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Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Interview with Writer and Director...Dale Peterson

Dale Peterson is an award-winning writer and director. He's from Detroit, Michigan. He studied film at the American Film Institute, and after he finished there, he produced his first documentary film "Bring Your Best" about homelessness in LA's Skid Row which received national attention.  
Before writing films, he started directing. He told me his first love was film and then music. He's been directing since the 1990's, and he started directing music videos for bands like Alice in Chains, Sponge and even Eminem.  The latest film that he directed and also written is "Hello, My Name Is Frank." The movie is a modern-day "The Wizard of Oz" meets "Little Miss Sunshine" and "Rain Man"-a road trip that starts out as a tragedy , and ends up as a life-changing journey for Frank and his companions.
Dale was inspired to write "Hello, My Name Is Frank" after watching a documentary about a man with Tourette's. The man suffered from the rarest form of Tourette's that Frank suffers from. Garrett M. Brown plays Frank in the movie. As Dale says , "I wrote it to chronicle Frank's journey in overcoming his anxieties about Tourette's and living life to it's fullest." From talking with Dale, he seems to have a heart for this character Frank and all those who suffer from Tourette's. 

My interview with Dale...

Maria- How did you start directing music videos?

Dale-  I started directing videos in the 1990's. Bands didn't know how they would want their video, so I started writing videos. Writing videos is developing series of short stories.

Maria- Is directing a film similar to directing a video?

Dale- Very similar. I do a storyboard with pictures especially with making music videos. When I hear music, I have a vision for it. I can see the product.

Maria- You've directed videos for numerous bands, which band was your favorite to work with?

Dale- Alice In Chains

Maria- What do you like about directing?

Dale- So many things going on. I love working with actors, and I've been working with them for years.

Maria- You've produced, directed, and written movies, which do you prefer?

Dale- Directing 100% ! I do like to see what I write to come to life as well.

Maria- Who do you look up to filming industry?

Dale- The classical director like Martin Scorsese. Classical directors are my favorites.

Maria- What does that mean "the classical style" ?

Dale- It means that camera is not constantly moving.

Maria-Have you done any acting yourself?

Dale- Only acting I've done was in the documentary "Jane's Journey " as an interviewer. I'm more comfortable behind camera. I know I have a gift to envision a scene.

Maria- What was it like to be part of "Jane's Journey" ?

Dale-  It was great to be part of it, and it turned out fantastic.

Maria- With the movie "Hello, My Name Is Frank", are you wanting to make a difference?

Dale- Yes, I want to make a difference. I talked to the Tourette Association, and they loved the film. I wanted to make sure I portray the character with respect. The rest of the world needs to catch up with Frank.

Maria- Where was the movie filmed?

Dale- In eastern part of Washington State. The area is beautiful.

Maria- What advice would you give to aspiring screenwriters?

Dale- Start with good material and a good script. Hone in on your craft as a writer. Be aggressive and try to get whatever you can get.

Maria- What's it like to see your idea turn into film especially with "Hello, My Name Is Frank" ?

Dale- It's overwhelming. To see a huge audience react, it brought tears to my eyes. It makes me feel happy to see that.

Maria- Any favorite movies?

Dale- "The Graduate", and I like the classics. "Citizen Kane" is one of my favorites. I also love "Taxi Driver." I like real stories.

Maria- Any films you're writing now?

Dale- A Christmas movie which will be different from usual ones. It will be kind of a sci-fi movie.

Maria- What's a favorite quote you can share with my readers?

Dale- "Life is what you dream it." I truly believe anything you envision you can accomplish. We envision our world. Envision what you want. Take steps, and see an end game. Plan your steps properly.

I really like what he says about envisioning your life. I believe it's so important to have a vision and an end game as Dale put it. I believe you have to have VISION.  He had a vision with his movie which started off as an idea. He also mention that everything we see was at one time an idea. You can sit on your idea and nothing will happen. With Dale, he worked on his ideas with his videos and his latest film "Hello, My Name Is Frank."

About Maria Rochelle

Maria is a writer of multiple genres, and author of the popular children's picture story book series Jasmine Dreams.
Find out more about Maria here →


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