I have never had a class with Dan, nor have I worked with him, but that is only a testament to his reputation as I have know about him, and his work, for some time. Dan has the reputation of being a filmmaker with an edge, and a uniquely dark style. Perhaps I have not looked more forward to any other filmmaker's responses to my questions, because I knew Dan's answers would provide insight into his dark, and mysterious imagination. I started by asking, why film?
It took me a while to figure out that I wanted to get into film making. Since I was little, I've always been force fed movies by my mother and my aunt. My aunt even begged my mother to let me go to the auditions for the 'Denis the Menace' movie, but my mother ultimately said no. I've always loved art work and film is nothing less than an art form in my eyes. It was like waking up one morning, the sun shining in through the venetian blinds, eyes opening fully awake and alert. Jumping out of bed and just ready to go meet the challenges this day brings while making and meeting your own along the way.
I asked Dan about his influences outside the world of film.
My biggest influence is my mother, for always believing in me and knowing that I would eventually do something with my life. Others would be my grandparents for putting up with me for the six years I've been in Florida, love you guys to death, my Father for supporting me, if it wasn't for him I wouldn't even be here now.
I wanted to know what Dan's overall goal as a filmmaker is.
My goal as a filmmaker is to be successful and happy. I can't really ask for more than that.
I was curious what Dan's plans for the future are.
What's next... Well I'm working on a Zombie film with another student as the Director of Photography, and right now I'm planning what I'm going to do for my senior project. Still in the logistics stage of that one.
One of my favorite parts about writing the spotlight each month is getting to hear what the AI Tampa professors have to say about the featured students.
Dr. John Muehl:
In the time I have known Dan, I have watched him grow into a dedicated worker. He has developed into an excellent teammate and leader during production. His ability to work closely with others will lead to much success in Dan's future as a film/videomaker.
Professor Greg LeSar:
Dan Bernard is a little disturbed, and it shows through his work. His movies are grotesque, violent, and impossible to look away from.
Dan: Again I'd like to thank my mother, grandparents and father and the rest of my family for being supportive of me and doing whatever it is they can do to help me out along the way. Time's have been tough recently, and I've felt it just as much as the next person, but I will persevere.
I want to thank Dan for his time, as well as professor LeSar, and Dr. John Muehl for their thoughts. Check back next month for the newest Spotlight!