We had the good fortune of connecting with Derek Sulek and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Derek, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I wanted to start a production company that specialized in created powerful stories but also understood how to operate on a reasonable budget. I also wanted to pick individuals that I worked well with and create a team of my own. Thankfully I have been able to assemble an outstanding team with diverse individuals from unique backgrounds that has helped elevate and evolve my company. Everyone has a right to tell a story and I wanna help make that happen.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I worked extremely hard to get to where I am today in the entertainment industry. I attended film school for 4 years, PA’ed for 600+ days, started at the bottom and worked my way up. I never turned down a job and I tried my best to not complain. I took the time to “pay my dues” and learn the industry to the best of my abilities. And with that note I am still learning. I don’t believe one should ever stop learning. This path wasn’t easy but I wouldn’t change anything If I could do it over again. My path made me who I am today. Some of the challenges I was faced with was: Financial, morals, and ethics. I knew the money would come as long as I stayed true to myself. Doing what is right because It was right not because it was easy. If I could pick one thing for the world to know about myself: it would be that I am always going to do everything in my power to be moral and ethical.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would like to take my friends onto some of the film sets I have had the opportunity to work on. Getting to show people a small peak behind the magic is something I a thoroughly enjoy. I would never pass up an opportunity to go to Disneyland, after-all it is the happiest place on earth!
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?
I would love to take this opportunity to thank my Mother, Kimberley, for all her dedication and help in my life. My Mother has gone above and beyond to make sure I was educated, informed, and well rounded as a child. She has been my biggest support but also my biggest critic. She isn’t afraid to tell me when my work needs improvement. She has been the person who corrects me if my ego gets out of line. She has also pushed me to do better and keep improving. To never give up and never settle for less in life. She truly is my hero.
Images provided by: SulekFilms, John Rodarte, and Paula Neves.