Ones to Watch: Daire Collins

We caught up with Daire Collins for our June edition of Ones to Watch.

Can you introduce yourself and your creative work/interests?

Hi, I'm Daire, an Irish documentary filmmaker and freelance journalist based in London. I'm fascinated by storytelling and have started to realise how universal the way in which we tell stories is. The potential for a story to lead the audience and creator to surprising places is addictive and it really applies to both documentaries and long-form journalism.

I've been lucky enough to be able to combine two things I'm passionate about into a fledging career. By freelancing I've been able to combine my work with visiting some incredible places. The 3 months I spent working in West Africa earlier this year was an eye-opener.

What are you currently working on?

To pay the bills I have worked on a lot of videography jobs along with other stints in production roles at documentary production companies. Recently my videography work has started to take on a documentary focus as I've been given more room creatively.

I'm currently finishing up editing a series of documentaries for Water Aid Mali. I spent two weeks travelling around Mali with them recently documenting their work and the issues that people are facing throughout the region. It's one of my biggest projects for a single client to date and has been a dream job. There's been hiccups along the way but I'm really happy with how it's all coming together.

What are your future creative ambitions?

If you were to ask me what I want to be doing in five years I'd have no idea, I'd hope to be working in the same industry and to have at least one feature made. 

For the more immediate future, I'm slowly but surely working my way towards making my first feature doc a reality. It's been a difficult slog but the project is finally at a stage where people are taking notice. Hopefully I'll be able to tell more soon, but for now I can say it involves a dictator, partying rockstars, murder and a dramatic cross country escape.

What advice would you give people aspiring to work in a similar creative field?

Keep at it. Keep pushing for the job you want. Change jobs regularly. Move country.

I know some of this is impossible for some people, but I do think people can take more risks than they think. Almost every risk I've taken career wise has had some payoff. Fairly often the payoff isn't been obvious immediately and I've been frustrated and even regretted my choices. But, people notice. They notice the footage you've gotten from a trip that you lost money on (and sacrificed a holiday for), or the extra work you've put in on your showreel, or how you taught yourself how to use After Effects.

Be prepared for it all to take time, if you had asked me how long it would take for me to begin to break in two years ago I would've given you a very different answer.

You can find Daire Collins on Twitter and you can keep up with his latest work on his website.


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