We had the good fortune of connecting with Michael Vaughn Hernandez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michael Vaughn, why did you pursue a creative career?
I grew up an academic, from the IB program to pre-med at Florida State. But the most I’ve learned in life has been through film. This is an art form that allows us to experience information in a way you can’t get from words or diagnostics. It’s a uniquely shared experience everyone in the audience goes through, one that results in perspectives learned and emotions expressed that may not have been otherwise communally understood.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My journey started as a hobby, and while the business side has been pretty straightforward, I’ve had to learn a lot through the years about being an artist and creative. Finding my voice, principles, relatability, and expression were things that I gradually unlocked through time and artistic experimentation. Through this journey I’ve discovered my passion for morally ambiguous or, at times, morally conflicting drama/thrillers. I love watching them and I love creating them. It excites me to tell difficult stories that challenge the viewer. From such stories we learn that life is not black and white but shades of gray that sometimes have no clear winners or losers, and from this we can reflect and grow, to face the uncomfortable complex realities of life from a safe distance before experiencing it in the real world sooner or later.
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.
Being a big fan of nature, I would instantly book a trip to Joshua Tree National Park. The starscape, boulders, open area, and overall peaceful stillness has a re-centering and refreshing energy. There’s an amazing bakery, ‘Campbell Hill Bakery,’ that serves the most mind-blowing pastries and sandwiches in addition to a great warm and welcoming service. A week would be a great amount of time to explore the park and surrounding area, camp, and climb to challenging, rewarding heights. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
We are all culminations of the lessons we learn through our work, people we’ve met who have blessed us with their hard work and insights, and intuitive moments we’ve learned to follow; however, there are some individuals that I specifically have to name. A grand and well deserved shoutout to Kally Khourshid, my partner in art, empath, and creative genius. We met in 2011 and she was the first actress I worked with in my very first film. Over the last ten years we’ve collaborated on countless stories, films, music videos, commercials, all the while she consistently challenges me to look at things in different ways and become a more multi-dimensional artist. My second shoutout from the rooftop goes to Ahmed Arifin, a gifted composer who adds the heartbeat to each film I’ve collaborated with him on and is a genuine artist. He has been my go-to composer for the last 7 years and I hope to collaborate with him for many more. A third shoutout must go straight to Diego Madrigal. Serving as DP on over 30 projects since 2014, Diego’s masterful eye and artistic generosity brings a skill that results in the best captured moments possible. Because of Diego, many of our stories and work have creative visual artistry and clarity. Finally, Jeff Howard at Film Invasion LA. FILA was the first film festival my short film was accepted to. He has a passionate heart for artists and film, and instills a sense of wisdom that comes with making the balance between the business and the art an important priority.
Creative Duet Media LLC