The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
In conversation with Adrian Danciu, videographer for the project Speaking of Home.
SOH: How did you begin your career as a photographer and videographer? AD: I was always interested in photography. My dad was an amateur photographer and I was always surrounded by visuals, art books. It was just a matter of ﬁnding the right outlet.
SOH: As an immigrant from Romania, what does it mean for you to work on a project about other immigrants? AD: I ﬁt right in there, I can relate to them. Before I came here, I was passionate to further my craft. So when I got a chance to travel, I took it. My plan was to stay here only for a year or two but I never thought that changing home base could be culturally taxing. Collaborating with people and building a new network is a challenge, since cultural differences are always a factor. But I’m lucky to ﬁnd a similar professional environment––people that I always enjoy working with. I still visit Romania every year to work with colleagues. Over time, the planet becomes a little smaller.
SOH: How has your experience in the U.S. inﬂuenced your work? AD: What inﬂuenced my work most is the change that happened, inside and outside. Immigrating to the USA allowed me to work with different professionals. Various advancements in technologies, visual styles, and many more (delivery) platforms are available here. For example, the ability to upload on the web: now it needs to be cinematic and powerful. It fascinates me. Point and shoot is no longer trendy, because our audience is much more educated, they will hold our work to the highest quality possible within the platform. Everyone needs to adapt towards that. The web is no longer an excuse to produce lower-quality work.
From grocery stores to coffee shops, one is always surrounded by video/imagery. We are living in exciting times…particularly for anyone working in visual realms of expressivity. All traditional platforms are now interconnected and overall visual language is now very similar, with speciﬁc little differences. A painter can use a camera, a photographer can make ﬁlms without any taboos. Where does it all lead? I hope as artists we can use our skills and talent to help everybody else–– as a response from a political perspective, a humanitarian angle, or just as entertainment.
SOH: Are there aspects of the Speaking of Home project that particularly resonate with you? And if so, what are they? AD: When you are trying to further your craft, give and take is an inevitable part of the process. I’m hoping that I could give back and work with people who are more talented than me or experts in their own ﬁeld.
SOH: What plans do you have next? What keeps you going? AD: I’m just hoping to work with other artists and pros. Ideally I would like to work on my dream projects and maximize my collaborations too. I feel fortunate that I get to meet lots of other people, not just colleagues. As a videographer I am parachuted into others’ lives, get a close up of their day-to-day situations, and many times it translates into strong bonds later on. I’m excited to see that what I worked on moves someone’s life. As a visual communicator it is important to know that my work will make a positive impact on human lives.
Video is a powerful medium in many ways. Mostly, we human beings are designed to have good intentions, but many times we don’t have insight into a certain topic or we don’t have time. But visual platforms such as documentary ﬁlms can give us that understanding and encouragement to investigate and explore more. Sometimes they become a trigger to act and a movement is born. That experience is a work of art.
Visit Adrian Danciu’s website for more information