TRANSCRIPT EP 26 - An Indie Filmmaking Conversation with Producer Damien Swaby

Updated: Oct 14


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Intro: All right, welcome to the successful screenwriter podcast, where we are dedicated to anything and everything screenwriting. Here, we interview successful screenwriters and filmmakers to discover just what it takes to make it in the industry.

Geoffrey: Welcome to the podcast, we have on a very special guest, Damien Swaby.

Damien, thank you for being on with us today.

Damien: Thank you for inviting me on, I really appreciated it!

Geoffrey: You run a podcast, Filmmaking Conversations, and you have a really cool perspective on being a producer. With me being an screenwriter in the indie film industry, as well, I thought we should get together and chat about this stuff.

Damien: Definitely!

Geoffrey: I need to get Damien’s origin story.

Damien: Ah, Damien’s origin story. I started as an actor, and little by little I wasn’t getting the kind of roles I wanted, because I wasn’t getting the auditions I wanted. That’s the big thing, I wasn’t getting the auditions I wanted. After the ’08 crash, I had to really start again. I did some really fun commercials, but other than that it was just bits and bobs, here and there. I injured my knee in one show where I was doing a lot of physical theatre…People say ‘the show must go on,’ but now it’s like, ‘the bills must be paid.’ I really messed up my knee, so I decided to go in another direction, so I started to write again. I should’ve contacted you before I started writing. But I started to write and make short films that I could use as showroom material, as an actor. I was writing and directing these things, and really enjoying it. The buzz of that last shooting day is something else. I was enjoying that without knowing that the work really gets going after you finish, because you have to do all the editing and get rid of the mistakes. But I really enjoyed that process so much, so I thought, “why am I still trying to act in things I don’t really like?” I can take this journey that I’m more passionate about, that I’m getting more enjoyment out of, because it’s leading me in a different direction. The thing I loved so much about filmmaking is; once I bought my first camera, which as an entry level SLR camera; I could just go out and make stuff. I had a free editing software on my laptop, Windows Movie Maker.

Geoffrey: That’s bare budget, everybody starts out with that software…You’re centered more on the producer aspect of things, and you also dip into cinematography and stuff like that. As a producer, what have you found that educated you on the process of screenwriting? I know you’ve done some documentaries, I’ve written documentaries with Darcy Weir, who is a talented documentarian. I’ve been pulled into that world, and it’s a whole different type of filmmaking. Are you going out and hunting for scripts or are scripts coming to you? What is your angle?

Damien: My