DERRICK Interview with Blind Filmmaker Michael Schwartz

November 11, 2016

michaelschwartzEncouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes gives a DERRICK Interview by asking 7 questions through each letter of his first name to give you an insightful perspective from other experts, entrepreneurs, celebrities and up and coming super stars.

Today’s DERRICK Interview is with Michael Schwartz who is a legally blind filmmaker and owner of Trailhead Productions brings fifteen years of experience in television news and production to the table, and you’ll see what that means all along the way. An award winning reporter, Michael knows television and works for you with the same dedication and ideals valued by the best in the business.   “We’re the storytellers, not the story.”  That means that at Trailhead, we never forget that you and your dreams are the stars of the show.

D is for Dream. What is your dream, goals or what have you achieved?

I’m a big believer in breaking through boundaries. Although I’ve been gradually losing my eyesight since I was thirteen years old, my dream was to pursue a career in visual storytelling, and I’ve never taken “no” for an answer. Through a career as a broadcast reporter and photographer, and now as a documentary filmmaker, I’ve seen firsthand that it’s possible to merge the worlds of visual storytelling and visual impairment. From my first job all the way through my current film. Following my own passions, though, cannot and should not be the end of the story. My dream is to change perceptions, raise expectations and make a difference in the world of inclusion for people with disabilities.

E is for Education. What is your educational background and how do you use it daily?

I went to the University of Missouri School of Journalism. What I loved so much about my education there is that no matter what your specific goals were, you had to learn everything about the business. It wasn’t good enough to want to be just an anchor, or a reporter, or a photographer, or any of the other jobs in journalism. You had to learn it all, and I had so many opportunities to learn skills that have benefited me throughout my career as a storyteller. Understanding what makes up a good picture, learning how to tell a concise story, understanding how to combine dozens of stories to build a newscast that makes sense… it’s all about crafting stories that make a difference.

R is for Resource. What resources do you bring to the table that makes you unique or stand out?

The first resource actually doesn’t have anything to do with tools of the trade. It has to do with drive and resilience. The fact of the matter is that if you’re going to be a visual storyteller who’s visually impaired, there has to be an inner belief in yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself, nothing else matters.

I also rely on the twin pillars of of communication and partnership. While it’s easy to talk about the mechanics of how I do my job – working with the spatial and acoustic dynamics of an environment or a set to frame a shot, or shooting on a 4K camera to edit in a 1080 timeline, or not thinking of color itself as much as color profiles to use waveforms and vectorscopes to craft the mood and design of a shot, these are all just that” mechanics. They explain how do my job, but not why I do my job. I do my job because I get to work with a team of creative professions who share a creative vision. It’s what gets me up every morning in search of great stories to tell.

R is for Ready. When did you realize you were ready for what you are doing now?

I think the key to realizing your dreams is that you shouldn’t wait until you feel you’re 100% ready. The truth is that day may never come. There will always be at least one unanswered question, one skill you could hone a little more, one step you may feel you’re not ready to take yet. Life is about leaps of faith. When I set out to start my own business, one based on a risky proposition and an uncertain outcome – staring a video production company even though I’m visually impaired – the one thing I had was a belief that I could succeed. Yes, you start a venture with as many resources as you can muster and your prepare as much as you can, but success is based on action, and action requires at least a certain amount of faith in yourself. Really, I knew I was ready because I believed in myself.

I is for Individual. Name at least one individual in your network that others should learn more about and why?

I can’t speak highly enough of my colleague and friend Maxwell Ivey. Max calls himself the Blind Blogger, but his life is about so much more than his blindness. It’s about always seeking self-improvement, expanding horizons and making a difference. Max knows how to start with a dream, use the resources he’s developed over the course of a lifetime of finding unique solutions to difficult challenges, learning new skills to help him achieve his goals and always looking to the future.

C is for Challenges. What challenges have you had to overcome?

I believe that the challenge anyone with a dream has to overcome is facing down low expectations. What I’ve found is that people tend to rise to the expectations we set for them. As a creative artist – a filmmaker – who is visually impaired, I work every day not only to coordinate a creative vision with my team, but also to lead others to a world where there is no barrier to achievement. I direct and even shoot documentaries, and will continue to do this throughout and beyond the process of losing my eyesight. This is because there is a certain truism that we all have to come to accept, that pursuing one’s passion is the best starting point, because there are no barriers to accomplishment.

K is for Key. What keys to success can you leave for upcoming entrepreneurs and leaders?

There is really one key to success. Set the bar high for yourself and for those who share your passions. This doesn’t mean you’ll never make a mistake. As they say, that’s why pencils have erasers. High expectations push you to challenge yourself, and it motivates you to constantly question your own assumptions… even the ones you don’t know you have. Expecting the highest level of performance from everyone you work with encourages you to pursue nothing short of excellence.

Michael is a friend of mine, and I want to encourage you to support his new documentary series, “The Palette Project: Losing Sight, Maintaining A Vision.” He’s made it really easy to pledge with a micropayment of just $1 for the videos he’s posting on his Patreon feed. This is a great way to show your support, and you can make a difference by helping him make a difference. Plus, you get to see some pretty amazing videos of some pretty amazing people, and learn what it’s like to be a visually impaired filmmaker. – Maxwell Ivey

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The DAILY Message for Thursday October 1st, 2015

September 30, 2015

“Things I tell I can SELL (Sharing Expertise Leverages Life).”

Derrick Hayes is known as the “Encouragement Speaker” and is available for speaking engagements and Derricknym signings at meetings, conferences, and events. Please visit http://www.DerrickHayes.com email info@DerrickHayes.com  or call (706) 615-1662 to book Derrick Hayes now.


The Derrick Hayes SUMMER Challenge

July 10, 2015

EmceeOnce I came up with the idea for the SUMMER Challenge I thought people would come and share their life through it. Not one person was in a hurry to Get published, Get noticed, Inspire others and Change lives. 

I can’t blame anyone but myself because if you ask someone to do something you should do it first or do it with them. Here is my SUMMER Challenge and when you do yours it can be turned into a Bio, Article, Speech, Book or Documentary.

S is for Story. Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Derrick Hayes also known as The Encouragement Speaker and I write and speak to encourage others to use their gifts so that they can position themselves to be able to build relationships effectively. 

U is for Unique. What is different about you?

One of the things that is unique about me is that I have a gift to turn names into positive messages right before your eyes that I call Derricknyms.

M is for Mountain. What obstacles have you had to overcome?

One obstacle that recently overcame and work on daily is to keep my cholesterol and weight down.

M is for Momentum. What did you do to overcome the obstacles?

After asking God about my diet it was revealed to me that I should stop eating meat. I followed those instructions and I have only had meat a few times since 2013.

E is for Encouragement. How do you encourage others on a daily basis?

On a daily basis I encourage others with The DAILY Message that includes a Derricknym and through Motivation To Your Mobile an app that you can download for free on Android and iPhones.

R is for Reason. Why are you here on earth?

I feel like I’m on earth to show at least one person that you can make and that they should never ever count you out. 

Derrick Hayes is known as the “Encouragement Speaker” and is available for speaking engagements and Derricknym signings at meetings, conferences, and events. Please visit http://www.DerrickHayes.com email info@DerrickHayes.com  or call (706) 615-1662 to book Derrick Hayes now.


Take The SUMMER Challenge

May 12, 2015

SUMMERChallengeDerrick Hayes is never selfish with his success and uses his network to BUILD relationships with others by providing them with guest blogging opportunities, publicity with DERRICK Interviews, recognition on his blog Today’s Honoree and motivation with The DAILY Message and the Android and iPhones app Motivation To Your Mobile.

Hayes wants to give others a chance to see their talents develop and come to life by asking them to Take The SUMMER Challenge. You never know what idea can ignite when you begin to write. The SUMMER Challenge is designed to provide a fun platform to get more people reading, writing and sharing their stories that will inspire, motivate and uplift others to live their dreams.

Through the word SUMMER each person will answer 6 questions and at the end they can also add their social media links so that others can network with them.  

S is for Story. Who are you and what do you do?

U is for Unique. What is different about you?

M is for Mountain. What obstacles have you had to overcome?

M is for Momentum. What did you do to overcome the obstacles?

E is for Encouragement. How do you encourage others on a daily basis?

R is for Reason. Why are you here on earth?

After you take The SUMMER Challenge they will be published on http://www.EncouragementSpeaker.com from now until the end of the SUMMER of 2015. Take The SUMMER Challenge and email all information to Derrick Hayes at info@derrickhayes.com.

What can happen after you take The SUMMER Challenge?

1. Get published

2. Get noticed

3. Inspire others

4. Change lives

What can you turn your SUMMER Challenge into?

1. Bio

2. Article

3. Speech

4. Book or Documentary

Please share and go to https://encouragementspeaker.wordpress.com/2015/05/12/take-the-summer-challenge/ for more information.

Derrick Hayes is known as the “Encouragement Speaker” and is available for speaking engagements and Derricknym signings at meetings, conferences, and events. Please visit http://www.DerrickHayes.com email info@DerrickHayes.com  or call (706) 615-1662 to book Derrick Hayes now.


Water You Doing To Make a Difference? The Rudy Byfield Story

March 30, 2015

RudyByfield

Encouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes shares insightful perspectives from experts, entrepreneurs, celebrities and up and coming super stars.

Today’s interview is with Rudy Byfield who is the President of AQUAÇAI USA and leads the company in their giving and sustainability initiatives.

AQUACAI is a natural artesian water from the rainforest of Panama. H2O is the formula for water and after reading this interview you will understand that a great way to give back is to bring H2O (Help 2 Others) in as many ways possible.

I wanted to tell Rudy’s story to share the news of what he does and why he believes we all should give back.

What made you do what you do?

I have always been interested in water as a fundamental tool for life and sustainable development. I wanted to be part of an organization that takes action, cares about its community, its resources, it’s people and most importantly, building a better future today.

Specifically, water can help build a foundation to help eradicate poverty, build upon economic growth and sustainability and make improvements in one’s social well-being. Unfortunately, there are millions of people today that aren’t as fortuitous and don’t have access to these basic amenities that we take for granted, such as water. But with the advancements of our technology and access to natural resources, Aquaçai can help make a difference in changing people’s lives. I want to share our story with the with everyone who can give us an audience, a forward thinking company that produces the most natural quality of water available today located in our very own backyard of La Valdeza de Capira in the Republic of Panama. Aquaçai is bottled in a state of the art water bottling facility that runs on 60% hydroelectric power. Our ability to share Aquaçai directly from our pristine rainforest to locations all over the world is something we are very proud of.

Although I didn’t discover Aquaçai personally, I was asked by a group of owners in Panama and the U.S. to join forces. Together, we planted the seeds and cultivated an idea that became a reality for making change, focusing on well-being, lifestyle and social responsibility.

When and where did you get started?

Three years ago today, I started at Aquaçai, a brand whose goal was to deliver a premium artesian water to discriminating consumers—one that was all-natural, pristine, with zero nitrates, artificial flavors and possessed an unparalleled softness. In essence, water that made you feel good, comprised of taste, quality and commitment to its community.

Through our extensive search, we discovered the ultimate source in Panama- an artesian aquifer deep beneath the Acai Rainforest. And our goal, to make sure we kept it in its natural form, to never lose sight of conserving our beautiful terrain and ensure collectively, that we’re committed and responsive to upholding our natural ecosystem and habitat. Our facilities are run using renewable energy, with 60% coming from hydroelectric power contained in flowing water. In addition, AQUAÇAI is bottled right at the source in 100% recyclable, BPA-free PET plastic. The first human hands to touch the bottle are outside of Panama, when our premium artesian water is shipped to locations all over the world. For this reason, there are zero nitrates and artificial preservatives added, it’s completely untouched and intact in its natural form.

In all honesty, I worked with other brands previously in a distribution company, however, once I discovered the product (Aquaçai), I knew this was a special brand where we could make a difference.

Why do you give back?

We give back because it’s the right thing to do. It is important to come full circle and build a life and business where you help others in return.  If you accumulate and not give back, you are doing a disservice to yourself, to your community and worse, abstaining from building a generation of future leaders for tomorrow; leading by example. Bigger than just water, over the past 7 years, we planted more than 400,000 native trees, flowers, plants and shrubs with the help of the Smithsonian and ANAM (the Panama National Authority of the Environment). Similarly, we’ve supported our local communities by building a bridge to help students cross the stream during annual floods, supported Doctors without Borders by flying medical teams to Panama to vaccinate hundred of children.

We’ve also lent a hand to those in need throughout the world. Just days before Hurricane Sandy in 2012, we had shipped 40 tons of water to the NY/NJ area for our East Coast launch. But after the storm hit, we helped the community by distributing water to disaster victims directly. Additionally, we donated water to relief efforts in Haiti and Japan, and will continue to share the resources we can with those who need it most.

Anything else that you would like to mention? 

It is very gratifying for us as a company to make a difference in the lives of others.   I hope our vision and philanthropy in Aquaçai can inspire others to make a difference and help improve people’s lifestyle one bottle at a time.

Now after reading Rudy’s story look in the mirror and ask yourself, “Water You Doing To Make a Difference?”

Derrick Hayes is known as the “Encouragement Speaker” and is available for speaking engagements and Derricknym signings at meetings, conferences, and events. Please visit http://www.DerrickHayes.com  email info@DerrickHayes.com  or call (706) 615-1662 to book Derrick Hayes now.

 


The DAILY Message for Thursday April 10th, 2014

April 10, 2014

AskDerrickAboutEach week day Derrick Hayes encourages you through a Derricknym, App and Idea to Lift You.

(Please read , Like, Share, Retweet or Reblog The DAILY Message)

  • Derricknym: Tell Me Your STORY (Share Testimony Offering the Real You).
  • App: Today’s word is Raise. Do you raise your hand out of respect? Do you acknowledge others when they raise their hands? Respect will Raise you up higher. Receive Today’s word in Motivation To Your Mobile app on Android and i-phones.
  • Idea: You have done it once so you can do it again.

Please visit Derrick’s website at http://www.DerrickHayes.com and to book him for a speaking engagement or media event, send an email to info@DerrickHayes.com  or call (706) 615-1662.


The DAILY Message for Tuesday January 28th, 2014

January 28, 2014

AskDerrickAboutEach week day Derrick Hayes encourages you through a Derricknym, App and Idea to Lift You.

(Please read , Like, Share, Retweet or Reblog The DAILY Message)

  • Derricknym: Give Friends SUNSHINE (Start Using New Skills to Help Improve Neighborhoods Everyday).
  • App: Today’s word is Story. Live your life long enough and you will have an amazing story. Shine light on the little actions you took to get the big results. Receive Today’s word in Motivation To Your Mobile app on Android and i-phones.
  • Idea: Get a grip and hold on.

Please visit Derrick’s website at http://www.DerrickHayes.com and to book him for a speaking engagement or media event, send an email to info@DerrickHayes.com  or call (706) 615-1662.