Life & Work with Norman Davis

Posted on January 3, 2023.

Today we’d like to introduce you to Norman Davis.

Norman, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
At the young age of five, I was introduced to live television when my mom took me to a local television station in Houston, Texas. At the time the station had a kid’s program with a clown host and kids would celebrate their birthdays and get to be on TV. I really couldn’t have cared less for the children activities, I was more focused on the camera crew and what they did behind these big TV cameras. Well, that experience set my focus on life and I began to be involved with photography and shooting 8mm movies by the time I was ten and it wasn’t long before I was developing my own black and white photos. One thing led to another and I started working at various television stations when I was in high school. I went on to pursue a career in broadcasting and ultimately back into film in 2016. Since then, I’ve worked on over 25 different projects from commercials and reality TV to feature films. I have two films I have been involved with that have won awards. The first is a feature film I crewed as 1st Assistant Camera AKA Focus Puller for “Eyes Upon Waking” and my latest adventure as Director and Cinematographer for “Gunfight At Deadman Wash”.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
There have been bumps in the road but for the most part, my career has been fairly smooth. Many people don’t persevere through their difficulties and that saddens me. My experience is that the “bumps” in the road (and some of mine have been complete road hazards or detours) is that if I can press on through those difficult times, the experience can be more educating than that of a college degree. Isn’t that what life is all about, continuing to learn?

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
What I do is actually very many things. As a filmmaker, you may have just one role or maybe a couple of different roles but a good filmmaker knows what everybody’s role is and how we all work together as a team. My job as either director or cinematographer is to direct the process, whether people or materials, into their proper place at the proper time and in the proper setting so that they all can then begin to do what they must do. So I sort of become an orchestra leader at that point and conducted the cast and crew per the script.

Is there a quality that you most attribute to your success?
Many people put education at the top, and I would agree but not through a film school. Films schools are good for the basic understanding of film and such but OJT is always the best in my opinion. Hands-on experience is the most beneficial. People learn best by doing.


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