By Suzy Wiesenhart
Dan Ewald went from writing and producing Jesus People, a film featuring Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer (“The Help”) and Wendi McLendon-Covey (“Bridesmaids) to returning to Florida, where he lived during most of his 20s.
“After ten years in Los Angeles, I got a little burned out doing independent film. So this summer I took a break and returned to Apollo Beach where my family lives and I’m still here”. He also worked on network TV shows like “That 70s Show” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”, but it was his work on reality shows that prepared him for what he’s currently doing.
He started Apollo Beach Productions, a company that brings professional production value to local families. Ewald started by shooting a music video of his nieces, Ava and Sadie, to the hit song “Forget You.” When neighbors saw the high end, slick Hollywood-style music videos, they wanted the same for their children. “It became so much fun, watching their faces light up when I showed the finished product,” Ewald said with a big grin.
Even more satisfying are the Legacy Films his company produces – documentaries where he interviews parents and grandparents about their life stories. More than just a video with talking heads, Ewald infuses the videos with dozens of photos that bring the stories to life, leaving behind a documentary that families will watch for the rest of their lives and pass down from generation to generation.
As the holidays approach and people discover this unique gift-giving idea, Ewald is getting busier, having been hired to shoot everything from adults-only Halloween dances to children’s birthday parties. “I do everything from pre-production to final editing, so I can keep it inexpensive and affordable,” he said. “Even though I’m getting busier with the holidays, I’d love to hear from folks, so we can talk through the possibilities of bringing their story to life – whether that story is a music video, a ball game, a legacy documentary or a birthday party shot in the style of a reality show.”
Dan Ewald’s company reel can be seen at youtube.com/ApolloBeachProd or call (310) 428-9068.