How To Become A Hollywood Commercial Director Part 2

In this part of EntreFilmmaker’s interview series, we continue with the second part of Daniel (or Danny) Kaufman’s interview. He talks about:

1. career killers to avoid
2. what leadership skills you need
3. what strategies you should employ in order to move forward with your film career
4. how you might want to start out as an aspiring director
5. how to select the “right” clients to further your career


Interview with Hollywood Director Daniel Kaufman

If you missed out on the amazing first part of this interview, you can go back here and watch it.

I met Danny when he was teaching at a three-week film workshop, and I have to say, he was one of my most influential teachers.
His approach to career building is so logical and smart. I owe him a hell lot of kudos for having me under his wings for some time.


My interview with Danny touches in an open and super honest way upon topics that hardly any film pro covers. I want you to watch it and pass it on to the next generation.
Danny really lived the life of a “poor” filmmaker in the beginning of his career. He is a great resource and inspiration. He gives us hope and shows how we all can make things happen.

Topics Daniel Kaufman covers:

0:17 What can be a career killer in the film industry?
3:20 As a director what leadership skills do you need?
4:06 What if you plateaued in your career and don’t know what to do next to ascend further?
What if you reached the ceiling and don’t know where to grow toward?
5:40 What strategies do you use in order to move on in your career?
6:52 How can spec commercials and a spec reel help you to become an A-player?
8:20 Should you give away your talent and time in order that a movie gets made?
9:05 How do you make the transition to a new field or specialization within the film industry?
10:10 Is it possible to be a “Jack of All Trades”? Does it work if, let’s say, you want to become a Director & DP?
12:30 What is a film director really responsible for? It’s probably not what you think 🙂
14:00 How do you start as a film director?
14:30 How do you come up with creative stories and commercial ideas?
18:20 Why you should be great at all cost and not settle for mediocrity.
19:00 Should you produce crappy work even if it pays great money?
20:00 Why you should keep your overhead minimal.
20:45 Do you need a good looking car in order to close deals or impress people?
21:20 What would you have done differently if you could start all over again?
22:00 How should you select the right client?
23:15 Why you can’t afford to “relax” in your career if you want to make it big. Hint: Be a control freak.
25:25 Daniel reveals his latest endeavor: a feature film.

  • Great interview and amazing tips! Keep up the good jog Shmuel. =D

    • Good JOB! LOL

      • entrefilmmaker

        Thank you guys, for being part of our tribe 🙂

  • Great series! It’s very rare to see an interview with a successful commercial director like this, so thanks for putting this up. I loved his perspective on always needing to make great content, as well as what it takes to be a director. It was encouraging, as well as inspiring.

  • entrefilmmaker

    I’m so glad it helped you.
    Thanks for being a member.

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