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"Learn How to Give up on Your Good Ideas to Make Space for Great Ones": Interview With YouTube Star and My RØDE Reel Judge Dan Mace

Dan Mace is a multi-faceted, multi-award-winning filmmaker. Since taking out the My RØDE Reel Judges’ Film prize in 2015, his rise has been as meteoric as it has been organic with 700k+ followers on YouTube, 230k+ on Instagram and 90k+ on Twitter - numbers that are constantly on the up. He is known for his high-quality films that span a variety of industry categories, as well as his dedication to craft and from-the-heart content.

For this year's edition of My RØDE Reel, Dan is stepping out from behind the camera to sit behind the juding panel alongside Grace Randolph and Ryan Connolly. Below, he shares his advice for the 2019 entrants, and they key to not only building an audience, but keeping it too. 

What are you most looking forward to as a judge this year? 

Watching beautiful pieces and keeping in touch with how young filmmakers are telling stories today, especially with the huge rise of video in a digital sense.

What was your biggest takeaway from winning the Judges’ Film Prize back in 2015?

I guess it was one of the first times that I could grab the sense that my films could be impactful to a larger audience. I have never been awards-focused, I have always just obsessed over making great films and telling meaningful stories. But it was one of the first public pushes that said that I had something special, on a bigger scale. 

You’ve earned yourself a huge following over the last few years – how do you keep people engaged and hungry for more?

The truth here is that relevance is almost daily. Building an audience in an online sense requires a commitment and attachment to your audience in a very honest and consistent manner.  The focus this year has been to build a plan that sustainably allows for that, which I am very excited to say launches in the next couple weeks.

Your content is so diverse – almost like a scrapbook of your thoughts and ideas. How do you keep it cohesive?

With great difficulty. Kidding, but at the end of the day keeping cohesive in a personal brand sense is about knowing what you stand for and sticking to who you are. It becomes complicated when you try to mould yourself to what you think other people would like.  What is it about certain ideas that that make you think ‘I have to make a film about this?’ Two things: ideas that haven’t been done and conceptualising an angle that is true to me and my journey as a human being. 

Finally, what advice do you have for this year’s entrants?

Learn how to give up on your good ideas to make space for great ones. 

Find out more about My RØDE Reel and this year's judges and prizes on the website.