[quote style=”boxed”]Eliminate intolerance. People who aren’t taught that there are people who see the world and think differently than they do are the worst type of people.[/quote]
David Redish is the co-founder of Slice Media, an award-winning BBB accredited creative studio located in Dallas, that conceptualizes and produces fresh content for T.V., the web, and social media through a pioneering approach. Recently he developed and produced Chasing Daylight, a docu-reality series centered around the sexy and unfamiliar lives of the world’s top-touring DJs with longtime friend and business partner Cesar Jasso.
What are you working on right now?
Slice ended last year with so much momentum that we’re still flying high. We released a fashion video teaser at DEC for our client, Mizzen+Main, and we’re in post-production on a few more videos for them. I also just started pre-production on my next short film, John and Claudia. We secured financing over the holidays and we’ll be shooting in mid-February. We’re also chasing down a few new leads that should offer great exposure in the professional sports realm and another in the worldwide arts scene.
Where did the idea for Slice Media come from?
I’ve had it since I was 17 years old. I wanted to have my own production company, with no idea what that meant—it was just something that sounded fun. And it is, but it’s a lot of work. Back in early 2010, I mentioned the idea owning my own creative shop, which would get me work as a director, to my good friend, Cesar Jasso, and he said, “I’m in!” He said this blindly, with no knowledge of the film or media industry, and he’s now my partner and co-owner at Slice. We opened our doors in August 2010 and have grown scarily fast.
What does your typical day look like?
No two days are the same, and that’s why I love my job. I’m in the office, on set, scouting, prepping, pitching, meeting with a client, sitting in with an editor, or on a plane. It’s exhausting, but there’s nothing I’d rather be doing. That being said, I’m always accessible by phone and will meet with anyone, so it’s easy to get on my schedule, even if it’s always full!
How do you bring ideas to life?
I love to travel, and many of my ideas come when I’m on planes or trains. Something about the journey and the stress of travel lets my mind wander, and new ideas, pitches, scripts, and stories are the byproducts. I’m of the mindset that everyone is creative; most people just don’t know how to tap into their creative subconscious or see the world from an outside perspective. For me, literally seeing the world sparks my storytelling receptors.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
The rise of true independent filmmaking excites me. This isn’t a new trend, but an evolving one. The advancement in digital cinema has made filmmaking more accessible than ever. The death of film is sad, as I grew up making films on film, but it’s a reality. If the difference between getting my film made or not comes down to shooting on 35mm or digital, I’m going to pick digital. And these new cameras, like the F65 or the Arri Alexa, look amazing. If you have a really good cinematographer with the appropriate resources, you’ll get good images. You still need a good story, more than anything, and luckily, I have an amazing team and talented writers who provide me with great stories to tell.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
When I was in college, I worked on an NFL Monday Night Football game as a cable runner. Essentially, that means you’re working with a sideline camera operator and wrangling the cable that connects his camera to the live feed. Between the stress of being responsible for the live video feed, the players running full speed at you on the sidelines, and the producers putting added pressure on you, as if your job were so important that someone’s life was on the line, I felt like I was about to have a stroke. That was the first and last time I did that. In fact, I stay as far away from live work as I can. I’m the type of person who needs a little more control than that.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I’d be the son of a studio executive in Los Angeles. Ha! I really have no regrets; you can’t make it in this industry with them. Sure, there are corners I could have cut, looking back, but the road I’ve taken has gotten me to where I am; I wouldn’t change that. There’s still a very long road ahead, and no time to look back now.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Be personable with everyone you meet. Learn how to be everyone’s friend, even the jerks. You’ll be surprised how much they can help you in a pinch. If people don’t like you, you’re screwed as an entrepreneur. If you want to work for yourself, you need a positive reputation with everyone.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
The first year of Slice, I was commuting from Los Angeles to Dallas every month for a week at a time. This hurt me and the company. I should have committed to being in L.A. full-time to direct more or Dallas to nurture the company – not both. I have no regrets because everything worked out as it should have; however, my business partner probably would have been happier had I been in Dallas more.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
If someone could make an app to track the music I’m listening to in my car, and then give me the option to continue listening to that track on my iPhone when I get out of the car, that would be sweet! If you make that app, just give me a point so I can reap some of the benefits. That idea is gold!
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?
Eliminate intolerance. People who aren’t taught that there are people who see the world and think differently than they do are the worst type of people. I will openly say I have no respect for that mindset, which is kind of hypocritical, I guess. But if people could be more understanding, I think our world would run more efficiently, and the quality of life would rise globally.
I’d implement this through my work, by telling tough stories that put my audience in situations they couldn’t dream up if they had to. Creating experiences and surrounding my audience with things they can learn from is a great advantage that filmmaking has. I can literally create an emotion that will resonate with an audience.
Tell us a secret.
I love motorcycles, and even though my parents are going to freak out and everyone I know says it’s a bad idea, I’m getting one this spring. It’s been a dream of mine to have one to ride on clear, sunny Texas days. I’ll be out cruising soon. Don’t worry, Mom, I’ll be safe!
What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?
Twitter: I love the connectivity. It’s insane how such a simple tool has upped my professional brand. I can tweet out a new video I directed and track views from Twitter click-throughs. I can connect with other artists, filmmakers, or musicians – anyone! And I’ve gotten multiple clients via Twitter.
Google Docs: This is the greatest free online service out there. I use it daily with collaborators, producers, and partners. We share items, edit them, and work on the same document at the same time, with real-time changes. It’s great for creating budgets, too, and tracking lots of ongoing and completed work.
UBER: This is technically an app on the iPhone, but it’s so great I have to share. UBER is an app-based luxury taxi service. You set up a simple account with a credit card on file; then, you set your current location and request either a black Lincoln Town Car or a blacked-out SUV. The longest wait I’ve had was 15 minutes, and that was at a peak hour. Normally, I wait about 4 minutes. They don’t charge per rider, so a full car is actually a better deal than a cab. And who doesn’t want to show up in style with a driver opening your door?
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I don’t read books on entrepreneurship or anything business-related; I’d rather call up a fellow CEO or sit in on a conference. I would, however, recommend something for all artists that a fellow artist and filmmaker handed me: Wabi-Sabi: for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers. This very thin book is like a Bible. It provides Zen-like metaphors that show how mistakes are part of life, and that life is part of art. It’s a fun and challenging, yet quick, read that I find myself coming back to when I get stuck.
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?
Me, @David_redish: I’m worth the follow. You’ll get my song of the day (i.e., what’s moving me), articles, videos, short films, and movie trailers. I also post behind-the-scene pics from all our sets.
@Web: Web Smith is a good friend and CMO of Mizzen+Main. He is a social media and marketing guru, the only guy I’d hire for marketing if he wasn’t already so darn busy. He’s well worth the follow, full of great insights.
@slashfilm, a.k.a. Peter Sciretta: I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting him, but his film reviews, entertainment news, and other fun updates are the best out there. I can’t wait for him to review my next short.
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
This video is freaking hilarious. I don’t search for stupid videos, but I stumbled upon this on reddit a couple weeks back, and it’s ridiculous:
Who is your hero?
Anyone who sticks with something long enough to “make it” is my hero. Time is our most valuable resource. It doesn’t matter if you’re born with millions or nothing. The time we have is all there is, and if you can find your passion, realize a path to success, and achieve it, you’re my hero. Everyone is busy and has setbacks and troubles; it’s those who handle that and rise to the top that I look up to.
Why choose filmmaking as a career?
In this world, you need a skill to get by. I was lucky to find a passion in filmmaking and then have people around me – parents, teachers, and mentors – who nurtured that idea into a tangible product. I did the work, but they laid the foundation. It’s a really tough job, not only competitively, but as an artist. People judge my work and my person on the same level. Not too many other professionals are so connected to their work, which is a pro and con. I want to tell stories and show people a view of the world that’s not theirs. When someone is sucked into your story, she’s in your world. That’s an addictive feeling, and I’m a junkie for it.
Why move from L.A., the media capital of the world, to Dallas, Tex.?
I’m from Dallas, so that weighs into the equation, but really, it’s the right city for me right now. There are tons of business connections at my disposal. The startup scene is blowing up, and the community nurtures young entrepreneurs. Plus, there’s capital here. It’s tough to be making movies, which are expensive, without funds. You need people who believe in you, your work ethic, and drive; I have that here. It’s my job to respect their investments and put my time and life into the projects they’re counting on, so we can all reap the benefits and I can continue making films.
David Redish’s Website: www.davidredish.com
Slice Media’s Website: www.rolltheslice.com
David Redish on Twitter: @david_redish
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Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.