We had the good fortune of connecting with Daniel Blunck and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Daniel, can you share a quote or affirmation with us?
Probably my favorite quote is one from F. Scott Fitzgerald: “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
To me, its a reminder to avoid being like the masses who desperately cling to one narrative about any particular topic and cannot fathom the possibility that the viewpoint of another could have merit. Even if I were to think that the other person is wrong, I’m still open to the idea that they could teach me something. And if that’s true, I’ll walk away from the discussion all the better for it.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Though I was mostly interested in writing, the single biggest step toward where I am today professionally is when I took an acting class on the Meisner Technique taught by Kevin R. Phipps in Tempe, AZ.
With Kevin’s help, I was able to get my foot in the door in the local film scene here in the metro Phoenix area. Then, when I started getting more and more behind the camera, he told me to study animated films. With animated films, everything you see onscreen was put there intentionally. There’s no “well, that’s what the color of the walls are, not my fault… ” in animation, as opposed to being on location.
With independent filmmaking, there’s almost always a lack of money and a lack of time, plus oftentimes a lack of people. So I’ve had to learn a lot of skills to be able to move a project along from development to pre-production to principal photography to editing. And I often have to wear several hats when I’m on set.
I’m very proud that in every film I’ve wrote or directed, there’s always at least one scene where the dialogue is improvised. I had this notion that there are certain moments in a story where I’d rather not burden the actor with scripted dialogue. I’m very happy my little experiment has worked out so well.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
For sure we’d go to the Natural History Museum in Mesa, AZ. Its got dinosaur fossils. Enough said.
Oh the places we’d eat! Mrs. White’s Golden Rule Cafe and Lo-Lo’s Chicken and Waffles are at the top of the list. And Sal’s Gilbert Pizza, too. And then grab even more dessert from Andy’s Frozen Custard.
And we’d take a drive out of the metro Phoenix area to the Town of Superior, AZ. Its the perfect little Arizona town. The people are absolutely wonderful. And we’d get some great Mexican food from Los Hermanos Restaurant & Lounge.
So I guess spending the week with me here in Phoenix would mostly consist of eating, eating, and more eating.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’m going to cheat on this answer and mention two persons. The first is my father. From him I learned that most of the important things in life that need to be done will be done with little to no fanfare. Get up every day and do what needs to be done.
The second person is Eva Louis, the producer with whom I ‘ve worked on one feature film and ten short films. From her I learned, “Get it done is better than Get it perfect.” Get it done, and then work on perfect next time. What this has taught me is to have the guts to put my art out into the world and accept the criticism instead of hiding behind the claim of perfectionism which could just be a disguise for cowardice.
Iris Huey Scott Hays Arlienne Scofield Eva Louis