the audiences imagination. So someone liking my work or not was never really my concern. As long they got some kind of message from it and it wouldn't necessarily have to the main point I was trying to get across.
You use a lot of up and coming talent.Is there a reason or does it just so happens that way?
There is definitely a reason behind it. I'm a strong believer of building relationships and surrounding myself with individuals with good energy. Everyone you see in any of my works have grown with me since the beginning, just as I believe in them as actors they believe in me as a director its a mutual understanding and I couldn't ask for a better situation.
Do you enjoy watching your own films? Or yourself on in them?
Yes and No. Yes because it is a priceless feeling to see your vision come to life. And no because anyone close to me will tell you I'm a perfectionist and being that its my creation I am able to see all the mistakes, sometimes we are our own biggest critics...Even though people tell me I should act I believe I'm more of a behind the scenes kind of guy. Don't get me wrong it can be real fun and I do it when I have to but I wouldn't consider myself an actor. Too many people these days memorize a line or 2 then call themselves actors. Not realizing all the hard work and discipline acting requires. It ain't easy at all. I obtain more and more respect for the art every time i shoot a scene.
Whats the best piece of advice you came give to up and coming filmmakers?
Well to sum it up, Do what you gotta do in order to do what you wanna do. Most importantly surround yourself around positivity.Watch who you associate yourself with. If you have that one friend that's not really supportive and makes you question what yourself cut them off , that's what I do.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I was never good with that question. I say wherever the Lord wants me.
To see some of Daq's Work Check out these link: