Mickey Duzyj: Ödmjukhet som USP

(Interview in English further down)

"Vad är så speciellt med dig, lille vän?" Som frilansare kan den frågan eka i huvudet när man ska försöka presentera sitt nästa projekt för en möjlig finansiär. Den här filmaren som vi nu vill slå ett slag för verkar ha ödmjukhet som sin Unique Selling Point. Trots att han jobbar i NewYork och har sportkanalen ESPN som uppdragsgivare verkar hans verk att gå stick i stäv med den amerikanska myten. 

Mickey Duzyj, tecknare och animatör. Och dokumentärfilmare. Av en slump trillade vi på några av hans alster på Vimeo, och kanske var det just ödmjukheten som fick oss att fastna. För där man annars alltid letar efter störst, bäst och snabbast, så verkar Mickey söka något annat. För vad sägs om de här ämnena: "Hur koreanska baseball-spelare släpper slagträet efter en träff", "Hur markerar tennispelare en vunnen boll", "18 spikar i mini-golf". 

Eftersom nästan alla går att nå nuförtiden så ställde vi 5 frågor till Mickey. Here goes: 

1. Who are you? My name is Mickey Duzyj, and I'm an artist & maker of documentary films. 

2. How did you start your career? (How did you "get that foot in the business"?) I went to art school in New York and was looking for a viable path where I could stay in town and pay back my loans. I ended up working as a commercial illustrator for a while (doing the usual hustle of bringing my portfolio around to magazines and sending mailers,) but always did sports projects either on the side or with sports apparel brands. Years in, I got linked into the ESPN universe, and met some producers and art directors who knew my personal work and helped me take a more active role in the stories/subjects I worked on.

3. Why this interest in these quite odd topics as "How Korean baseball-players throw their bat" and "mini-golf"? The easy answer is to say that I make work to amuse myself and these are subjects I find intriguing, but it's also the case that I feel these stories hadn't been reported well. In the case of "The Perfect 18", I read a blogpost about Rick Baird's incredible perfect game of mini-golf (18 hole-in-ones in a row), but then read a slew of interviews that were so lazy and dismissive. It led me to reach out to Rick to dig deeper about what happened and what it really meant to him. For the Asian stories I've done, much of what was written about the subjects were poorly done too. So sometimes, bad art can lead to good art.

4. From where do you get your inspiration? I'm not someone who can compartmentalize things that inspire me from different media, so I feel equal inspiration from books, music, film, the experience of being a dad/spouse/friend, and the silly stories we all tell each other to make our lives a little easier to live. Maybe that's a terrible answer, but just this weekend, my friend told me an amazing story about a hardware store owner in Brooklyn who hires writers to compose hilarious messages on his store's sign, I was amazed by the design in the new Mario Cart, and I read an incredible graphic novel about how modern podcasts are made. It was all was equally inspiring, and I'd say generally that there's no real separation between ideas I like in my personal life and ideas I like to explore in my professional life. 

5. What will come next from you? (That we will be able to see in Sweden) More films. And Swedes will love them.

One extra: If you got to chose one single clip from the net (not made by you), which one would you choose, and why? (this can be whatever you like, a clip from a nature-show, an interview, an animation) I'll choose "Mike Song + David Elsewhere - Kollaboration 2001". It was the first internet video I ever truly loved (and still do.) Maybe I'll make a film about it someday.