We had the good fortune of connecting with Austin Davison and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Austin, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Any creative endeavor is nearly impossible without quite a bit of risk, especially as you are beginning your career. You probably won’t make enough money to live on for years as you start to create art, so you’ll have to find some other ways of making a living to afford the risks of your creative pursuit. But, it’s even riskier to abstain from taking the chances necessary to live the truth you were ultimately destined to live. It’s very difficult to grow in your career without taking chances. You may struggle through much more failures than successes at first (I definitely have), but you just have to recognize those struggles as being an extremely important part of the process of your development.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a writer and director of currently independent film. I am working on my first feature film right now that I am writing and will be filming with friends and other creatives in Los Angeles. My short film Talk Outside premiered at the 2020 SXSW film festival.
It hasn’t been easy to get to this point I’m at now, but I’ve really enjoyed the work that brought me here. I started making movies with friends at 12 years old when I used my parent’s video camera. I honestly don’t feel like I’m doing much of anything different now compared to when I was a kid, although I may have learned how to be a little bit better of a writer and I am surrounded by some pretty talented people. When I was 12 I made my first feature film, staying up all night editing it with a VHS player and my CD player. I wouldn’t consider the work of making a film easy. It’s very long hours and it involves rallying a lot of people who you have somehow convinced to join you in your mad-scientist creative pursuit. But, I personally feel very alive when I am in the act of creating, like an intense runner’s high, which is why I continue to follow this difficult career pathway with relative success. I’ve learned that it’s always best to follow what I’m passionate about and what makes me feel alive and to not follow what some other people in the industry may be interested in right now, because the film industry is usually chasing the success of what worked last time.
But, what do I know, I’m just a Puerto Rican kid from Texas trying to figure it out in LA.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would devote each day to exploring a different borough of Los Angeles. I would do a dim sum crawl in the SGV, Korean BBQ, and a night on the town in Koreatown, going to a concert and eating street dogs in downtown LA, driving down to Torrance for a day of brewery hopping. There is so much to check out and do in LA, as long as you don’t force me to go to the Hollywood walk of fame or Universal CityWalk.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My parents for always encouraging me to pursue what I am passionate about, even though they may not understand the crazy business model that comes with a creative career.