“There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.” -Milton Glaser | This is the only way I can describe Danny Wonders’ work. He is all around creative who runs his own production comapny covering – film- photography- music videos & documentaries.
How did you come up with your name?
Which film directors or even creative directors have influenced your work?
When I get asked this question, I always think should I lie and say, Spielberg or Quentin Tarantino. (I respect those two a lot btw) but I’m saying this because I believe more time we are expected to be influenced by others to get a move on, and it wasn’t in my case, I believe as a Director your work is influenced by your personal experiences, what you listen to, read, look at. There is nobody, in particular, I go to to be influenced by, not because I don’t appreciate others work, but because I believe in my own ideas. I would say I’m influenced by my desire to do better than my last project. I am always challenging myself when it comes to my concepts and I’m very active at the moment.
Who inspires you and why?
What has been the one revelation that you’ve found about yourself as a creative director?
Was your family supportive of your decision to be a creative director?
My parents were not supportive at all in the beginning when I started this, my siblings were though. you know, growing up in an African household, the main question is, “is what you’re doing bringing money to the house”. Growing up money was never my motivation, I knew I always wanted to create, I just didn’t know what, when I found out what I wanted to do, I did it first before I told people, because I learnt from a long time you don’t need to tell people your next move to start moving, and I didn’t want any potential doubters to persuade me. The more I applied myself, and started flying out the country through my passion and collecting an award, my parents stopped complaining about what I was doing and started throwing ideas on what they think I should do to enhance what I do, moral of the story is, believe in yourself first before expecting or relying on others to believe in you. Even if you want your family and friends to believe in you, nobody knows what you want more than you, so it’s up to you to actualize your dreams with action.
What would be the next step for you? You know, 5 to 10 years. What would you like to see yourself doing creatively?
In 5-10 years I see myself being in Hollywood with at least 2 films out worldwide, my production company would have expanded and be recognized worldwide for the exceptional work we do. I would have built a team of creatives who are dedicated, disciplined and eager to do their best not just for the business, but for themselves also. I will also use my influence to give time and help a lot of young filmmakers. Coming up in this game can be tough especially when you feel alone, just showing someone how to use a camera setting or how to edit something can go a long way to the individual’s self-esteem. I am grateful for all the help I was given on my journey. I can’t predict the future, but I can plan my future, you will see what my plans when the time comes, as I am focusing on my goals day by day.
What advice would you give someone starting out in this industry?
The best piece of advice I can give to anyone starting out in this industry is, drop your excuses. ALL OF THEM. The one about you not having any money, friends, opportunities, knowledge on it. Start learning, start reaching out, start collaborating, start helping others. The best way to get next to people is to help them, a lot of people start something and just want everything to be given to them, in this industry nobody is going to help you without benefit, this doesn’t make them evil or not genuine. In the entrepreneurial world the people at the top seek those bringing value, and until you work to build value, you will never be shown your worth. The work you put on yourself and your craft will set you apart. Do not watch what ANYBODY is doing, they are on their own journey, focus on yours and you will reap the benefits. When you focus on whats in front of you, you won’t let whats behind you drag you back or what’s in front of you stop you from moving.
Tell us a unique story or funny anecdote related to your work.
There was a time I was editing the season finale of my first web series “A Lesson Learnt” Directed, Edited, Filmed by me, Written Produced by my sister, Scilla Owusu. The season finale was coming out the next day and we were excited, I had left the edit a bit late and we had a certain date which the audience always expected the show to come out, which was Sunday 6 pm. I just remember accidentally pressing the wrong button, and saving it at the same time, it deleted the entire episode!!! And it was 12 am, so this meant I couldn’t even go to sleep. I was livid! My sister, fortunately, stayed up with me and with the pressure and adrenaline, the episode was able to be re-edited from scratch and released on time without the public having a clue. What that moment taught me first of all, was never leave your work too late to start it, as you never know what might happen, but most importantly it taught me, no matter what obstacles get thrown your way, you have to transform them into openings. Never allow anything to stop you, as the story about ‘why the work didn’t get done’ will never be remembered more than the finished product.
If you weren’t a creative director what would you be?