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My Summer Lair featuring Dave O’Connor (Executive Producer of Abstract)

My Summer Lair featuring Dave O’Connor (Executive Producer of Abstract)

Sammy Younan

Published on: February 10 2017

My Summer Lair Chapter #37: What Makes A Great Character?

Executive Producer Dave O’Connor adds to that question: What Makes A Great Story? Which is fascinating because he’s answering my question with questions. Even in just the half hour I spent with him you can quickly tell one of Dave’s strengths as a documentary filmmaker is ability to ask the “right” questions. Of course my whole conversation with Dave is strange…my work is asking him about his work which is work about how other people work. Did you follow that…should be easy to: work out! (#RimShot)

In Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru we got to witness how Tony Robbins works. And what works for Tony Robbins. It’s an unusual documentary and it’s on Netflix check it out…think it’ll surprise you. Tony Robbins is not who I thought he was; if that makes sense. And in his first 30 for 30 documentary  for ESPN films You Don’t Know Bo: The Legend of Bo Jackson it’s about how Bo works which makes sense because…as everybody can attest Bo Knows. Now Dave O’Connor is part of a fantastic team showing how designers from different disciplines work.

Abstract: The Art of Design has launched on Netflix an 8 part docu-series featuring Bjarke Ingels (Architect), Christoph Niemann (Illustrator), Es Devlin (Stage Designer), Ilse Crawford (Interior Designer), Paula Scher (Graphic Designer), Platon (Photographer), Ralph Gilles (Automobile Designer) and Tinker Hatfield (Nike Shoe Designer). The second episode features Tinker’s Nike work and happily includes a Michael Jordan interview…that is what initially attracted me to the tv show.

Abstract dominates the bulk of my conversation with Dave but I could have easily propelled it in a number of directions because he works on a variety of compelling projects.

Before I depart a note about RadicalMedia the New York City based film production company Dave O’Connor works for. That sentence I just wrote is deceptive. RadicalMedia are storytellers (you can see that in Dave O’Connor’s IMDB work) however what makes them distinct is how they select the fire to gather the global village around and tell stories. Commercials, apps, tv shows…it’s a rich body of work and definitely a spirited business model worth examining. I’m curious how that culture of creativity is cultivated and how that elusive Gold Standard of quality is determined…however we’ll have to work that out on another day.

Host Sammy Younan W • T • F


Dave O’Connor @ W • T • F

Recorded: February 10, 2017 2:30pm on the phone
Special Thanks to Erik for setting this up!