After a bit of a break, Your Cre8tivity returns with Filmmaker DARYN TUFTS, joined by debut one of our new co-hosts Steve Hatch from Hatch Family Chocolates. Steve & Dylan chat with Daryn about his early days in Mormon Cinema, working with William Shatner, being Thermwise, the struggles of writing & making movies!
1. Describe What You Do.
2. How Did You Get To Where You Are Today?
Graduated from BYU in Marketing Communications. Became a copywriter. Also performed with local comedy troupes. Helped launch Utah ComedySportz. Began acting in local movies while writing my own screenplays. Eventually began making screenplays into movies and started my own ad agency (FLINCH) with Dave Nibley (LinkedIn).
3. What Type Of Conditions Are You The Most Creative For You?
Being with smart, encouraging, creative people, being alone, watching great movies and reading good books.
4. Who Has Inspired You Most? Why?
Many people, from very famous filmmaking professionals to smaller filmmakers who produce their own indys. Stephen King, Richard Linklater (Boyhood), Steven Spielberg, Woody Allen, Quentin Tarantino, William Goldwyn, Christopher Guest (Waiting For Guffman), Joss Whedon & many more. 🙂
5. You Were Part Of The Golden Age Of Mormon Cinema, Give Us Some Background On Your Experiences.
I met Kurt Hale right around the time I was finishing my first screenplay. He and I have a lot in common and became fast friends. At that time, Kurt was reaching out to a lot of people to help him work on improving the script for The Singles Ward. By that time, God’s Army had been released but there had never really been a movie quite like this, an indy LDS feature length comedy, by and (mostly) for LDS audiences. I was very excited about the movie and helped (like others) with a little script doctoring. Kurt had seen me perform at ComedySportz in Provo and called to asked if I’d be interested in auditioning for one of the big parts. I didn’t really know what I was doing and had never acted in anything before, but I went for it as best I could as was fortunate enough to get the part. After that, Kurt brought me in to help write The R.M., his next movie. I began writing more screenplays of my own with my sites set on making movies that were not specifically LDS. While doing so, I produced a short documentary called American Mormon with Jed Knudsen, which was the first project I produced and released to the LDS market.
6. William Shatner (Stalking Santa). What Was It Like Working With This Hollywood Legend?
It was pretty great. Because he narrated the movie, he wasn’t on-screen, so the day I worked with him was very casual and laid back. He wore sweats and flip flops and was very cool about me being a life-long Star Trek fan. He’s a tremendously talented guy who was very open to making all of us happy with what he was doing.
7. Recently, You Have Been ThermWise A Character Spokesperson For Questar Gas. Did They Let You Develop The Character Yourself Or Did They Have It Prepped For You?
ThermWise wasn’t invented by me. He was created by an ad agency in Salt Lake named Richter7. They had the character all ready to go by the time I auditioned for it.
8. “We Love You, Sally Carmichael” Is Your Newest Project. Tell Us About What Inspired The Story & How It Came Together.
In 2009, I directed a movie that I wrote called My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend. It came out in 2010 and of the movies I’d worked on, it was the project that I most enjoyed. I was also encouraged by how well it was received and I wanted to write another movie that was similar in terms of overall tone and storytelling. Maybe a movie that could be a companion movie to My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend. When I stumbled across the premise for We Love You, Sally Carmichael, I loved it instantly and I felt that it had a lot of potential to be very funny and have a lot of heart. It also seemed like a great opportunity to play with a timely idea that could be a little satirical in regards to popular culture and shine a positive light on what it means to be a fan of something that some might consider, well, stupid. Around that same time, I partnered with David Nibely to create a small advertising agency. Dave and I wanted to create a movie together while doing the day to day work of running the agency and we decided that this concept was the one we would build. Of course, there’s a long story here that involves many people and steps but to shorten it… I eventually showed the script to Chris Gorham, whom I had worked with on My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend. My hope was that he would consider acting in it, which he did. He was also very interested in directing the movie and had a great vision for it. On top of that, he had the ability to attach some wonderful actors to it on an extremely modest budget. It proved to be a really great fit. Eventually, Adam Abel came on as producer and we shot the movie in Utah this summer. We’re in post-production now.
B I O G R A P H Y
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