We had the good fortune of connecting with Melanie Sudyn & Daeil Kim and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Melanie Sudyn & Daeil Kim, how do you define success?
Simply put, success can be defined as goals that are accomplished. It is about perception. If you see success in your failures, then you’re still using those moments of failure to get closer to accomplishing your goals.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Due to the nature of the beast, a film set doesn’t always give you enough time to develop people. Teams of people come and go, and having a culture on set becomes harder to build. Over time, we found it important to expand our circle of people who help build a culture that drives behavior and produces results.

How we work on set is just as important as what we do off set. When we are not working, we continue to improve ourselves and talk about goals, as individuals and as a unit. We discuss what went well and what could have been better on any set. This way, we can improve our responses to situations as they arise.

When we are under pressure, we respond to how we are trained. If a negative situation occurs, it is too late to begin training how you should respond; which is why preparing ahead helps us develop our response. We don’t have control over the events that occur on set, neither do we necessarily control the outcome. What we do control is how we respond. So, discussing how we can improve is important.

We also make it a point to invest in our team members. We want to know what their goals are and how we can lead them better. The knowledge we have about set-life or of leadership, we share with our team. Essentially, we want our team to grow to become leaders themselves, who can then teach and lead others.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Since our time living in Los Angeles, we have had visitors come and go. Depending on who visits, we adjust the itinerary accordingly. Different people like different things.

When it comes to food, we actually really enjoy cooking meals for our people. We tend to cook Korean food or healthy options for people. Here are a few of the places we will go out to eat on the days we don’t want to cook;

– BCD Tofu House
– Mendocino Farms
– Grand Central Market
– Shake Shack
– Millie’s Cafe
– (& Many Different Cafe’s)
– Newport Seafood Restaurant
– Bacari Silverlake + Bar Bacari

Here are a few of the places we enjoy going to while people visit;

– The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens **
– Venice Canals and then walk to Venice Beach
– Santa Monica Pier
– Manhattan Beach
– The Broad Museum
– Griffith Park
– Griffith Observatory
– Japanese Village Plaza
– The Grove Mall
– Melrose Trading Post
– The Pink Wall
– The Chinese Theatre
– Beverly Center
– Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

At the end of the trip, people get to see what is most popular in the area as well as a few hidden gems that I think we have found since we’ve been here.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Sometimes, what aids success, is meeting the right people at the right time. Our families have always shown us support; which not every family does. Filmmaking opportunities can be fickle and the rate of success varies. Their support, though, has been an encouraging force.

When it was just the two of us, we were still making projects frequently. Through one of our projects, we met John Spaschak. We were hired to make a video, for a non-for profit organization his son founded; which turned into a mini docu-series. John was impressed with our level of excellence, and we were impressed with his ability to produce. After the project completed, we asked John to read a feature script that we thought he could produce. Because of John’s ‘yes,’ we were blessed with a relationship that was so life giving and a completed feature film. Subsequently, John and his wife walked us through so many life lessons. We are forever grateful to him and his family who have become very much part of our life.

Another great life lesson is understanding the importance of leadership. While we were still making film projects, Melanie had taken a job where she was under the leadership of Joe Miller. While she worked this position, he invested his time to read books and discuss ways to improve and grow as a leader. It was a mindset Joe instilled in her that she would then bring to the team at Xylograph Films.

We began meeting more people with every project we made. With that, our team began to grow, and we became a unit. We took what we learned about leadership, and applied it to our team. They were so receptive to our leadership that this allowed us to grow as leaders. Because of our team, we could continue to make projects with excellence. They are one of the greatest reasons for growth in us as a business and as individuals. Our team of people continue to sustain and improve the culture we are trying to create.

Despite now being thousands of miles away from where we started, we still maintain such good relationships with the people who have made an impact on our lives. It is our hope that while we are in Los Angeles, we will continue to meet the right people at the right time.

Website: https://www.xylographfilms.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/xylograph.films/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/melanie-sudyn-755b92115/ & https://www.linkedin.com/in/daeil-kim-831a11179/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/xylograph.films

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQYs3Ehr4IL6raXYa0GnBPQ

Other: Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/daeilkim

Image Credits
Kyle Licht Nancy Boyd Sandeep Annam

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