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JJ Barnes The Table Read

Written by JJ Barnes

I interviewed filmmaker David Donnelly about his career, what inspires him, and the creative process that has gone into his latest project, DETOX.

Tell me a bit about yourself.

I’m passionate about so much beyond being a filmmaker – the first line of my bio at gives you an idea of everything I’m thinking about, but film is chief among them. 

When did you first realise you wanted to make films?

David Donnelly DETOX Filmmaker, interview on The Table Read
David Donnelly

I took a film production class in college after having more time from a football injury.  

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What classes or research did you take to support you in your filmmaking career?

I took a few classes in college and then moved immediately to LA after graduating, where I interned for producers for several years to learn the business.  

Tell me a favourite experience in your career. Something that stands out in your memories and makes you want to find more experiences like it.

Being on a Delta flight in Europe and looking over to someone watching my first film Maestro on their monitor.  It felt amazing to know that my work was connecting with people.  

What is the title of your current project, and what inspired you to make this film?

DETOX is the name of our documentary.  During the pandemic, my film shoots were canceled and I had a lot of time to reflect on how much the world has changed in my lifetime, especially regarding technology.   I had an intense curiosity to learn more about the impact technology was having on our health and well-being.  This curiosity inspired the film.  

What is the main conflict of DETOX?

The main conflict in our film is the battle to control technology versus letting it control us. 

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Did you work with a writer, or write the film yourself? Would you do the same again?

David Donnelly DETOX Filmmaker, interview on The Table Read

I wrote the film myself but get a tremendous amount of support from my producing partner and long-time friend James Thomas.  

How did you find your cast and what made you choose them?

Our cast features best-selling authors and experts who share our mission to raise awareness about the dangers of technology abuse.  

Tell me some career goals. What would you like to achieve?

Detox is the first film in a trilogy that also includes a History of Consciousness and Forever Young.  After completing these films I plan on going beyond documentaries and experimenting with fiction.  

Tell me something you were surprised by, something you had never realised about being a filmmaker.

There is an incredible amount of paperwork, particularly with documentaries. But at the end of the day I make a living traveling the world and interviewing people I find interesting, so it’s a worthwhile trade-off.  

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What are words of advice you have for other aspiring filmmakers?

Find a niche and dig in.  That will allow you to survive as you find your voice, build your audience, and practice your craft.  In this case, thinking small is actually thinking big.  

Give me your social links so people can come and find you!

Website:  www.Detox.Film 

Insta:  donnelly_david

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