Word of the Day
The disperson of the Jewish people outside Israel, or a disperson of a group of people. It's a leave-the-nest moment, but with the force of an actual leave-the-nest moment, not what we usually think of.
The Dailies will be concluding tomorrow. Our "Greatest Hits" archive from our six year history will run next Tuesday.
The disperson of the Jewish people outside Israel, or a disperson of a group of people. It's a leave-the-nest moment, but with the force of an actual leave-the-nest moment, not what we usually think of.
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Darian Davis (left) and Victor De Anda (right) were the hosts of Film Loop, a movie podcast focused on the generational differences and conversation. Earlier this year, after two seasons, the hosts ended the podcast. They've announced another podcast in the future, Ear Fiction, but have plans to do it differently. Victor and Darian are friends, and I thought it would be interesting to have a discussion about endings, especially endings of creative projects. They obliged, and this is our conversation.
Ty: I know we’re going to focus more on endings, but I want to set the stage. What was what was the impetus for you to start the podcast and did you have a specific goal or when you when you started?
Victor (to Darian): I’ll let you field this one.
Darian: A specific goal. How did it start? We were in the Firehouse Subs in Malvern—
Victor: Were we? I don’t remember that part. You always talk about that part and I don’t remember that.
Darian: I specifically remember we were in it. Because we had a series of lunches—I think it was over a period of time. But every time we’d go to lunch, we’d talk about movies and then we talk about movies that my generation was familiar with and Victor was like, “What? What is that?” And then Victor would be talking about movies, “Oh, we used to watch this.”
Victor: I would say, “What’s Hocus Pocus?”
Darian: And I’d be like, “Oh, yeah, I haven’t seen Empire Strikes Back.”
Darian: So I think that that was a bit of the beginning of, oh, you know, this this conversation is interesting, maybe people would want to hear that. Because it’s sharing movies with a different generation…it’s a whole other world. And I liked the idea of trying to take that conversation outside of ourselves.
Victor: Yeah. We were working together when we found out that we each liked movies, and we were kind of movie nerds. And we came from different generations and each had our own favorites, our own classics. And it was really like, okay, let’s, let’s think of a way to put this together to meld this idea together. And we thought of the podcasts, right? Was it it? Was it ever any other idea? I don’t remember.
Darian: You know, there was a podcast I was listening to. It’s a comic book podcast. But I thought we could do this for movies. I was looking for movie podcasts at the time. And then you were talking about something that you would listen to like "80’s All Over." I said we could totally do this thing. Then it became, okay, what would it cost right now? What would it cost like get equipment? And then we’re like, all right, we’re going to do this, let’s look at equipment. Let’s let’s try to come up with the name.
Victor: Yeah. He’s the organized one, so he scheduled everything.
Darian: I was like “we need to we need to do like a vision session!”
I don’t think it was all that, but I would draw some things out like a possible logo. This was after I’d left Zonoff. I think we had met up maybe two or three times over the summer for lunch, partly just to hang out, and partly like, hey, let’s like keep this going. It was a way to keep us connected. But also share our love of movies with other people.
Victor: This was summer of 2018. Right?
Darian: ’17, I think.
Victor: 2017, yeah.
Darian: it’s crazy.
Ty: So you did that for one full season. And you had the the live show to cap off that first season. You came back the next season. At what point did you start thinking, “maybe we should wrap this up” and who thought it should wrap up first?
Victor (laughing): That is a loaded question. (pauses) I think it was my idea. Darian wanted to do this until we were 40 or till he was 40.
Darian: I had a plan for us to do this until we were forty.
Victor: Well, I was way past 40. Darian had a 10 year plan. So here’s a little glimpse behind the curtain: season one was kind of brutal. We had never done this before. We’re learning as we went along. Sure, I had done some editing before, but the first season I was doing all of the audio editing. And I was not at the point where I would let a couple of “um’s” go by. I was listening to all the audio and I got to know each of our vocal tics, all of those things that I was just trying to cut out entirely. I was being a perfectionist about it. So I it would take me on average, five, six hours to edit one episode. And that’s not starting our double episode. So two hour Oh, that was the one that almost killed me was the Oscar episode. Because it was two and a half hours long. We were including trailers for each film. And I was taking on that entire load of editing.
Darian: It wasn’t until toward the end of the first season that you expressed to me that it was a lot of work. Like maybe I can teach you how to do a few and then we started sharing it toward the end of season one. I think it was May and the first episode was the Solo episode.
Victor: We had a post mortem after season one. It was full agile. What did we do right? What do we do wrong?
Darian: We did sticky notes. We took five minutes to ourselves and wrote down what we thought we did good and what we thought we did wrong, and then we compared them. And for the most part, our notes were very similar. Where we both thought we could improve…we were pretty much aligned on what we wanted to do differently and what we thought we did well. One of the things that we can improve on was not taking four or five hours to edit an episode.
Victor: We also came up with a theme for season two, which was rapping, not recapping. We both felt—I think more so me—that season one was just us going scene by scene through the entire movie. That was not very insightful. I felt like we could be bringing more of our own history to the movie, like, here's the context, I saw it, and here's what I thought about it. We had themes and theories, like what we did with Film Loop Now, which was the highlights, the themes…more context to the film and background to it.
Darian: We said that we didn't want to just review the movie, we wanted to give people our own personal commentary on it. That's what they were coming to the podcast for. They can go watch the movie. But what is our perspective on it? I think we realized that we wanted our own perspective to be out there. We thought it would distinguish ourselves from all the other various movie podcasts out there. After that first live episode we did, we realized that some of the other people doing live episodes were just recapping the movie. Yeah, it was funny, but you're just sitting there watching them, listening to them rehash instead of giving them some of their life perspective. And we didn't want to be like that. We wanted to add our own thoughts.
Oh, and the other thing we said we wanted the more guests. Technically, we had twice as many guests the second season. Our goal was four. I think we only ended up with two. But we wanted more women on the show as well. You know, we talked about an episode that was just our wives talking that never materialized. But that was an idea, just to bring a little more diversity to the show to get some female voices in there. Laura, of course, was a great addition. I think those was some of the best ones we've ever done.
Ty: That’s curious. So even at the end of season one, there was at least a thought of, “Are we sure we want to keep doing this the way we're doing this? Are we sure we want to keep doing this long term?”
Darian: Yeah, I think we wanted to tighten the ship. We had done this for a year. We could see the areas where we could tighten things up and make it more ideal. We said in that retro that if this is something we want to do to replace our day jobs, how do we make this thing sustainable and create a formula so that we can keep doing this thing? Before, I think we were still trying to figure out what the formula was, how we were planning out episodes, how we were strategizing, how we were trying to get the word out publicizing it. Like how do we how do we keep this thing going? That was the was conversation we had before we started season two, It was like, all right, if we’re gonna do season two, how are we gonna to get to a three and a four and get to a book that we've always wanted to write or a tour that we wanted to do. At least I wanted to do it, but yeah, we talked about it.
Victor: it was obvious that we needed to streamline our processes for season two. For season one, none of the episodes had a real theme to them. That was another decision we made: that we should put some themes on these so that they're almost like companion pieces, my pick and Darian’s pick, they would complement each other in some way. At least that was our goal. Because Season One was not like that. It was all over the place.
Darian: Yeah, that added more structure.
Victor: And it was me who suggested we should end it—only because I was listening to a podcast. Again, this guy named Todd Henry. He does a podcast called "The Accidental Creative." And at the beginning of every show, at the end of every show, he signs off with this phrase, “Don't be a cover band.” You should be original, like everybody wants to hear what you have to say. Don't be a cover band; cover bands don't change the world. So that kind of stuck in my head. And I brought it up to Darian. And I'm like, we're just bringing it up.
Darian: He sent me a two paragraph email. I think it was after the holidays, or somewhere around there. And you could tell Victor had some kind of existential conversation in his own mind. And Victor is a man of relatively few words.
Darian: Very deep thought. I am the dynamic one of the groups. So when Victor pours his heart out, you better listen like it's serious. So he sent me this long email, and I'd never gotten anything like that from him before. And then to read that email and…it was in interesting because as I went through it, I realized I felt the exact same way. And it wasn't a question of where did this come from? It was more like, wow, I had the same thought. And it was the same feeling of “I don't want our podcast to be just a cover band doing the greatest hits,” feeling like we're doing what everybody else out there can do. I wanted to do something that only I can do, the only thing we could do together. So it was like everything he wrote that email was hitting the same cylinders that I that I was thinking,
Victor: It’s good to know because I thought I was the only one feeling that way for a while.
Darian: I think you might have been feeling it longer than I was but I think the sentiment started growing on me after after we started Season Two and then we started getting in this groove of the formula and the themes. And then, after a while, it felt like it started taking away from other stuff we wanted to do, right? Because we were talking about other creative endeavors. And we were always like, “Yeah, but we gotta do the podcast.” So we gotta come up with the theme for next week or so. It was like it became work. Not to say that it wasn't enjoyable. It was just work that was taking away from other stuff that we wanted to do.
Ty: So it almost forced you to figure out, “what do we want to be about as as a as a creative team?”
Darian: Yeah, I think we we're deciding as a team. We wanted to do this thing and…for the most part me and Victor are usually aligned with stuff. I don't think we're necessarily afraid to like voice our opinions on things that we disagree on.
Victor: Certainly not now.
Darian: We've had disagreements creatively. We've had moments where we agree 100%. It would have been interesting if we didn't agree right away on something like this because who knows what would have happened.
Victor: I wouldn't be sitting here tonight.
Darian (chuckling): It would be over, and I probably wouldn't be talking. It's not all that serious.
Ty: So—to get the timeline—you sent the email right after the holidays, say January. The podcast goes until June. What was the decision making process for the exit plan?
Victor: We decided we didn't want to just stop in the middle of season two. We wanted to see it through the end. And I didn't want it to seem like we're just coasting either. I thought let's give it our all up to the very end and then just make the announcement that hey, we're not going to come back. By that point, I think we already knew that the next thing was going to be something more—I think I’d already posted some ideas for you that hey, this is what I think we should do next. It should be original content, our own stuff, because that's what we're trying to do.
Darian: I think part of it was a matter of integrity. We said we are going to do a season two, and we knew from the beginning of season two that it was going to go till the end of June. We had it planned out. This is how long the season is. We had the dates, we even had some of the the themes. It was planned. So we wanted to commit to that. And we committed to do that at the beginning of season two. And our listeners at that point were expecting a see a full season. It didn't feel genuine to me as a creative but also, as if I was a listener, I wouldn't want my favorite show to disappear without warning. Once we decided, we said, “Okay, what's the plan to announce it? And then what's the plan to end it?” And then, to the other point, we’ve started trading ideas about after this thing and how we're going to do what we've always wanted to do, and the thing that we wanted to do was to write more, to produce our own original content. I think we came back after that film noir film screening and I told Victor. I was like, “I’ve had ideas” and he was like, “Oh, yes, me too.” Victor had come up with this idea of doing a film school where it was him teaching film history and in cinema, and I had a similar idea. We realized that, like we were saying, if we're going to do a side podcast to accompany Film Loop, we don't have enough time to create this thing. That turned into, “okay, we don't have enough time, and we're more excited about this thing than Film Loop.” Film Loop has become like a chore. So why don't we just stop doing Film Loop if we want to do this other thing more? I think that was the impetus to feel like, all right, it's time. It's time to end it. It's time to end family. We're sure that we want to do something original. We didn't necessarily know what yet. And we were trying to figure that out. But we have to end it. It's time to move on to something else.
Ty: It is curious to me that both of you had shared the same emotional reaction to things. You both had the same thoughts at the same time. Maybe it took one of you to put them into words, but there was no disagreement. There's no, I want to do this, I want to keep the thing going, and I want to do my freeform jazz exploration kind of side projects.
Darian: Another thing too, is that we started the podcast, not really knowing what we wanted to do. We just knew we wanted to talk on a podcast about a thing that we love. Once we realized it could be even more than that, we thought, maybe let's try something else. We were learning as we went. We were learning about podcast world and getting into interviews and, how to format a show and how to speak into the mic and all these different things. Once we started getting that stuff down, I thought, ok, we know how to do this thing; what more can we do with it?
Victor: What can we not do with it? Like music.
Darian: Oh yeah. (laughing)
Victor: We've pulled all the music. I used to pull music from the movies that we talked about. Well, when we made the move to Spotify, they said your podcast has to be “pod safe,” which means no copyrighted music that’s not your own. So we had to go back and pull all that music out. It wasn't that bad, but it was about 11 episodes of season one. So we shared those duties. We each took out music. I felt it kind of takes away from the episode, but then it stands on its own. It’s its own thing. And we didn't want to get in any trouble.
Ty: You mentioned some of the things you learned from doing the first round. What is the biggest thing that each of you took away from that experience?
Both are thinking. Darian slowly nudges the mic back to Victor, laughing.
Victor: For me, I was always well versed in editing and putting together media stuff, but I never done strictly audio before. That whole process learning about mixers and stuff—we had a couple of snafus where I got the wrong piece of equipment because I just didn't know what it was. I even called a friend of mine in LA who's a sound guy to get his feedback. He pointed me in the right direction. We were able to then move forward and start understanding things once we got that taken care of.
The next part for me was trying to organize my thoughts in a concise way and not babble on and on which I'm prone to do sometimes. Or just gathering my thoughts and being able to communicate in an easy to understand and concise way, and not to repeat myself which is what I'm doing right now. (laughing)
And just to keep working with Darien. You know, we didn't really know each other that well at the beginning. We become closer...
Darian: Much closer friends. I think our friendship at that point was…
Darian: It was a little bit more than cordial, but it wasn't where it is now. We were still feeling each other out, especially in terms of like our likes and dislikes. Over the podcast, we got to know each other much better.
Victor: Oh, yeah.
Darian: Having dinner. Was it every other week?
Darian: At Victor's house, and getting to know him and Kristin, and them feeding me. It's become more than just the podcast. I mean, I've learned life things from from Victor and Kristin.
Victor: And us as well. We've learned about millennial classics.
Darian (laughing): And just the life of millennials.
When I started at work, everybody said Victor's like the cool uncle. And that is more or less what the relationship turned into. I mean, we're friends but Victor is also the cool uncle that that I haven’t had.
Victor: Well, I'm older than his father.
Darian: That’s why I said uncle!
Victor: When we started this thing I'm thinking, “Is your dad going think this is weird you're hanging out with a guy who's older than him?”
Darian: Oh, they don’t care.
Victor: I remember you said, “No, my dad would just be glad that you found somebody to come to nerd out with.”
Darian: My family knows how much I loved movies growing up. I think to them this makes sense. Like this was inevitable. But I think for me, what I learned from this experience was being a being accountable to somebody else who was creative like me. I've always had ideas about how I want to do this thing creatively, but then it kind of peters out because I only do it for the couple of weeks until I lose interest or I get distracted. I always tell myself, “I’m going to do it this time, I'm really going to do it.” That was one of the things that we did in our retro for season one “best of/did right” was saying “hey, we actually we set out to do thing and we did it.” We completed a full season of a podcasting. It was an accomplishment creatively to say we did this thing. To me, it proved the value of teamwork but also having somebody else to bounce ideas off of, to tell you yes, to encourage you, to push you. All those all those things have encouraged me. I almost don't want to do anything else creatively without somebody being there as a sounding board.
Ty: That’s not something you necessarily thought about going into it either.
Darian: No, I mean, it was a totally new experience. I just knew we wanted to do this thing. I didn't know what the collaboration aspect was going to entail. Not that it was hard—it was just totally different. It's like we're gonna make this decision, so we better do it.
Victor: And we have different tastes. I was used to work alone as well. I made films or whatever that require collaboration. Of course, I'm always open to collaboration, but I’d never undertaken a project like this with someone else. I never felt like I would jive with someone else. But when I met Darren, I thought, “Okay, it could work with this guy. Let me give them a chance here.”
Darian: I think you might have had more experiences that probably led you to feel like, I don't know about this. I was looking at Victor like this guy knows what he's talking about. I felt comfortable because you knew your stuff. You had all these life experiences. And I'm thinking, okay, I can ride those coattails a little bit, and I can feel like I can work with Victor and he can show me creatively how he works, how that's different. I've learned a lot of things over our time together that he does that helps improve my work like the way you write, the way you think about things—
Victor: And vice versa.
Darian: It's been mutual.
Ty: I actually want to go back to a couple threads you said earlier. First, people expect content. If you commit to a schedule, people expect content. And later you talked about learning how hard it is just to produce on that schedule. I think that for a lot of creative projects, if we think in terms of like what is the “villain” of a creative professional project, it's always the business, the man, or something like that. In some ways, I think it's often time: how hard it is to produce good content on a schedule and to meet that obligation. There's that saying that “greats artist ship,” but there's an ocean that goes into that what that verb “ship” actually means. To do that for two years is no small feat. It sounds like you both learned that.
Darian (laughing): Yes, I mean, as the organized one…
Darian: Maybe I was using the other part of my brain—and when I say that though I'm only saying that I like to be organized in in my endeavors. I'm not an analytical person by nature. But I like to be organized. When it comes to creative stuff, I'll use organization as a distraction from actually starting the thing. If I'm organized, I will feel like okay, then I can start it, and then I'll never start it. But I think Victor is different where it's like “let's just do it.” Let's just get it done. I just wanna do this thing. And I'm like, “wait, wait, wait a second. We gotta set a date. We gotta do...” So, on the one hand, that has that has made all the difference in our our working relationship because Victor's got this idea and he's ready to execute. And I'm more “all right, let's capture that energy. And let's put it in a bottle—“
Victor (laughing): Let’s bottle it up.
Darian: “—and let's put it in a schedule.”
Victor: I just have to show up. That's what I like.
Darian: But I feel like that makes space for you space for you to be your best self.
Darian: And then it made space for me to be my best self because the times where you were like, what's next? I had an answer ready. And the times where I I didn't know what the new idea was going to be, Victor had something in his head.
Victor: ‘Cause if he was like me, we would not be sitting here either. We would never have gotten started, or I would just be all over the place.
Darian: Likewise, I would’ve had a schedule but but I wouldn't say spent so much time trying to churn on what the themes are going to be and how we're going to format this thing.
But one of the tenants of podcasting as I was doing research before we started was: consistency. Regardless of what the content is, what the quality of the audio is—as long as you're consistent and people know when to expect you…that's really all you need to become successful. Or at least to do your podcasting, do it right, and do it well. That was my guiding light: as long as we're consistent, we can we can get better as we go. But so many podcasts that I've listened to or that I've seen other people start have died out because after the second third fourth episode, they're coming out infrequently. They're like, “sorry, we couldn't release this episode. We had life stuff.” /We/ had life stuff. We had stuff that we had to do. But we made a commitment to say this is when we're releasing it. And not only that, but if we know we're releasing at this date, let's plan ahead and record these episodes 2, 3, 4 weeks ahead so we don't have to worry about whether it's going to be out at a certain time or not. That part helped us fulfill that commitment that we made to ourselves to say, we're going to be consistent. And we want to service our listeners in that way.
Victor: That was the big contribution that Darian made: putting us on a schedule so that we could record ahead of time so there was not this big last minute rush to edit the episodes. Because I think at first I said, “let's release every week. And Darian said, “What, are you crazy?” Because we hadn't even recorded yet. I'm thinking we can just knock these out every week. And he said no.
Darian: I suggested that we start biweekly and see where we go from there.
Victor: Right. Then I realized how much work it was and went, “Oh yeah, screw that. We're not doing it weekly.”
Darian: Well, then we got into where we needed to be in order for us to make sure that we had a stock to could edit. It was a lot of work. We had to watch the movies, take notes, do research, record, and then edit, and then do the art for the episode. And then promotion and then social media, and by the time all that was done, there's no way you're turning an episode around in a week or a day. If we wanted to achieve excellence, we needed to build in time for it. And excellence doesn't come cheap.
That was part of it. And the other part was that it was grueling because we would do two episodes a night. We would record two episodes a night. It would end up becoming maybe three or four hours of recording. We were concerned that you could tell when we started getting tired because my voice would go up WAY HIGH, I’d start to get more crazy in my statements, and Victor was just slowly retreat.
Victor (laughing): Oh yeah.
Darian: But we still felt we had to get it. Because if we don't get it done now that we have to try to meet again and…yeah. We didn't want to have to meet every week. There were times where we we had to get certain episodes out. But in order for us to do life and to keep our other commitments, this is what we had to do.
Ty: I think it’s curious that it's very clear from what you've described that your partnership is definitely one that really involves learning about each other, but also learning how to put each other into positions that worked well for each of you. It seems like it's not just that you grew as creatives through this but also that you grew as friends and even as people able to be aware of where each other's at. That’s not something you necessarily go into a creative project thinking, “we will learn how we can better work together.”
Darian (thinking): I had to learn how to step back. I think I can be very controlling sometimes.
Darian (laughing): And that can inhibit the creative process.
Victor: That’s both of us. We've tempered that in each other. We can be we can be sharp edges, but we kind of round out the edges for each other.
Darian: They say iron sharpens iron, but in this case…
Ty: Can we quote a movie? Deadpool: “Your crazy matches my crazy”?
Darian: Right, yes, exactly. You learn each other's ticks. You learn each other's likes. I can look at something now, and I know Victor is either gonna like it or he's gonna hate it. And he'll hate it but I'm gonna say it anyway or he'll like it. So I won't show him this because I know he's gonna like it! You learn each other's ticks, and then you tend to adjust after that, but it takes time. It takes time to get to that point. It takes a commitment to be like, we're going to keep doing this. We're going to work through the struggle. We had an episode that we recorded one time—I think it was season two—where we finished recording and both said “that didn't feel right.” There was something about that just—whether we didn't feel prepared, we didn't feel like the content was good, what we were talking about was good—
Victor: Or we were just tired.
Darian: I was tired. And it just felt like this is not good, you know? I mean, we got feedback that people actually liked the episode. And we listened back to it after it was time for it to come out and we thought, oh, it's not that bad. But at the time, we just felt this is not right.
Victor: Just the episode.
Darian: Right, just the episode, not the season. But to be able to stop and say that and not be fearful for like repercussions…we were very open minded. I don't like we've ever had a situation where we were over overly offended or yelling or…
Victor: Except for Dazed and Confused.
Darian (laughing): That.
Victor: We've never thrown anything at each other. Yet. But there was one—what movie was that? Kristin (ed.: Victor’s wife) and I watched it because Kristin watches most of the films. She sat through both of our pics. And she said, “Oh, I don't know if Darian's gonna like this one.” And I can't remember which one it was.
Darian: The only one i can think of was maybe Dazed and Confused.
Victor: There was another one. Animal House? No?
Darian: Maybe. Not that I remember.
Victor: She thought there was something that could be offensive to you in the movie.
Darian: Yeah, I don't remember.
Ty: You're doing another project. So it wasn't like, you hit the end, you're like, I'm done, I'm out, see you later forever. You're doing other creative projects. How did the lessons that you learned in Film Loop affect not just the project you're doing right now but also how you thought about other creative projects going forward?
(Both think for a minute)
Victor: Well, for this new venture, we decided that we actually want to be finished with the entire season before we even release it. So that's a big difference. The other big difference is because it's not a live recording, but more us reading our own work, it’s going to take a little bit longer. There's going to be a little more finessing involved. We're going to have original music, hopefully, with each episode. Maybe even some sound effects. That's going to take more time. So we're going to take a little more time to craft each episode for this new project and then release them once they're all completed to our liking. We’ll release them on a weekly schedule. And the season will be a lot shorter. I think we're planning on 12.
Victor: 12 stories; six stories per person. Each of us will read our own story.
Ty: Film Loop was around 24? Plus…6 live episodes so like 30 episodes?
Victor: Per season. Yeah, around there. We had fewer episodes for season two, I think but just by a couple. So that's how it's going to be different. And I think it's really based on the material because we're not doing review shows. It's not as off the cuff. It's more of a straight reading of our own work. That's something else we're going to have to learn: how do we read our own stuff? Are we going to do multiple takes of one sentence? I don't know. We're gonna find out where I read one of my own sentences and I'm like, Oh, [expletive] that; I can do that better. Are we going to turn into temperamental actors now? I don't know. We'll see.
Darian: When Victor feels like he's not hitting something…it's a night.
Victor: Hah, yeah.
Darian: I'd say usually when I’m not hitting something sometimes…it depends. We could get temperamental, but I think it’s interesting. I mean, we’re in the middle of a project right now. We have a newsletter, right? I tried to organize the newsletter the same way that we did the podcast. Based on the way that we’re working on it, that process doesn’t work. I set up a Trello board and have this sheet…we had a whole pre flight sheet where we fill in all these things. I haven’t used it. Victor hasn’t used it. Because the newsletter does not demand the same as the podcast. This thing’s coming out weekly. It’s a different reaction than being able to plan a podcast like a month out. The newsletter is not meant to be so planned out. It’s in a sense like we structured it. But it’s not as intricate of a thing. It doesn’t require as intricate of an organization around it. We have a schedule, but the planning isn’t as intricate. I tried to build this infrastructure around it, so that we made sure we had these things written down, but it’s not that big. So I’m wondering how do we take this quick thing and make sure that we can respond to it quickly instead of in this long overly-planned, overly-thought out process? I think that’s something that I’m learning now that’s different than what Film Loop was. And then even more different from that is the new podcasts that we’re planning, which is totally different. We’re not doing a call and response to an audience. It’s a one-way listening experience where we’re sharing our stories and it’s an audio experience where you’re enjoying the story. Afterwards, we’ll do a Q&A, but for the most part, it’s like a movie. This is the thing that we are delivering to you for enjoyment.
Victor: Hope you liked it.
Ty: How do you feel like you’ve changed from doing Film Loop?
Darian: How do I feel like I’ve changed from doing Film Loop?
Victor: He’s got a few more gray hairs than he did.
Darian: Oh, yeah, I do. All my my beard is slowly turning.
How am I changed? I think part of it is, like I said, I want to have a creative check. I like having Victor’s thoughts on anything I do creatively outside of work because it keeps me keeps me accountable. I know I have at least one person who’s willing to say yes. When we decided to do Film Loop, Victor was like, yeah, let’s do it. He’s willing to try things and I found that so rarely in other people. You tell them an idea and they go, “oh, yeah, that’s nice.” It’s like they’re not interested.
Victor (laughing): Who are you hanging out with?
Darian: I don’t know. Uninteresting people. But if you tell people ideas and they say, “oh, that’s nice,” or, “good luck with that.” But it’s rare that I found people that have wanted to know more about this creative thing I’m doing or…because I wouldn’t tell people. I just do it on my own because I didn’t want to have to answer questions and tell them what I’m doing for fear that they think it’s stupid or that now they’re going to be asking me about it when I haven’t done anything with it. But with Victor, it was, “I love that idea.” And it’s like, why don’t we do something together? It made me realize that you can take a chance on people creatively. I think Victor is much more trusting than other people when it comes to creative process because he’s thinks, I know these people, we can talk to them about this. And I don’t trust these people. I can be my own grandmother and I might not trust them. But I think that’s another part of it, learning to trust people with your vision. Because you can’t do it by yourself.
Victor: Nope. You’re not the smartest person in the room. And neither am I.
Darian: I try to think that I can do it on my own because you hear all these wonderful creative stories about this guy did this movie on this shoestring budget or this girl wrote this book and now it’s a Harry Potter bestseller, but they needed they needed somebody along the process to give them a break, to listen to their story, to agree with their story. The only way anything worth doing has grown is because the creator was willing to share with somebody else. At the end of the day, you have to be willing to share your creative dreams and aspirations with other people. It’s a brave thing to do. Because if there is a recipe, they think it’s stupid or they say no, or they downplay it, but you have to keep to it. Same thing with love, you have to keep taking the risk, because eventually there will be a reward. It’s just about persistence. I think that’s what I’ve learned: not letting the the failures keep you from the reward. Just keep being persistent.
Victor: When I was in LA, or even in Texas, I always had a group of friends and we were all into the same thing. We made movies, we did whatever writing stuff, different creative projects. I wasn’t so much into that. The last 10 years, we lived in LA. I was doing some writing but not not very regularly. And so then when we moved to Philly, I wondered, “am I going to find anybody else who’s into the same stuff? Are they going to be willing to collaborate on any kind of projects? Who am I going to find out there?” I had no idea.
When I started at Zonoff, I met some people who were into the movies—
Darian: Without naming names.
Victor: Exactly, redacted. I met a few people who were in the movies, but then I met Darian and I’m like, okay, let’s meet this guy. Let’s talk to him. And then we started talking, and I’m like, okay, maybe this guy would want to do something. I was always concerned with joining some Meetup group because I’d gone to some writing groups that were just horrible. (Which is another story.) I really just wanted to meet other creative people who are into the same things and who are willing to take a chance and maybe work together, maybe do something together. So as I got to know Darian and we talked about doing the podcast, I learned that no matter where you are, there are other people like you. It’s just a matter of finding them. It’s a lot easier now then back in my day where you didn’t know these people existed. There’s like little pockets of people everywhere. You just couldn’t find them until the internet came along Facebook, what have you…you learn that they’ve been there all the time. They just didn’t know. They couldn’t communicate with other people like them.
What I’ve learned is like that there are other people, other creative people, collaborators. You’re not alone. It’s just a matter of going out there and finding them. You’ve got to put yourself out there. You’ve got to go out on a limb and take risks. You’ve got to get out of your comfort zone sometimes. I’m comfortable with that. Hopefully it all works out and you make some good stuff together.
Ty: Thank you both. It’s been fun.
Darian: Thanks for interviewing us. I’m gonna go home and have an existential cry.
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