We had the good fortune of connecting with Dan Malabuyo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dan, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I chose to pursue an artistic or creative career path because it has been in my bloodline. My mother and father are in the music arts and my mother did portrait illustrations. I then followed her footsteps at a young age. When I hit Highschool, photography and videography became a strong interest of mine as most of my friends got in to skateboarding and took part in filming and photographing this extreme sport. Ever since then I became more intrigued with the craft but never placed it on the forefront of my future goals. Instead, my career went towards the graphic design industry. After 15 years in this career and experiencing many ups and down working from a slew of industries, I realized that this rollercoaster ride will most likely not be sustainable. In 2017, I readjusted my focus to photography and cinematography. I served at my church social media team and produce photo and video content for the church events and services. Ever since then, i knew that this passion of mine that has been on the side lines for all these years had a future and given me more interest and growth not only personally and professionally but also help build social engagement with fellow creatives as well. To top it off, photography and film gave me more avenues to work with and grow – and during the pandemic, I was extremely driven to find that niche in the industry that not many creatives have nearly touched quite yet. That is visual effects on film. Throughout my entire career, creative arts along with a technology has given me that creative growth, challenge, and experience that not many people in other industries will ever experience. To be in the creative and create the way I do with visual communications using film and photography mimics what I believe my purpose is here on Earth. I believe in the Bible and the Creator Himself. The ultimate designer, crafter, and pioneer. Therefore, there is no other role model more perfect, disciplined, bold, and awe-inspiring I can follow.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art is focused on Film/Photography and Visual Effects Animation. I am a one-man show for the most part. I am the producer, the production, the editor, and the deliverer. What sets me apart currently is the infusion between film/photo and visual effects animation. Taking a footage whether something I’ve captured, or existing, or photography and adding visual effects animation to them within a storyline or sequence. The finished product is mind-blowing and quite engaging. That is what excites me the most that I am currently one of the very few that are in this avenue. I am still amateur and still learning but to find and be in this niche is definitely exciting. It wasn’t easy getting where I am now. It definitely required a lot of learning on my own through many tutorials and other creatives. I am an introvert by nature so a lot of my learning were on my own with lots of Youtube searching, trial & errors and experimentations. With technology in our palms, it’s easy to get a hold of content and I utilized that to my advantage. But in this industry, you need to be bold and truly think outside the box to really differentiate yourself from the rest. That was my drive in all of this because to be able to shoot and create content was not enough. My ambition was to create something not many are doing. Our world today is so saturated and there are multiple talents with the same skillsets – which makes you a grain of sand on a beach. That is simply an unacceptable visual to me. What I’d like for creatives to take away from this is to find your niche and to champion your skill. I encourage those who are showing interest in this industry to first of all, NOT COPY, but to seek after new ventures and unsaturated/untouched territories. Not only that but to do things with a purpose and to place their own thumbprint on every piece they put out. Lastly, to never settle for sub-par or “ok” final work.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my best friend was visiting, I would take them to the most unpopular places suggested by many people. In San Diego, beaches are widely suggested and there are quite a few. I would set a list of places to see, like La jolla, Coronado island, Mount Laguna which is 50 minutes east of San Diego, the deserts, and north of San Diego where it’s slightly more posh. I would then take them to a slew of popular California fast food restaurants like In ‘n’ Out Burgers and Chic-fil-A. As well as good restaurants like Stacked, Cardelino’s and Ramen spots. Not to mention the Boba spots in Clairmont as well.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
All recognition goes to God above all. No one has really refined me as much as him and there has honestly been no one by my side in aiding me to get where I am, except Him. My wife Céline Hari-Malabuyo has fully supported me in this new endeavor, Eduard OV who produced the MAD VFX class that helped me acquire new skills, Jacob Owens of BuffNerds – successful director/producer has given me new tools and motivation, and Sony for producing such amazing quality products. There has a been numerous amount of people that had recently showed much support and love towards my work, but too many to list out. They know who they are.