HELLO AMERICA!—It is always exciting when one has an opportunity work with an extraordinary, imaginative writer and film editor in the entertainment industry. Without a doubt, Daryl Perle definitely is one of those who have that certain kind of magic that Hollywood has always needed and dreamed about since the early days of silent films.
I remember as a youngster in the business, attending U.S.C. and fortunate to have as a mentor America’s iconic star Mary Pickford who stressed the importance of the “writer” in the motion picture industry. I’ve never forgotten how forceful she was concerning the writer of all of her film efforts. “It’s up to the writer to create the blueprint and it’s up to the actor job to bring it life”
When interviewing Daryl Perle, it was extremely evident why he is often selected as “the” chosen one.
MSJ: Daryl, since you are a California boy, how did you view Hollywood in your own mind?
DP: It always seemed like a magical but distant place to me, even though it was only a few miles away. A theoretical wonderland in my own backyard, that at times seemed vexing and unattainable, while at other times completely palpable and within reach. The fun part of living here is that everyone feels like they’re ‘one project away’ from making it big, and the reality is they’re right. People come from all over the world to live here and it has definitely made me appreciate my home town more when I feel like I’m taking it for granted. I love to create so there’s no other place where I belong, I’m blessed to be born and raised in The City of Angels.
MSJ: What kind of films did you watch TV or films during those early years? Did they have an influence on what you might be interested in becoming an important part?
DP: The Twilight Zone was my favorite show as a kid and it still is to this day. As a toddler I was introduced to a lot of classics by my parents and grandparents. My Grandfather lived to be 102, and he would watch classic movie channels every day. As a result, I was exposed to movies I might not otherwise have known existed. I’ve learned to appreciate cinema and all it encompasses. It feels like we’re all chasing ghosts most of the time because we are. A lot of the early auteurs were geniuses in that we are all still trying to emulate their creative magic today.
MSJ: What actors influenced you most during the earlier years of your life and why?
DP: Can we change this to writers/directors??? Rod Serling, Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Quentin Tarantino, Orson Welles, Paul Thomas Anderson, Steven Spielberg, Wes Anderson, Woody Allen, Charlie Kaufman & Vincent Gallo. For whatever reason these people captivated me with their prose and visuals in a way that further inspired and ignited my creativity.
MSJ: What is it about the art of film that is so satisfying for you and why?
DP: I’ve always been fascinated with the behind the scenes portion of filmmaking, and as a writer there’s no greater joy than creating something completely from nothing and conjuring new ideas from the ether so to speak. There is no other medium that exists that combines all the senses better than film. An amalgamation of visuals, sound, stories, music, & human emotion that cannot be replicated anywhere else. If we ever get invaded by aliens we should just hand them some of our greatest films and say “everything you ever need to know about us is in here… good luck trying to figure it all out.”
MSJ: What was it like getting your first big break being a part of the industry?”
DP: It was a bizarre feeling because I journeyed down a path I never envisioned. I always viewed myself as a writer/director and a musician and somehow, I ended up working in television as an editor and producer. I’ve learned to just take opportunities as they come and not question it. You never know, you may just end up adding another skill to your repertoire and make a little money along the way.
MSJ: What was the most disturbing reality being a part of the biz you never knew about or even expected?
The business side, that’s for sure. I understand it to a certain extent but when it’s about the bottom line more than creativity that becomes a problem for emerging artists and it can be quite depressing. I guess that’s why I do my own projects even though I usually lose money on them. Otherwise I’ll go insane trying to convince people why something might be good when I could just be working on it trying to make it so. Also, there’s being able to create, and there’s being able to create on a deadline. An ever changing deadline which you have no control, unless it’s completely your own project. Self-imposed deadlines aren’t the same thing as a company having you under contract and demanding that you get something done in time or you don’t get paid. A lot of times you’re fighting for survival. I’ve always been an insomniac though, which has been of tremendous benefit to me. As long as you don’t mind the constant sleep deprivation, you can survive anything!
MSJ: What did you discover about yourself – was it a gratifying discovery or one or something which surprised you based on the challenges or decisions you had to suddenly make in order to accept the new creative challenge?
DP: The fact that even though I hate to rush art, I’ve entered into 48 hour film competitions with my friends many times. Each time we had no idea what we would come up with, yet somehow in the 11th hour, whenever everything seemed like it was going to fall apart and we might embarrass ourselves… we always managed to figure it out and find a way to make something we’re proud of. Something we would never normally make that took us out of our comfort zone. I use this as an example for just embracing any challenges thrown my way, because that’s what life is. Challenges and how you respond to them. Whether I succeed or fail I live for that. If you aren’t being challenged or challenging yourself how can you expect to grow as an artist?
MSJ: What have you learned most when facing the reality of surviving in one of the toughest businesses in the world?
DP: You have to constantly listen to criticism but you don’t always have to agree with it or utilize it. Everybody has their own way of doing things but they aren’t you, so don’t take things too personally, and if you do, use it as motivation to prove people wrong. Everybody has different tastes, likes and dislikes. You’ll never create something that every single person on this earth will love, but that makes the people who do like what you do seem even more special. Believe in yourself but be your toughest critic and anything anyone else says will pale in comparison.
MSJ: What advice would you give to those leaving colleges and film school who dream of achieving even what you have so far?
DP: I still have a long way to go to achieve my goals and dreams so I can only echo the sentiments of people I look up to which has helped me many times. Do things because you love to do it and good things will happen. If you’re obsessed with what you do and you bleed your work people will notice eventually. If you’re doing something just to be famous then you’ll probably be disappointed. Also nothing against film school, but I personally learned from just diving in and doing things, even if it didn’t work out the way I had hoped. There isn’t a handbook around that can teach you how to make a perfect film. If you want to make films just make them and learn! If you fail make another one. Nobody can really teach you, you just have to do it. Same thing with music, if you wanna write songs just write them. There’s no magic formula for anything, but along the way you’ll discover your own way of doing things which might be unique and original, and hey, maybe people will be asking you for advice! You can never go wrong studying the people that came before you though. I’m still trying to figure things out like everybody else.
MSJ: Has Daryl Perle change from the young guy who simply dreamed about a career in the world of film or TV?
DP: Yes and no. Even though I’ve seen some things here and there on the business side that have soured me on the process of creating from time to time I’m still a kid at heart who loves to create. The most exciting thing for me as a kid was a blank sheet of paper, because I could make it my own and create anything I wanted to without anyone telling me what to do. To this day it still is, so I’ve held onto that… even if past me probably wouldn’t get along with present and future me – we still have a love for what we’re doing and that’s all that really matters.