We don’t have time to rush. We only have time to do things well and with excellence.
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Meet Noah Dorsey. Noah is a film producer for his company Noah M Dorsey. When he’s not capturing stories on camera, you can find him hiking, spending time with friends, or making music with his brother.
Where are you from?
The Okanagan is my home. I grew up on a chicken farm in Armstrong. I lived there for 15 years before my family decided to move to Lake Country, where I attended George Elliot Secondary. Naturally, after graduating I moved to Kelowna as it’s the epicentre of the Okanagan Valley. Kelowna feels like a big city in comparison to Armstrong, but the community here is fantastic, and the film community is super tight knit and welcoming.
Where do you work in the Okanagan?
I am a film producer for my own company, Noah M Dorsey. We do documentaries, commercials, and music videos right here in the Okanagan Valley. I also do a lot of freelance work as a cinematographer and camera assistant. Lately, I have been working on a ton of mountain bike documentaries. This past year I was able to work with one of the best mountain bike cinematographers in the world, Harrison Mendel. I was able to work with him on a couple of different projects and travel to places like Brazil, Austria, and Italy.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
Something that is super fulfilling for me is that you can start with a concept and vision in your mind, and you can see that idea come to life over the course of a couple months, or sometimes even minutes when you are on set. In the film industry we spend a lot of our time planning and prepping to do all the work, so being able to see that vision become a reality on a shoot day is crazy. When the shoot is over and you go through all the post production work, and see the final product it’s even more surreal than being on set and it’s super rewarding.
How did you get into this kind of work?
Growing up my whole family was very artistic. My mom acted and directed in theatre productions, and my dad plays in the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra. Growing up we often made short films as a family. My mom would write scripts and we would all act in them and help man the camera. It was also a passion of mine in high school, but I kind of subdued it because it didn’t feel like a reality. I actually went to school for carpentry, but I was in an car accident after graduation that forced me to take some time off. During that time I pushed back into film and started making videos again. I ended up having a couple coffees with the right people, quit my job in carpentry, and four and a half years later here we are.
What advice would you give to someone interested in a job like yours?
You don’t necessarily need to go to film school. If you are driven and motivated to go after the things you want then you may not need it. Film School is there to give you the basics, and help you create a network of people to collaborate with. What matters most is having a good attitude and a good work ethic. Early on in my career I had a lot of people give me chances because I was a hard worker and I was willing to learn. Be ready to do things on the fly, you need to have the ability to hear something once and execute on. It’s a very demanding job and trying to sustain a life outside of that can be really difficult, but it is so rewarding.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Early on in my career a cinematographer told me that we don’t have time to rush – we only have time to do things well and with excellence. When I was just starting out I was rushing around, trying to do everything at once but he pulled me aside and told me “we don’t have time to rush, you’re just starting out so you’re not going to be able to do things fast right now, and that is okay.” This is advice that I have brought with me into my film career and business as well. Rushing isn’t going to lead to you doing things well until you have the knowledge and experience to back yourself up, then you are able to do things faster.
What does success look like for you?
Success is a very fluid thing for me. Right now I really want to continue to grow and establish my business so that I can sustain creating the things that I am passionate about long term. I would also say that seeing one of my movies in the theatre would be cool. To be able to go to the Cineplex, pay for a ticket to see my own movie, and say I made this thing, that would be cool.
Is there something you want to be remembered for?
I would like to be remembered as someone who chased after what they felt was right whether that’s in my career or in my personal life. I want to be remembered as someone who was passionate about what they did and cared about the people close to me. I think we often care too much about what other people think about us, but I try to just focus on the 10 people around me that I really care about and if they reflect back on those traits than I am doing okay, and if not then I know I have some more learning to do.