Saturday 25 October 2014

Interview with Danny Hill

Danny Hill is an American photographer and filmmaker, who lives in Champaign, Illinois. He is the writer, director, producer and editor of the web series Downtown, and he broadcasts an interview/chat show called Almost Intimate.

Where were you born, and where did you grow up?

I was born in Champaign, Illinois and grew up in that same area.

What kind of a family did you grow up with?

I grew up with a large family, with several siblings and cousins, etc.

Where did you go to school?

I went to school at Urbana High School

When did you first take an interest in movies?

I've loved movies since I was 6 or 7 years old.

What was your first paying job (in any field)?

My first paying job was cleaning and caring for a neighbor's dogs.

You make a living by doing photos, music videos, etc., for local artists, actors, businessmen. Have you photographed anyone famous?

I have photographed a few local names. Some are models, and local actors. Most recently I've done portraits for business owners and aspiring screenwriters.

So far this year, you’ve released five episodes of the web series Downtown. What was the impetus for you to tell this particular story?

I had a simple urge to create. I didn't plan on making a groundbreaking show or a great show, I simply wanted to make a show. Something inside of me told me that I needed to do 'more'. So I did.

How many episodes of Downtown do you anticipate making?
Danny Hill in Downtown (2014)
Downtown's first season will have it's finale on October 29th. After that, I will air the entire show on local cable channel UPTV and am heavily considering doing a Season 2 of the show, with new cast and locations. The second season would have about 8 episodes.

Is there a large group of people interested in filmmaking in Champaign, Illinois at present?

There are some. There are a few university and college groups that do a lot of work. Roger Ebert was from Champaign as well, so it's an okay film scene, but I started my own company because I felt there wasn't enough.

How did you find the people you needed, the support group necessary, to make Downtown?

Some of the cast and crew were friends who often asked me about being a part of what I do. They knew I was into film and was very serious about it. Others were found through Craigslist. I use that a lot to find and gauge talent/crew.

What do you wish someone had told you about filmmaking when you were starting out?

I wish someone would have told me that there's more to the creation of a film than buying a camera and having an idea. I wish someone would have told me that it is problematic to hire friends for large roles in a film.

What are your ten favourite (favourite, not ‘best’) movies of all time?
West Side Story (1961)
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly (1966)
Beowulf (2007)
Strangers On A Train (1951)
Seven Psychopaths (2012)
For A Few Dollars More (1965)
The Dark Knight (2008)
Once Upon A Time In The West (1968)
Antz (1998)
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
What’s next for Danny Hill?

I am currently in pre-production for my upcoming summer film entitled Holly. As well as continuing my interview show Almost Intimate and working on other small projects.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Good on him. Episode 1 is good.