Making films is hard; there are vital technical and people skills to be learned, visual and storytelling techniques to master, equipment and project management issues to overcome. The list seems endless. Daniel’s studies have helped him gain the necessary skills and knowledge, but it’s his determination to fearlessly reflect his own experiences and honesty to the outside world that is allowing him to create the sort of films he’s always dreamed of making.
“The Fear of Missing Out is a story that's very personal and close to home to me, and I wanted my actors to share in that. So, I said to them – I’m going to allow myself to be vulnerable through this, so you can be vulnerable to me as a director. And when I made that approach, they understood completely, it’s almost like something switched on in them.”
Flinders creates an environment where students are supported yet challenged to be their best self. Daniel’s lecturers at Flinders have mentored him throughout his studies. He appreciates that they are upfront and honest with him, because they don’t just want him to succeed, they want him to push himself out of his comfort zone and build a career telling the sort of stories that define us.
Daniel’s film echoes the experiences of many of his generation, and doesn’t shy from boldly portraying universal themes of relationship and the coming-of-age struggles in that difficult gap between leaving high school and adulthood. Fear of Missing Out is filled with emotions and relationships Daniel and his peers are all too familiar with.
“Not a lot of people really see that gap in between. Not a lot of people see that. And that's something I really wanted to highlight, because that's where a lot of people do a lot of their growing, and find themselves, which is why I think this story needed to take place here.”
Telling stories that delve into our deepest emotions sometimes terrifies Daniel, but it’s his ability to work through that fear that will help his film making and his career go far.