For this vlogger, consistency is the key to success. Daniel Marsh lives the example of really absorbing and listening to other people's stories and bringing them to life through video. Through cinematography, he hopes to bridge cultural gaps.
The dapper gent started on the road to fame as a part-time model and TV talent before eventually joining the Vlog Squad YouTube team. Being born in the Philippines but raised in Ireland, Daniel's return to the Philippines is but a mere whirlwind opening of his narrative.
"When Youtube came about, it created a platform for amateurs—people who just couldn’t do it the normal way. So, of course when I came to the Philippines I discovered it because I would travel across the Philippines a lot and see amazing sights and sounds. So, that’s what got me into vlogging in the first place."
Daniel's mother was from Cebu, and his hometown of Argao is his favorite retreat away from the busy city life in Manila. He's still familiar with his hometown dialect and every now and then, it does surprise people he meets while traveling.
On the subject of passion projects, Daniel cherishes the art of feature filmmaking. Currently he is still at work on what is now a five-year in the making documentary about a rather unexpected subject for a lifestyle vlogger—cancer. Daniel lost his mother in 2014 to ovarian cancer which revealed itself at Stage 4 and cut her life short just over a year later.
He then confesses that like everyone else, fellow vlogger and friend Wil Dasovich's revelation of his battle with cancer was something unforeseen. "That’s another situation that just happened," Dan relates. "It’s an unfortunate situation. It’s just one of those things that you never see coming."
It was quite ironic that Dan was already working on a documentary with the aim of encouraging people to be vigilant with early diagnosis and detection. "However I can showcase stories out there and tell people that it’s very important to be aware early and get treatment early. Even if you see the slightest hint of certain symptoms, you should see a doctor. With my mom, it was way too late when she found out."
When asked what it is he likes to focus on in video if not himself, Daniel answers culture. It's all about capturing the essence of who they are, what makes them unique, and where they're at, he says.
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He doesn't spare in using the word "soul" when it comes to the richness of what people's lives and cultures carry in his flicks. "Even now, a lot of people say 'Congratulations, Daniel!' and all that, you know. It’s great, yes, but I feel like I still have much of a long way to go, because it’s a ladder you need to keep climbing—the soul, there’s always a soul, real stories."
The somewhat off-center documentary style filming of real cultural encounters has always been Daniel's personal penchant, especially as an avid backpacker and geographical explorer. He shares his dream docu, "That could be going to climb another mountain. I climbed up near Mt. Everest just to the basecamp once. I would like to do that again on a different mountain, a little higher maybe 6000 meters. I’d like travel across South America. I want to do stuff that’s challenging like bike from Manila to Cebu. Do stuff that tests me as an individual, but of course I have to plan those sorts of things because time is of the essence." Still, Daniel wants to capture more about his own roots, "I still want to create good stories about other people. There’s so much good stuff here in the Philippines to show."
Daniel's cinematic style of speed-ups, reverses, and zoom as part of multiple video transitions has given some of his videos a specific feel, a certain vibe that moves you forward in the story or narration. Using active scenes and dynamic cinematography to propel his viewers towards his message, Daniel achieves something unique and different with every shot and edited sequence he showcases.
He relates, "My most popular video right now is entitled the Philippine Red Light district. However, going back to what I said about the soul, I showcase it in a very different treatment. It was nothing to do with what you would expect. It was about the different characters and people there in the location of Angeles and my trip there." Through the video, Daniel manages to feature what is essentially still just a community living from day to day despite the reputation of the area given its name.
Nowadays, new upcoming vloggers often mistakenly feel they don't know left from right when it comes to filming or starting a vlog. But Daniel has some advice, "Don’t worry if it’s a cellphone, just get content out there, grow, grow, grow, learn, learn, learn, but consistency is key. Don’t worry about what other people think, that’s also important. Of course, take constructive criticism, learn from other people, learn from inspirational people. Be self aware, know what you want for yourself, your passions, and work bloody hard. You can succeed, but like everyone else you must work hard to do it.”
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Photos provided by YouTube and from Instagram.com/danielcmarsh