INTERVIEW: DANNY WONDERS – CREATIVE DIRECTOR

INTERVIEW: DANNY WONDERS – CREATIVE DIRECTOR

“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.

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How did you come up with your name?

It’s funny because my friends AND I  used to have Spanish/Italian names in college times for banter, Facebook was the platform where we all switched up our alias. From Danny Devito, Danny Rodriguez, Danny Alvarez you name it. One day I got tired and decided to change my name, but this time for good. I didn’t want to use my real name because when you’re young you think “that’s bait”. Since “Wondering” what name to change it to, I changed it to ‘Danny Wonder’, but the name didn’t sit with me. I came back and changed it to “Danny Wonders”. The MINUTE I changed it to Danny Wonders a girl popped up and said “Mr wonders yeahhh”, I knew at that very moment, this was the name for me. It all worked out as destiny too because I founded by production company ‘Wondervision Films”.

 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?

I don’t have many people who inspire me in my field, apart from F. Gary Gray (The Director of ‘The Italian Job, Friday, Inside man & the latest NWA Movie) I am inspired by athletes, musicians, world leaders, dancers, you name it. I see inspiration in different ways, what inspires me is “The Come up”. I love when I hear people who went through adversity and made it through all that to be on top. Jay-z Inspires me, coming from the streets hustling to becoming a business Mogul, DJ Khaled inspires me, being slept on and doubted to becoming one of the biggest artist producers of our generation  on his 10th studio album, Stories like that inspire me to know I too can become great as long as I believe in my vision and keep pushing.

What has been the one revelation that you’ve found about yourself as a creative director?

What I’ve found out about myself as a creative Director is, I’m always able to think up a plan B, in case Plan A fails, and most of the time, Plan B is bigger than the first, my ability to see the positivity in everything clears up my mind to always come up with a solution, before a complaint, and I think that is what has been pushing me through this industry day by day.
 

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?

 

Before doing this I actually had dreams of being a 3D Animator, I had no plans for film or photography, I knew how to use the 3D software, and I was very confident this was for me, but there’s a thin between confidence and delusion. When I went for my uni application in Bedfordshire, Luton. I was told, “Anybody can learn how to use a software, but if you can’t draw from your mind, you can’t be an animator”. Hearing that let me down, but I needed to hear it, I had underestimated the field and thought it was easy. I had a lightbulb moment and realized I could still draw images from my mind…but this time, through film and photography instead, I was always interested in it, and it felt so right. From that point on I decided to share my ‘Wondervision’ with the world 🙂
Connect with Danny :
Danny Youtube: Wonder Visions Films
 
Instagram: Danny Wonders 
 
 

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1 Comment

  1. December 1, 2017 / 1:21 pm

    Great interview! I loved hearing about his journey and being influenced by himself.

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