As Videographer, I’m always intrigued by the behind the scenes. I wanted to find out more about the man behind all the videos of Gary Vee, So I put out a Wave on Anchor to see who could help me out. The 1st reply was from Ali,who ultimately hooked me up with D-rocks email and made this interview possible. Big shout out to Ali for reaching out and helping me out ( The power of the internet).
I emailed D-rock in March 2016 ( DailyVee 025 ) in which he replied right away and agreed to do a writing interview which I was excited about. After a few emails and being persistent it happened.
Here I present to you #createyourhustle interview with DRock.
Tell us a little about yourself. Where did you grow up? When did you fall in love with Filming? Did you go to film school?
“I grew up in the mountains (hills) of the Poconos in Pennsylvania. I was homeschooled with my sister Sarah (who is three years younger than me) by my parents; mainly my Mom, who was very open to me being as creative as I wanted to be. I tried a sleuth of instruments, I loved drawing and writing, basically anything I could “create,” I loved doing. Hard work was instilled in me at the age of 14, when I helped my dad in construction (yes even on school days) on top of a laundry list of chores waiting for me at home. Doing all of these things made me realize I had to find something I loved doing.
At the age of 15, I fell in love with filmmaking. My older sister Jennifer bought a Sony Handycam to film family event and asked me for help to figure it out.
I don’t know what it was that I enjoyed about capturing things through a lens but I was hooked, instantly. In the beginning, I was never satisfied with live events; I wanted to create stories. Eventually I saved enough money from my birthday, Christmas and various summer jobs and bought myself a camera and started to film random things with friends. The true moment I truly fell in love with filmmaking was when I discovered “Windows Movie Maker.” It was the free editing suite on Windows. Once I knew that you could manipulate images to create scenes.. everything changed. I still highly recommend this software for beginners (that or Imovie) because it’s so basic and teaches you the essentials of editing -> cut, move, adjust and repeat”.
If you could pick one lens to shoot Daily Vee with which lens would that be?
“Currently I use one lens so it would be the 24–70 but recently I got the 36- lens and I am excited to try using that. If you want to check out the rest of my equipment I use for DailyVee, check it out here“.”
Where do you get your creative inspiration?
“This question is always tough but the most practical answer would be when I watch movies. Ever since I was a kid I was always fascinated by cinematography. How did they get that angle? Wow, such a flawless edit! why did they edit it that way? Were things I was always thinking about while watching films/tv. Now since I don’t have as much time to watch films as much as I used to I draw inspiration from always trying to make the next video I make better than the last”.
What did you do before working with Gary Vee?
“I was a freelance videographer and editor”.
Tell us about your journey to getting the opportunity to work with Gary?
“I heard of Gary through my friend Nik. Nik had told me that Gary was speaking in manhattan at Columbia College. I hadn’t ever listened or read any of Gary’s books/content until then..so I was intrigued because Nik had talked so highly of him. After the talk I instantly fell in love with Gary’s authenticity (especially because of all of the tacky, uninspiring marketers I had run across in the previous ten months running our podcast). I went down the rabbit hole of Gary’s YouTube page and keynotes, read Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook and was inspired to try and get Gary on our podcast.
Two fun facts about that night:
- Alex who now does Business Development for Gary was also there that night (we had no idea)
- I ready Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook (the week after the talk) but I never read Crush It! Or The Thank You Economy until after I had started working for Gary.
Nik and I were looking for guests on our podcast and once I heard Gary speak I was like…how do we get him on our podcast? My plan was to use Gary’s own philosophy Give, Give, Give then Ask. So I emailed him saying “I’ll make you a free video” …and no response. I tweeted at him…no response (quite a few times) Until one day Gary tweeted “I’m trying out Kik” the messaging app “add me: @garyvee” and I quickly downloaded the app made a username and then messaged him, “Hey, next time you are in NYC I’d love to make a free video for you.” Within five minutes Gary had responded and after a little dialogue he connected me with Steve (Stunwin) who said I’d be following Gary around and making a day in the life video. I met up with him and filmed all day, and the results of that day was a short film called Between the Clouds and Dirt and the rest is history.
…still never got that podcast interview”.
What has been the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far from Gary?
“Two things. Patience and Self-Awareness. I have always known I wanted to be a filmmaker but then I got caught up in the “podcasting, blogging, and marketing world” and was getting further and further away from my strengths. I thought the only way to be successful would be to start a business. I was trying so hard to convince myself that’s what I had to do to be successful. But the sooner I realized I’m a filmmaker and I enjoy creating and put ALL of my energy towards doing that… I’ve excelled 100x more than I would have if I kept trying to “focus on my weaknesses” Sometimes I still find myself thinking of things I could “start” or “create” but have to keep reminding myself to have patience and to continue to work hard and do the things I love to do. It’s just a matter of time”.
How hard is to keep up with Gary all day? Does he ever get tired?
“I’m super energized around Gary and it’s a big plus when you are doing what you love”.
Enough about Gary, What is your vision for Daily Vee?
“I want every episode to be better than the previous one. In order for me to be happy with where we are going..I always think the last episode is dead and it never existed and I always try to outdo myself. I apply myself every day in how can I make this diffrent, how can I keep people engaged in the content. So as long as I keep doing that… I’ll be happy”.
What kind of goals or plans do you see yourself accomplishing in the next 5 years ?
“Continue to do what I do, film and to keep putting myself into situations that I feel I can’t handle because that’s when I’ve found I learned the most. I also want to keep surrounding myself with amazing people, because I love people and the experiences of learning from them. Talk to me here -> Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat”.
What advice would you give to up-and-coming videographers ?
“I used to want to be a Director, like Spielberg and Christopher Nolan…because that’s what I thought I had to do to inspire people, but we are living through some really exciting times right now and video storytelling is super important. Figure out what stories you love to tell and create them. Don’t make another “Vlog” because you watch Casey Neistat or DailyVee. Find the content that makes you the happiest and create that”.
I went on anchor to ask fans, like myself, what more they would want to know about you and here’s what they said. Listen to the whole wave here
Ali Hanif asked “ How has your life changed since working for Gary? What doors has it opened for you?”
“My perspective has just been confirmed. I’ve always been a positive guy, always, always, always. I always knew I had drive and was very self-motivated. I knew I was going to do what I loved to do and be great at it. So how has my life changed? I’ve learned to trust my intuition, keep betting on my strengths, and always try to outwork everyone”.
David Verjano asked “ How is it working in Vaynermedia and how does it operate?”
“I love every single person I’ve ever met at Vaynermedia, we are family. So I would say pretty damn good. It’s a big operation and we are always growing”.
Josh Hayes asked “ If you had the opportunity to work with Casey Neistat for a year would you do it ? if not why?”
“I feel like if I said no (you’d all think I’d be stupid) because he’s an amazing storyteller and I’d would love the opportunity to watch and learn from him. At the same time I’m doing my thing and I like doing my thing. I really learn by doing and I’m creating something every single day, always hacking, always learning and every day I’m just trying to get better and better. I love that guy tho”.
Billy Cassano asked “ Gary always talks about owning the NY Jets, What do you think about the Jets ?”
“You know I’ve been thinking about this a LOT lately (like every day) preciously. I said I always wanted to be a Director and create feature films, but the world is sooo much bigger than that now and there are so many more opportunities. So, I don’t know and I’m continually thinking about what my new North Star is, but for now I’m really enjoying being a pioneer in this “new” world of video storytelling. (I’ll be writing an article on this soon)”
Josh asked “ Any weird moments happen while shooting with Gary ?
“Don’t have a “weird moment”
I want to thank D-Rock again for giving me the opportunity to speak with him and taking the time out for this interview.
For everyone else reading this, Thank you you are awesome.
Until next time, remember its up to you to #CREATEYOURHUSTLE.