Podcast Ep2: Dan Ming – 1st AC of Life of Pi


Listening time: 28:47 mins – this one is a podcast interview

Here Comes the next episode of the Film-Life Lab Podcast 🙂

I wanted to do interviews on the topics that Film-Life Lab covers, but was thinking about the format for a while.
Finally I decided to go with the audio format. This way you can experience the knowledge of the professionals in a bit more personal way.

So among the written articles, you will see these podcast posts as well. You can subscribe to these on iTunes as well or can listen to on Spotify and Google Play Music.

The next interviewee is Dan Ming. He’s the “A” – Camera Focus Puller of Life of Pi, Saving Mr. Banks, The Founder, Only the Brave, etc. (for further amazing credits check him out on IMDb) He shared his story, experiences, systems, and philosophies with me for which I am immensely grateful. 🙂

The main topics you can learn about from his experience are these:

  • What does a 1st AC (Focuspuller) do*
  • Being ready for things going wrong
  • Building a great team
  • Personalities on set
  • Letting things go
  • A reversed career path to 1st AC
  • Networking
  • Making mistakes
  • Shifting gears to Family life
  • Career/life balance
  • Mentoring, Being mentored, Lifting others up
  • Being ready for opportunities
  • Attitudes on set
  • Focusing on the goal to work through problems

You can listen to it here below or on https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/film-life-lab-podcast/id1353873305


, on


and on

https://play.google.com/music/m/I2o5auv35x6ehi4yy5colggszom?t=Film-Life_Lab_Podcast Google Play

*I will always ask what the interviewee’s job description is. Most of us know what an AD or DP does, but I strongly believe we can always learn new things from hearing about the same idea from a totally different perspective than ours. I think this wider understanding of the roles will just make the co-operation of separate departments easier.

I would love to hear your stories in the comments below!

Photo of Dan Ming is from his personal archive with his approval.

About the author

Peter Varnai
By Peter Varnai

Peter Varnai

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Heey, I'm Peter. Father of 2, filmmaker, solopreneur, and a helper of other solopreneurs and self-employed people. :) Feel free to reach out to me and let's have a virtual coffee. or Sign up for the newletter.