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Meet Todd Felderstein of Camera Conversations in Venice

Today we’d like to introduce you to Todd Felderstein.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Todd. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I am a screen and stage director but one with hyphens that include: screenwriter, producer and editor. If you wanted to add one more dash to the mix that would be photographer which predates everything. But the reality is that I direct, across platforms and, if I wind up sitting down to an edit bay or having to pen the script, fantastic, I am very comfortable and happy to make that happen.

In 2017, I made two short-form films, one I directed while I produced both, directed two music videos and a series of plays of varying lengths (winning one festival at the end of 2016). I also optioned two books: one for film and the other, the very well-known title “Way of the Peaceful Warrior,” to adapt into a stage musical.

“Camera Conversations” is a digital series that I am particularly fond of because it’s purely a labor-of-love. Nonfiction in format, it was born out of my experience mentoring in high school classrooms, primarily in challenged communities. As everyone needs guidance at one time in their life (typically more) or another, these communities where positive role models tend to be a rare commodity, I wanted to create a short-form digital series, accessible to everyone, that explores the “How” behind accomplishment.

The reality is that everyone stumbles, most get up, but not everyone is able to accomplish their goals. “Camera Conversations” pairs victories with temporary set-backs. It proves that extraordinary isn’t made of magic but from hard work.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Show business is never a smooth road. Never. Pair this career choice with life’s natural/normal challenges and yes, it’s necessary to check your ego and be prepared for an uphill battle.

I have been a freelancer for the last 15 years so, you can imagine the insecurity in that lifestyle. Of course, there have been terrific opportunities throughout this course as in writing for Sony TV or post production with Marvel Studios but, at the end of the day, I have remained steadfast to my goal of directing and continue to find success in that field, regardless of the medium. Of course, that determination/tunnel vision can be very limiting. Alternative methods of cash flow become mandatory. In fact, most of the sacrifice has been with financial security but along those lines I’ve developed a wonderful freedom and fearlessness that is a direct result from this training. To that extent I am extremely grateful.

Camera Conversations – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Camera Conversations offers insight to personal accomplishment across many different fields.

With regards to my personal specialty, I have been described as someone with a very unique ability to put those in front of my lens at ease. What that means is that I gravitate towards productions with strong characters who tell the story as opposed to VFX. This quality extends to the stage where my actors often walk away with recognition, above and beyond the design of the show and to screen, both narrative and nonfiction.

Speaking of documentary, I have been fortunate to meet and discuss highly sensitive topics with those who have freely opened their homes and hearts to me on both sides of the globe. In that I say that my conversations in Israel, a country where I made my very first documentary entitled “Magic(s)”, was an amazing experience and accomplishment. As this world continues to point fingers at the “other”, my story and my interactions in this country were with people on both sides of the conflict who shared with me that hostilities are not the way. Everyone is tired and they would like nothing better to put down their stones and live in peace and harmony.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I am a listmaker. I set goals. Most make me antsy. Success comes when these benchmarks are accomplished. I am also enormously moved when others with whom I have worked with, achieve. This is often a better feeling than grabbing the brass ring myself.

Markers: accomplishing goals, building an audience, having people seek me out for service…

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Renee O’Connor
Victoria Jacobsen
Todd Felderstein
Sande Robert

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