We had the good fortune of connecting with Dayna Noffke and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Dayna, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
Persistence and relationships. The film industry can be overwhelming and, at times, downright brutal. At every stage of your career, the no’s will vastly outstrip the yesses. You have to not only love what you do but believe in your ability to do it and be your own cheerleader. The flipside of that is the understanding that it is an industry formed on relationships. The thing that I love most about making movies is the collaborative nature of the art. Finding a community is essential, for both your career growth and your own mental health. I’m not a fan of the word networking, which for many people conjures images of finding people to befriend based only on what they can give you. I prefer to think of it as community-building, which is about finding people to share the journey with and developing relationships based on shared sensibilities or interests and mutual support.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Making your way in the movie industry is never easy. It’s been a long and winding path for me, as for many. Still, today, I am striving daily to keep moving forward, learning and growing as an artist. Like many others (maybe even the majority of filmmakers), I didn’t have any formal training. I didn’t go to film school, or even realize I wanted to make films, till well after my college years. My film education has been derived from reading scripts, watching films and getting on set whenever I could. I’ve been fortunate to work on the projects of many talented writers and directors and I have learned so much simply from observing them at work. My own projects are largely in the horror genre, with occasional forays into dark comedy and action. I focus on subversive female-forward stories. My screenplays and films are richly visual, an aesthetic that was informed by several years spent working in set decoration buying. Some of my favorite work – both my own and that of other artists – is found at the intersection of the beautiful and terrifying. I love that dichotomy – cute and dark, or gorgeous and scary. It’s like life; you never know what’s coming up next. I mentioned it before but it can never be said enough – relationships are the key to everything. Every opportunity that has come my way can be traced back to a relationship. Talent is one side of the coin. Finding a way to get your work out to others and find a community of people you enjoy working with is the other.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love Atlanta! A few of my go-to’s: First stop is the MLK Center. It’s truly the heart of Atlanta and an amazing museum. Follow that up with a visit to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s home and Ebenezer Baptist and a lunch at Mary Mac’s Tea Room! I tell everyone who comes to visit that they should check out the Center for Puppetry Arts. Their Jim Henson exhibit is really special for kids and adults alike. For film buffs, a visit to Videodrome video store and the Plaza Theatre are at the top of the list. Other favorite haunts of mine: Midtown Bowl, downtown Decatur, The Star Bar, the Earl, the shops at Little 5, Criminal Records, Trashy Diva, The Book Nook and Atlanta Vintage Books. A few of my favorite restaurants: Lee’s Bakery (fantastic vegetarian pho), Jinya Ramen, We Suki Suki in East Atlanta Food Hall, Soul Vegetarian, Slutty Vegan food truck, Blaxican food truck, Grindhouse Burgers, El Rey, Revolution Donuts. The list could go on forever! I’m also a huge fan of antique shopping. Spending a day getting lost on Antique Row in Chamblee is dreamy! The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My shoutout list could go on forever! I’ve been fortunate to be supported by friends and family, as well as members of the horror, film and writing communities on this journey. I’d like to give a special shoutout to my amazing family – my husband Jason, kids – Viva and Cole, my dad Kenton and stepmom Kathy and all of my (30-some! ) cousins, aunts and uncles. I’d also like to thank the fellow writers, directors, actors and crew who I have had the pleasure of working with through the years. They are a source of endless inspiration.

Website: www.daynanoffke.com
Instagram: www.instagram/daynadirects
Twitter: www.twitter.com/daynadirector

Image Credits
Robin Henson Ed Selby

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