Ep147: [CASE STUDY] From Total Burnout to Shooting for the Moon (Literally) | with David J. Turner

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You would think that being nominated for an Eddie Award for your first feature documentary credit would be a dream right? For David J. Turner, the editor of Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound it absolutely was…but making it the finish line of a grueling project that took years to complete came at a pretty steep price, not the least of which was ending up in the emergency room just weeks before picture lock.

Which begs the question…what price are you ultimately willing to pay to hold whatever your version of a gold statue is?

And more importantly, do you have to make that choice at all, or is there a better way to pursue your professional goals while maintaining some semblance of work-life balance?

As a filmmaker and storyteller who wears multiple hats beyond editing such as composing, cinematic sound editing, sound design, and documentary filmmaking and shooting, David found himself under an immense amount of self-induced pressure to deliver on his very first big project. When he found my article, Dear Hollywood: We Don’t Want to “Go Back to Normal.” Normal Wasn’t Working he felt relieved that many others out there were feeling like he was – burned out, exhausted, and fed up with having to make the choice between health and success. At this point he was questioning whether he still wanted to be in the business at all anymore. Desperate to find a better way David decided to join my Optimizer coaching & mentorship program.

In today’s candid discussion David I talk about the steps he took to slowly rebuild his health one “easy win” at a time, and then we dive into the deeper limiting beliefs that were holding David back from pursuing his next big project (not the least of which were perfectionism and imposter syndrome). And then we talk about the seismic mindset shift that David made that allowed him to go from thinking he wasn’t in a place to pursue difficult projects to literally applying for the opportunity to travel to the moon (no really…literally applying to fly to the moon). Learn how you too can apply the simple steps that David did to start building habits & routines that will set you up for success in both work and life.

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Here’s What You’ll Learn:

  • How David landed his dream gig on Making Waves.
  • David’s self-induced pressure on the job led to unhealthy work habits.
  • Suffering from burnout, he came to me asking the question, “Do I really want to do this job anymore?”
  • The story of how he ended up in the hospital at the end of the project with typhus.
  • The paradox of unshakable focus: Is it a superpower or kryptonite?
  • Managing the costs of trying to sprint a marathon.
  • The first easy win that David tackled to recover from months of burnout.
  • KEY TAKEAWAY: Small steps lead to big changes.
  • How David has dealt with losing momentum on healthy habits and getting back on track.
  • The lifestyle habits that boosted David’s career and creativity.
  • How a paint can project became a metaphor for David’s perfectionism and limiting beliefs.
  • Discovering the deeper psychological reasons that were getting David stuck.
  • KNOWING YOURSELF BETTER QUESTION → What would you pursue if you could get rid of all expectations?
  • David’s skepticism about creating an ideal calendar turned into finding his own way to make time blocking work for him.
  • How Trello became the one stop organizer for all David’s to-do lists and tasks.
  • Why it’s necessary to go through Focus Yourself before pursuing networking.
  • The confidence that David gained during the Optimizer program led to him reaching for the moon, LITERALLY.
  • How shooting for the moon has shifted his perspective and made him excited to live his life again.
  • David’s advice to others who might be where he was before he started the program.

Useful Resources Mentioned:

Ep118: Legendary Editor Walter Murch On Optimizing Creativity, Productivity, and Well-Being In Hollywood For 50+ Years

Dear Hollywood: We Don’t Want to “Go Back to Normal.” Normal Wasn’t Working

Ep35: FOCUS: The Superpower of the 21st Century | with Cal Newport

Ep04: The Zen-like Art of ‘Getting Things Done’ | with David Allen

Japanese billionaire seeks eight people to fly to Moon – BBC News

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Episode Transcript

Zack Arnold 0:00

My name is Zack Arnold, I'm a Hollywood film and television editor, a documentary director, father of two, an American Ninja Warrior in training and the creator of optimize yourself. For over 10 years now I have obsessively searched for every possible way to optimize my own creative and athletic performance. And now I'm here to shorten your learning curve. Whether you're a creative professional who edits, rights or directs, you're an entrepreneur, or even if you're a weekend warrior, I strongly believe you can be successful without sacrificing your health, or your sanity in the process. You ready? Let's design the optimized version of you.

Hello, and welcome to the optimize yourself podcast. If you're a brand new optimizer, I welcome you and I sincerely hope that you enjoy today's conversation. If you're inspired to take action after listening today, why not tell a friend about the show and help spread the love? And if you're a longtime listener and optimizer, O.G., welcome back. Whether you're brand new, or you're seasoned vet, if you have just 10 seconds today, it would mean the world to me if you clicked the subscribe button in your podcast app of choice, because the more people that subscribe, the more that iTunes and the other platforms can recognize this show, and thus the more people that you and I can inspire to step outside their comfort zones to reach their greatest potential. And now on to today's show. You would think that being nominated for an Emmy Award for your very first feature documentary credit would be a dream, right? Well, for David J. Turner, the editor of Making Waves The Art of Cinematic Sound, it absolutely was. However, making it to the finish line of a grueling project that took years to complete came at a very steep price, not the least of which was ending up in the emergency room just weeks before picture lock. Which begs the question, what price Are you ultimately willing to pay to hold whatever your version of a gold statue is? And more importantly, do you have to make that choice at all? Or is there a better way to pursue your professional goals while maintaining some semblance of work life balance is a filmmaker and storyteller who wears multiple hats beyond editing such as composing cinematic sound editing, sound design and documentary filmmaking and shooting, David found himself under an immense amount of self induced pressure to deliver on his very first big project. And when he found my article last summer, dear Hollywood, we don't want to go back to normal. Normal wasn't working, he felt relieved that many others out there were feeling just like he was burned out, exhausted, and fed up with having to make the choice between health and success. At this point, David was questioning whether he still wanted to even be in the business at all. desperate to find a better way, he decided to join my optimizer coaching and mentorship program. In today's candid discussion and case study, David and I talked about the steps that he took to slowly rebuild his health one easy win at a time. And then we dive into the deeper limiting beliefs that were holding david back from pursuing his next big project, not the least of which were perfectionism and imposter syndrome. And then we talked about the seismic mindset shift that David made that allowed him to go from thinking he wasn't in a place to pursue difficult projects, to literally have the confidence to apply to fly to the moon, no, really literally applying to go to the moon. Learn how you too can apply the simple steps that David took to start building your own habits and routines that are going to set you up for success in both work and life. If today's interview inspires you to take the next steps towards designing a more fulfilling career path that not only lines you with work that you're passionate about, but also includes some semblance of I don't know work life balance maybe. And especially if you would like to support the mentorship and the community that can help you turn your goals into a reality. I am excited to announce that spring enrollment is officially open for my optimizer coaching and mentorship program. To learn more about all the program has to offer and how I can personally help you design your path and determine your next steps towards your definition of success without sacrificing your sanity in the process. Of course, you can learn more by visiting optimize yourself.me slash optimizer. Keep in mind that I review applications in the order they're received. And I fill slots accordingly. So the earlier that you apply, the better your chances are of getting into the program. I will be reviewing applications until Friday, April 23. All right. Without further ado, my conversation with editor composer sound designer extraordinary David J. Turner, made possible today by our amazing sponsors Evercast and Ergodriven. We're going to be featured just a bit later in today's interview to access the show notes for this and all previous episodes as well as to subscribe so you don't miss the next inspirational interview. Please visit optimizeyourself.me/podcast.

I'm here today with David Turner who is an ace at nominated Film Editor. You're also a cinema audio society winning sound mixer. You're also a Telly award winning documentary filmmaker, and you have won not just one or not even two, or even three, but 23 different Telly awards for all kinds of various areas, including sound and music and cinematography, and editing and more, you're probably best known as the editor of the award winning documentary making waves, the art of cinematic sound. And you're not only pursuing your lifelong passion for music composition, but you're also building this as a second career alongside Film Editing. So not only are you looking to be the next Walter Murch, you want to be Walter Murch mixed with john otteman, no less. So on that note, David, welcome to the show today. How are you Sir?

David J. Turner 5:54

I'm doing good. How are you doing?

Zack Arnold 5:56

I'm good. I'm excited that you and I can finally get this conversation on the record. And I'm gonna, I'm going to share something I shared this in an earlier call. And it was a surprise, and I'm going to share it with you as well. I knew we were going to be doing this about six months ago, I saw this coming. I have a very good sense. When I talk to people on these initial introductory calls about what level of effort and intensity and focus they're going to put into the program. It doesn't matter where they are, how lost they are, how many challenges or obstacles, I can just tell the ones that are really going to just take a bite and not let go and just dig into it. And like, yeah, I think David's gonna be on the podcast in a few months. And not only have you traversed one heck of a journey in the meantime, and we're going to talk about this a little bit more later. But you've gone from figuring out how do I just balance and survive this career to you know what? I think I want to go to the moon.

Hey, I'm crazy. I'm a little crazy.

Yeah, well, you and I are cut from the same cloth.

David J. Turner 6:55

I think we'll have to unpack that at some point. So people are like, very confused. But yeah, oh,

Zack Arnold 6:59

yeah, that's, that's what we call them the business teaser. They're like, wait, watch going to the moon. But I don't want to give it all away right away. So we're gonna get there later. But where I want to start is the beginning of where your journey started with me. So when you came to me about six months ago, you had a lot of challenges and struggles. And I would say one of the biggest ones, and you can unpack this a lot further. But you were asking the question, based on my experience on this documentary film, which was an amazing experience, but also really, really difficult and challenging and demanding. Am I even cut out to continue doing this in the future? Is this the right path for me. So talk to me and the audience a little bit more about where you were when you and I started. And all of the experiences that led up to you feeling the way that you did so just give us a kind of a snapshot of maybe the last three to five years of working on this project and how it led you to me.

When I graduated from USC, a number of years ago, I was TA'ing for Midge Costin, who was in the early stages of putting together this documentary, which eventually became known as making waves, the art cinematic sound. And she was putting it together with with Bob and Buster and Karen Johnson, the producers on the film and the three of them were all getting that going. And I was I was still a student when I first heard about this just had just wrapped up TA'ing for Midge and I my focus at USC, like we had you had mentioned Walter Murch before it was like I want to be the next Walter Murch, I want to follow the path that he went on because he pursued sound and editing. And I'm like, here is a documentary about sound that needs an editor. This is like, I have to work on this. This is what I was like born to work on. So you know, I talked with nature, I was cutting some proof of concept trailers for her with another student, Amy Reynolds read at USC and, and we were helping get this going. As they were trying to raise funds. And I from the very beginning like like Nick and I were had a good dynamic as we were putting some of this together. And she had made a comment once like, you know, if there was someone else who was going to be doing the editing, but she's like, she's not available? Maybe Maybe you could do it. And I was just like, I just kind of made a mental note. I'm like, Yes. I don't know how long this journey will be ended up being a lot longer than I thought it was gonna be. But this is what I want to do. I want to edit this documentary. But the thing is, I'm just I'm still in my 20s at this point, fresh out of film school. And the documentary didn't actually even start filming for a couple years after that. But still, I'm heading into this project kind of fresh out of film school. And and we're interviewing Walter Murch, Ben Burtt, Gary Rydstrom, Barbra Streisand. George Lucas, Lucas, Steven Spielberg, I mean, it's just like, I mean, not all of my filmmaking heroes, but probably at least half them are in this movie. Yeah, I felt a lot of pressure than it had to be. I mean, it's like it basically I felt like that I had to rise to the level of every classic film for the last 100 years that we're featuring in the movie. My editing has to like rise to that level. That's that was the pressure I was putting on myself. No pressure, fresh out of film school. You know, now, if

You're going to put together clips for the Godfather, or Apocalypse Now and you need to rise to that level, no big deal shouldn't be that challenging, right?

Yeah. So it's a, suffice it to say I put major pressure on myself like it was this had to be. I mean, it just it had to be perfect in my mind. And it was like, no matter what the costs that it took, for my own sleep, my own relationships, my own sanity, it just took me out for the count. I mean, I could go, I could go into more details. I don't know how much details you want to go into right now. But suffice it to say the film wound up being very successful, it was well received by critics. You know, it's being used in film schools, nominated for an Eddie one simaudio society award. So it was definitely successful. But at the end of that whole journey, I was kind of left in this place where it's just like, I don't know, if I even want to still make movies like it just, I mean, I love the people that I worked with. And I love the people that we interviewed, and, and I love the film. I love all this stuff. But I'm just so burned out. So I basically my journey, then to discovering you was when you put together that article, dear Hollywood, we don't want to go back to normal normal isn't working. And I had never heard of optimize yourself or, or any of that before. But I had just joined American cinema editors, probably just a couple of weeks before that article came out. And Jenny McCormick sent the articles to all the ACE members. And so I saw it and I just started reading through it. And it was just like, Oh my gosh, like the experience, like kind of what I put myself through on this project. I was thinking like, oh, it just I kind of did it there. And I learned but it's like, oh, no, this happens all the time that people get themselves that burned out. And I was kind of filled with both hope and sorrow. I mean, I was sort of it was just kind of like, Oh, my gosh, this happens all the time. Do I want to keep making films that I had that thought and then on the other hand, I was like, well, this is really awesome that Zack is like trying to do something about this kind of culture of I mean, basically articles talking about people just overworking. And that there are people like Zack who are really trying to like shift the mindset. And that there are people like Jenny, were forwarding was actually putting together to their members. And it was just like, Okay, so this is really cool, because I can see that this is a problem. And I can see that I really struggled with this. And I can see where it left me. But I can also see that there are people that are trying to make it better, I get to talk to that guy. So I I mean, I started by just writing Jenny and just asking her a couple of questions about the article. And then she wound up connecting with you. And I didn't even know that you did a coaching program. But I I reached out to you a little bit later and said, Hey, you know, I I'm just trying to figure out if it filmmaking is what I want to do, because it's just I burned myself out so bad. Do you? Do you do any mentoring, I'd be happy to pay. And and I had no idea that was actually a business you were building. So I probably should have done more of my research. Before my outreach email, as we talked about in the optimized program.

We'll talk a lot more about that in a little bit. providing value in knowing the person you're reaching out to. But needless to say, it worked out.

So I didn't know much about what you were doing. But what I did know is that everything I was reading about your story and what led you to creating optimize yourself. I felt like the intensity that I did I approach things with and the burnout that followed. I felt like I read that exact story in your life too. But you seem to have figured it out a bit better than I had. And it was like I knew that I needed to there was a lot that I could learn from you. So that's that's kind of how I came to reach out to you.

Well, I'm going to make one correction. I haven't figured it out. I am actively figuring it out. Big difference. I make it very clear that I have not cracked the code. I am not the expert on all this. As you know I am simultaneously juggling like eight different things right now as we speak. still figuring it out. I've just I've gotten pretty good at it. I still fail. I still get exhausted I still miss workouts or you know have days where I'm just really uncreated and can't summon the energy. But I've learned to balance it all a lot better than I used to. But I've always actively figuring it out. I haven't necessarily figured it out and I want to make sure that anybody that doesn't know me, well that might be finding this and they're new like oh, yeah, right. He's figured it out. Oh, no, no, I'm still very much in the trenches, but I've learned how to navigate them fairly well over the years and have been able to take on more than the average editor might in their lives because I have a lot of different passions. And you're right, if there's one thing we have in common, it's level of intensity, and a very, very intense person. And I know that this next question could easily take up a 90 minute interview. And I don't want to, but I do want to go a little bit more into the weeds about the cost of working on making ways because anybody can go online and see what you got out of it. You got the awards, pictures, view and tuxedos, you've got the credit you got into Ace, like, what an amazing opportunity. And it absolutely was an amazing opportunity. But it came at a huge cost. And again, I don't want to belabor it for the entire episode. But I think it's important to paint a little bit clear picture of some of the things you went through. Because I, I've learned so much about you over the last few months. And there's no question, do you have an undying passion for storytelling and filmmaking, and whether it's editing or composing or sound, I think you're always going to be doing some combination of these crafts. But the passion is unquestioned. But the cost of making waves forced you to question that passion? Am I even really passionate about this anymore? And can I do better? Like Should I just be an accountant, because it's just so much easier and less stress. So let's paint a little bit clear picture of the cost of working on making waves.

Okay, so I think the clearest way that I could kind of paint a picture of kind of how intensely I was going and kind of the, the cost of it, as you said, so summer 2018, we were pushing towards picture lock, because there was some festivals that we were wanting to make sure it hits and deadlines were coming up, we hit a deadline for for one festival and, you know, things were coming together into into pretty good shape. But now we were coming up on picture lock in where we were really trying to like really lock it down, handed over to composing handed over to sound. And I just couldn't go in like non stop for a long time, you know, wasn't taking days off just working really long hours, just pushing pushing. And you know, it can almost I'm sure you've been in this place before, I would imagine you have with kind of what you've described in the past, but it's like you kind of start pushing beyond, it's like your body's telling you to stop, but like you're not even listening anymore. And it's I've had that experience even more recently where it's just like, there's a certain threshold of like how much the body can take in terms of staying focused in but you just push it about four hours beyond. And then your body wants to crash the next day, but you can't really crash because he's still got a push towards the deadline. So you just push it and you just keep pushing and pushing and pushing. So as all this is going on news over my house a lot and we start hearing this animal growling through my wall. And it's like, what's bad, I'm like, I don't have time to deal with that. Like, it's just like, I gotta keep going. And then all of a sudden, like a week before picture lock. I go to the hospital for five days. And maybe you get sick too, I mean. And as it turned out, I had neglected to notice that there was possums infesting my house, and they were bringing fleas, which were giving me typhus. And I went to the hospital for typhus, like, I think was like two weeks before a picture lock. And then my house was infested with fleas. And I had to pick up and move the whole house over to my supervising editor Tom Miller's house, who was a saint, and let us like set up shop there for, you know, for the next two weeks since we finished the film. But yeah, I mean, it's like when you want to go to the hospital for like five days at the end of a project, you might have been pushing yourself too hard. And it was like I think it was a combination of like immune system being down and then also the fact that just wasn't even leaving the time to deal with the possums that were bringing fleas in my house. I will never let that happen again. You know,

I would imagine I have plenty of horror stories myself, but I don't have that one. So possums in the wall leading to typhus and a hospital visit for a week before picture lock you win. You you you beat all of my stories. Give me a little bit clearer picture of how long you were on this movie because it wasn't like you were on it for six months or a year. You were on this for a long time. Were you not?

Yeah, so I mean, all told it was. This wasn't a full time capacity, in a sense, but all told it was I don't even know how to quantify it like I started in 2011 doing the proof of concept trailers. And then I was teaching as an adjunct professor at USC and working out doing sound on films too. So worked on Fruitvale Station with Ryan coogler doing is one of the sound editors on that film, all while making waves was kind of coming together. And then shortly after Fruitvale Station came out, we started filming for making waves and I was the production sound mixer in addition to the editor and I actually didn't get the job of editor until quite a bit later, actually. So it was like so then I was on his production sound mixer, helping out with research. Then I was in 2013 the film they released till 2000 I take So, you know, and I didn't start full time until later. But the whole span of it was about six years between all the different roles. And you know, and again, I was doing other things for portions that time. But yeah, it was a long time.

Yeah. And I think one thing that's really important to recognize is even though you weren't full time working 60 to 80 hours a week for all eight years, with a creative project, even when you're not actively working on it all the time, it's always in your head, especially if it's something you're passionate about. And there's a wait there is just like this nagging voice in this Wait, that's taking away energy that's taking away creativity, and sometimes taking away sleep. Even if you're not getting paid that week or that month, there's something about the weight of an unfinished project. And you're carrying that weight for years and years and years. And clearly, it took its toll. And I know that you're very similar to me, as you've already alluded to, where you'll just go nights, weekends, like, Oh, is it? Is it 6am? Already? How did that happen? Because you do what I find with focus, having studied focus for years, and how the brain works, and how we get in and out of a state of flow. And now working with creative professionals, there's generally two extremes. There's the more likely more common person that really has a hard time focusing because they're so conditioned by distractions. Oh, I've got my email and social media and Facebook and dings and chimes, and they're all over the place. But then just as or even more detrimental, I think other people in our category where the world disappears for hours, sometimes days or even weeks. And like you said, you get in the zone. Oh, what's that scratching? Oh, I'll get to that later. Don't bother me. I'm in the zone, until you've got absolutely no other choice. And I found that that can either be a superpower or in your case, it ended up being your kryptonite.

Yeah, I mean, it was I remember at one point when we were doing the mix, and like some notes came in that some things that we need to fix for, for fair use. And I mean, totally needed to address it. But I was just like, oh, man to stay ahead of the mix and make sure that we've adjusted this in time, like I need to, like, basically go in on we've been there like kind of working throughout the week. And then I went in on the weekend and pulled an all nighter on Saturday night, slept on the floor, and then got up and then showed the notes to people and and then kept working all day Sunday. And and I never told anyone like, Hey, I was up all night I, I probably should go home and sleep like I just kind of kept going. And I crashed so hard. That it was just it was crazy. And, you know, as I look back, it's like, I totally didn't have to do it that way. You know, No one forced me to do that. That was that was me.

And that's what I was gonna ask like, did you have producers in your director breathing over your shoulder saying, you need to be here all nights, because we need the notes that 90 on the next morning. And as soon as I look at the notes, I need you to stick around all day to complete the next round of notes. Like Did you have that kind of pressure?

No. I mean, if anything, it was them telling me not to do that. Like, I remember one point. Yes. Like, one of our producers was just saying I'm worried about you. You're you're staying there like all night, you know, you need to wrestle I was like, I mean, so and I was getting that. I mean, that was like I remember Mitch telling me that a lot. And Tom was telling me that too, that you know, just needing to figure out a way to dial down the intensity a bit. Because it's like, yeah, sure that you perfected that, that cut, but like, we're still months away from locking. So like it's not the time to perfect and like don't burn yourself out and take forever doing that now like you got to run the marathon, not the sprint, I was just running sprint after sprint after sprint after sprint, and it just wasn't sustainable. And I feel like there's a lot of people trying to get me to not do that. But the only person who wasn't trying to get me to not do that was me.

And if you think about it in the short term mathematically, you probably got more done. You were pushing through and you're working all night. And you might have gotten more notes done in that day or that week than if you had paced yourself more. But look at the cost over the long term. How much time do you think you lost because of the way that you worked on making waste? As far as burnout, inability to have enthusiasm for another project? Did you lose a few days? Did you lose a couple of weeks? Are we talking months that were lost to burnout and lack of creativity and productivity?

Well, I mean, I it's an interesting way to put it because I wouldn't necessarily put it that directly. But I mean, you could say a year. But on the other hand, and you know, I don't know if we want to get into this now it that that year happened to timeout right with the beginning of COVID and the lockdown. So I don't know how things would have panned out if there hadn't been this sort of, like, natural pause that happened. Where it kind of I mean, it was like, I was feeling like I needed to move on. It was it was like I was feeling this pressure again, not from anyone else. For myself. It's like you just wrapped up this project that did well. You get nominated for an eddy. And you have to get on another Film Editing now because otherwise people are gonna be like, why aren't you editing another film? What's wrong with you? You know, and I just kind of got this whole narrative going in my head. But I'm like, I don't want to edit another film right now I'm burned out. And anyways, but then. So I don't know how that would have played out if there hadn't been for COVID. And, you know, like the initial industry shutdowns anyway, at which point I sort of shifted and, and was doing more music, which is sort of was kind of like a life rejuvenating thing for me. And I'm now excited to do more editing again, too. So I don't know. I mean, it's hard to answer that question, because I don't feel like it was last time because it actually did allow me to do something else that I had been wanting to do, too. But if it hadn't been for how that worked out, I mean, it's certainly I don't feel, I don't feel like I would have been ready to jump on another editing project for probably another year.

And I love the fact that you have the perspective that it probably turned out the way that it should have, and I don't see it as last time. But again, I would venture to guess that had the pandemic not hit and all of a sudden, you were getting multiple new opportunities that were similar. Like you said, I'm not really in a place where I can take it, then it would have been a little bit more apparent that maybe there's this this last time of potential productivity that I just wasn't able to utilize because I wasn't ready to jump against where we're talking about a pretty big swath of time. I just want to paint the picture for people that it wasn't like, yeah, I had a really rough weekend and I slept like 36 hours like this was this was a long haul of recovery to to really get you through this process. And one of the things we talked about, in the very beginning of our conversations, was me sharing my experience feeling like looking at projects that I went through similar to this, it was like PTSD, just the thought of getting back into an environment like that literally created anxiety and panic attacks. I just couldn't go back and do it again. I know that was something that you related to.

Yo Yeah, for sure did. Yeah. Sometimes when I would think about getting like, diving into like a years long project. It just it? Yeah, just I could feel the anxiety just rising in me of Yeah, just knowing how much I had let it take over before and like, was I capable of keeping it at bay? Again, you know? Or would I just be repeating the same process that I had gone through, you know,

So naturally, you come to me day one, this is the long version of catching everybody up to day one. And the first time we have our first session, you've been through years of going through the trenches and working on this big project. And this was a career changer and realizing, I don't even know if I can do this again. So of course, the first thing we're going to talk about is let's get you on the treadmill for five minutes. Right? So I want to talk about what are some of the steps that we use to get you out of this hole, so to speak, and get you moving to the point where now you're like, as we will allude to again and to the second time applying to go to the moon? Where did we start? How do we tackle this one step at a time?

Well, I remember something that you said early on is like, what is the quote unquote, easy win? Like what what can you do like what's the smallest thing you can do that if you do that, it will make the next thing a little easier. And the next thing a little easier. And the next thing a little easier. And in terms of just like kind of getting back that structure and an order and energy and all that. And, you know, you say getting on the treadmill for five minutes. But it's funny, like, I don't know if you remember this, but the easy win that we actually settled. At first was not getting on the treadmill, it was making my bed. Because I at that point at that point I was feeling so just like rundown that, you know, maybe other people could relate to this in the middle of COVID. It was just it was hard to get out of bed in the morning. And I was just finding days were disordered. But I realized when I was talking to you, it's like, you know, one thing that's helped in the past is like when I just like make my bed in the morning and start out the morning with that. Everything else kind of falls into place a little more easily. And you're like, I think that's your easy win. And so I just I just started with the ad and it's like, okay, I am I am out of bed. I am not going to just kind of like feel lethargic, and rundown, I am going to start my day, put a cap on it. And And then from there, it's like, well, I know that you like you said that, you know, I told you that my ideal time to run on the treadmill that kind of really helped me feel more energized was if I could run for 20 minutes, like get that much exercise in. And you said Well, let's not start there. What can you do, you know, small and then build over time. So I think the first time I got on the treadmill, I don't think it was even five minutes. I think it was like two minutes. It was like I'm just gonna put on my my running shoes, get on the treadmill run for two minutes and be like, okay, I did it. They didn't really probably do much for my health. But it did start to build the habit. And then I think I was pretty methodical about it. I just every day I would up it by a minute. So like two minutes and three minutes, then four minutes, five minutes. And then I remember one day, I wrote you and I was like I just ran 24 minutes today. He went from like, it was like 2345689 1024 just all of a sudden it just sort of like took off. And I mean I would be lying if I said that. I've kept that up. Because one thing that I found is that that easy win concept has to come back at other points too, because you know, you quote unquote fall off the treadmill. Like over the holidays, I, you know, I was, I was with my girlfriend's family and you know, kind of away from the treadmill and a lot of those practices, and I got out of the habit, and I kind of had to start over again, after the holidays to sort of get back into it. And I was like, okay, when I'm not going to start again, with 20 minutes, even though that's where I'm at, I'm going to, I'm gonna go back and go back to two minutes, because, you know, I had a bit more strength built up, I think I started at formats, and then just went back up. And within a week or two, I was back up to 15 1620. So anyways, that was one of I think one of the things that really hit me early on is like, kind of like, if you know where you want to go. You don't have to go there right away. You just have to start mapping out a path that can get you there over time. Yeah, so that was that was one thing.

My sincerest apologies for the interruption in the middle of this interview. But if you are a content creator, or you work in the entertainment industry, not only is the following promo, not an interruption, but listening has the potential to change your life. Because collaborating with ever cast is that powerful. Here's a brief excerpt from a recent interview that I did with Evercast co founders, Brad Thomas, and award winning editor Roger Barton.

Roger 31:16

Living this lifestyle of a feature film editor has really had an impact on me. So I was really looking for something to push back against all of these lifestyle infringement that are imposed on us both by schedules and expectations. When you guys demoed Evercast for me that first time my jaw hit the floor, I'm like, Oh, my God, this is what I had been waiting for for a decade.

Zack Arnold 31:39

I also had the same reaction. When I first saw Evercast, two words came to mind game changer.

Brad 31:44

Our goal, honestly, is to become the zoom for creative, whatever it is, you're streaming, whether it's editorial, visual effects, Pro Tools for music composition, LIVE SHOT cameras, it's consistent audio and video, lip sync, always stays in sync, whether you're in a live session where you're getting that feedback immediately, or you can't get it immediately. So you record the session. And you can share those clips with people on the production team where there's no room for any confusion. It's like this is exactly what the director wants. This is exactly what the producer wants.

Roger 32:12

What matters most to me is it makes the entire process more efficient, which then translates to us as creatives who spend way too much time in front of computers, we get to shut it down. And we get to go spend time with our friends and family.

Zack Arnold 32:24

The biggest complaint and I'm sure you guys have heard this many, many times. This looks amazing. I just can't afford it.

Brad 32:30

Tesla had to release the Model S before they released the model three. So by the end of the year, we are going to be releasing a sub $200 version a month of Evercast for the freelancer and indie creatives. Anyone who is a professional video creator outside of Hollywood.

Roger 32:46

I think what we've learned over the last few months is that this technology can translate to better lives for all of us that give us more flexibility and control while still maintaining the creativity, the creative momentum and the quality of work.

Zack Arnold 33:01

I cannot stress this enough ever cast is changing the way that we collaborate. If you value your craft your well being and spending quality time with the ones you love, Evercast now makes that possible for you and me to listen to the full interview and learn about the amazing potential that Evercast has to change the way that you work and live is to optimizeyourself.me/evercast. Now back to today's interview.

Yeah, so so we got you started with just a little bit of momentum. So you could have just a little bit more energy and a little bit more enthusiasm. So then we could really start to tackle this problem. Because you and I talked about and we have you have waffled back and forth. Well, should I be focusing on writing outreach emails? Should I be focusing on editing as a composing? Do I go to the moon? What like what are what are the things that I should focus on?

David J. Turner 33:47

And I love the episode?

Zack Arnold 33:49

Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Heck yeah. And I remember having the conversation one point where I don't remember exactly what I asked, but it was what what was the one component that you were missing from making waves that if we can introduce that, it's going to make doing something like making waves the next time easier. And you're like, I just, I just never moved. I was just sitting all day long. So we decided let's build a lifestyle of activity and movement, which is where this all came from. Because I think a lot of people that don't understand this process are thinking, Well, what does exercise have to do with my career that's just getting in the way of the time that I should be spending on my career, but they're not mutually exclusive. That's what I keep talking about and screaming for my soapbox and have been for over a decade now. That success in your career comes because of those lifestyle habits, not despite them. Because I've been in that same place where I was really, really healthy doing yoga and martial arts and everything. And I got my first feature film. And there was a period of several months in a row where it was seven days straight, no days off 16 hour days with a director on the couch behind me. And I figured I'm in my mid 20s I'm super healthy. This shouldn't be hard. But it didn't take long for my body to say, No, this isn't working for me.

I mean, I could imagine doing that for two weeks at this You know what I mean to let go seven days in a row 16 hours a day like that's just, that's inhuman, you know? How many months Did you do that for?

I, honestly, I forget, I think it was about three months straight without a day off. This was a non union indie film, we were trying to get a studio distribution, low budget. And basically, at that point I was it, the entire future of the film rested in this young kids hands, that's willing to work for cheap, that is going to work 24 seven, and I thought that I could do it until I realized that I couldn't. But at the same time, I never missed a day of work. Because I had the same thing in my head, the unit I could just power through. And if that edit bay were on fire, I could get that output out on time. That was the mindset that I had. And I didn't realize until afterwards how poorly that was served me as soon as the pressure was off. And I lost, I don't know, at least six months of my life at that point to complete and total burnout, depression, like it was the first time I really went through this hard core. And I think I repeated that cycle net exactly same circumstances. But I have two or three other periods of loss time, like I've talked about on the podcast before that I call 2017 my lost year. That was one that was the first year that I started to build online educational courses. And I was working on I think, Empire at the time, and I just released my documentary film. And I was rebranding for fitness and post optimize yourself. And I built my first online course, all that was happening simultaneously, shortly after I had my second kid. And I just powered through and powered through and power through, and then bam, it all collapsed. And I lost most of the rest of the year. So yeah, I achieved a lot. But I also lost almost a year of my life where I accomplished next to nothing other than showing up going to work and coming home. That was the only thing I could do, just so I could make sure that we were supported. So yeah, I understand that mentality very well.

Yeah, I think is I mean, I don't know if that was the story that you were referring to in terms of when you talked about some of your burnout. Anyways, like, I think there's a lot of them. Yeah, your stories of that in the past was part of what led me to wanting to work with you. Because it was just like, I just, I know that I could ask you questions about the city, you know about this, and you've lived it.

So so we decided that if we're going to really get you to the point where you can focus on simultaneously becoming Walter Murch, John Othman, all at the same time, lifestyle habits had to come first. But then we started to dig a little bit deeper, because yes, we had all the shiny objects in calendar in Trello. And they're all sitting there waiting. And by the way, there are still some things you taught me about Trello that I'm using to this day. So boy, did you figure out Trello fast and run with it. But before we get there, I want to dig a little bit deeper into the psychological part of it. Because being productive and being more effective with your time, there's a lot of psychology behind that. And there's a theme that runs through all of this, that coincidentally or maybe even not coincidentally enough is a theme that's been running through this very recording, which is it's got to be perfect. Right, everything's, I gotta have everything lined up perfectly, and it's all going to be right. And if I can't do it, right, and it's not going to be perfect, and not even going to even do it. So I remember identifying a few random projects around your house that ended up becoming metaphors for all of the struggles that you were dealing with both in your personal and professional lives. Like I want to start tackling some projects. And I've got this like weird TV mount that I'm supposed to put back on the wall, and there's like holes in the wall. And I've wanted to hang up a chin up bar forever. And there's also this thing that's just been bugging me for a while, which is that I have all of these paint cans in my garage. And I want to get them organized. And I want to get them labeled because they represent all the various colors in my house for trim or Windows or walls or whatever. And I want to make sure that I know what cans belong to what. And it was something you just let sit forever and forever and forever and a day. But as we started to work through the program, you started to work on the paint camp project. And I saw that as a metaphor for you eliminating or at least reducing some of these limiting scripts or beliefs that everything's got to be perfect before I can start.

Yeah, I mean, the irony being I still haven't finished the paint cans. I don't know if this messes up this analogy, but

It doesn't matter that you're finished your notice that you recognize it and that there's progress. It's always about progression and not perfection. That's a lesson I've had to learn. I'm a recovering perfectionist, just as you are.

I mean, I can speak to the perfectionism too, because I remember kind of the early days I was having some early victories. I went from having a hard time getting out of bed in the morning to making my bed every morning running, you know up to like 1215 minutes a morning and like does all go on pretty quickly. I'm getting this process of habit formation. This is working all right. But then we started going into some questions of deeper why's is he talking about like what is the thing that really motivates you? You know, why are you here on earth? What is guiding everything? What is your deepest passion? You really dove deep with that with me? And when I sort of identified what it was, all of a sudden, I felt all the weight of that again, and I just shut down. I'm like I can't. I was on top of every episode for the first weeks. And then it was just for the next three weeks, I think our talks were more about why was I not able to get through it this time, because it was just all of a sudden it had all that waits. So I think a lot of after that was dealing with that sort of psychological, I think, as you describe it, perfect at the expense of good enough.

Yeah, so one of the core foundations is helping people to realize that you should not pursue perfect at the expense of good enough. And a lot of the the projects that you were leaving, were mostly because you felt like I can't do it perfectly. So I might as well just let it sit. And as you started to unpack all this emotional stuff and discover, this is really why I'm doing what I'm doing and what I want to pursue, as you realize, you know, what, there's there's a lot more to this composing thing that I thought and I really feel attached to the music side of things, still editing, still sound design, but there was a lot more to the music as you started to get clarity, you started to come to me and saying, Oh, yeah, I got this project done in this project ton of this project done. almost kind of it was like I'm gonna catch you up on the last week. But the connection between those things getting done, as you gain more clarity, I don't see those as a coincidence, I see those as manifestations of momentum, you're getting over and you're peeling off that weight, that kind of stuff just gets done as a byproduct becomes a side effect of this positive momentum. And then all of a sudden, I taught you how to use your calendar and Trello. And boy, did everything just start to go crazy, then. Because we spent a lot of time dealing with emotional stuff and unpacking it and really digging into it. And I think in your mind, not really making progress, because it wasn't concrete, you couldn't say I did all my worksheets on time or whatever. But then all of a sudden, this floodgate opened up, and we started to dig into Trello and calendars. And you went from Well, yeah, you know, I don't really use my calendar to all of a sudden, the whole thing is filled up, and there's time blocks everywhere. And it's all organized. And then all of a sudden, you're teaching me things about Trello. I'm like, I didn't even know you could do that. That's amazing. So let's talk about this process for you, which was very time consuming, but also very rewarding of unpacking all the ideas that you had trapped in your brain that you couldn't get organized and just brain dumping all of it and organizing it because that's when the floodgates open for you.

David J. Turner 42:21

Yeah, so I guess as relates to the calendar, I remember when you first brought up your weekly calendar, one session, you're like, this is what it's going to look like. And I'm like, no way. I'm not going to do that. That is so limiting. I like to have freedom in my day. I'm going to do this and I'll do that. I don't know, if I have it blocked down by the 15 minute increments. Screw that, that is gonna make me feel suffocated. I don't think I said, screw that to you. But I basically said no that's not for you.

Zack Arnold 42:49

You were open to the idea. But I could tell you were very resistant

Yeah, I shared with you. Yeah. So I'm like, No, I like to do it in month you and all this put big items on. So I can look at the whole month to detail, weekly view. And I don't remember what you said, but you were very patient and working with me. And you're like, Well, why don't you just put on a few things, maybe start to get lists on you know, whatever works for you. So I started to put more things on my monthly view, so that I could at least be thinking more about what I was going to tackle each day. I'm like, Oh, this actually helps to put more things on the calendar. Instead of having them in a to do list to kind of keeps it more fresh on my mind what I'm going to be doing. I think I did that, like a week or two. And then another week comes along. Um, I think I listened to some podcast with maybe you and Cal Newport deep work. Know that. Yeah, that would have been TLS Cal Newport. Yep. Yeah, yeah. And deep work and how Oh, you actually scheduled time for deep work. I'm like, Oh, is it just kind of kept going and going, I started to realize that we actually being more intentional about my time on a day to day basis, instead of just a broad sweep. It could actually free me up because I can go into the whole week knowing what I'm going to tackle when. And I think this is the other thing that you said in that podcast is that you're always shifting, you might not hit it exactly right. So you have to reorganize it. But you got to sort of plan and you kind of play Tetris as you go. And also when it clear, oh, I don't have to plan it out. And I can't deviate from my plan for the week. When I realized there's still flexibility but I have a better roadmap, then it all clicked and I've been blocking out my entire weeks ever since. I don't block out weekends. I don't know if I've ever told you that I found that to be a nice balance where I just kind of, I block out the work week, down to the minute and then adjust but then on the weekends I give myself time just sort of be.

That's funny that's exactly how I do it. Now when I first started, I was pretty regimented. Now the only thing on the weekends are things that my wife needs to know our commitments. It's an appointment or I'm going to be going for some training session somewhere else. But I'm not blocking out well at 1015 on Saturday morning. That's what I'm going to be replacing the light bulbs in the back Hall and then at 1030 that's what I'm going to be taking up the garbage like that. That's a level of OCD, the demon I don't think I could attain. I did it that way at one point. Just to get accustomed to really forcing myself to have that target. And like you said, I'm constantly moving it and constantly shaping it, and it is a constantly moving target. The point is, it's a target. Most people don't have a target at all. And they have no idea what they're shooting towards. Mine's constantly moving, but I have some shape to it. And I know over the course of a week or a month, what I ideally want to accomplish. So that way, I'm effective with my time because as I've talked about on the show, and said to you, I don't want to just teach you how to spin on the hamster wheel faster. Because I could totally do that. Like, you could say, I'm working all night, every night on these documentaries, show me how to be more efficient, how can I be more productive and organize my bins or teach me asymmetrical trimming? Yeah, I can get you to spend on the hamster wheel faster. But if we can eradicate some of these limiting beliefs and mindsets about pushing yourself 24 seven, and not taking the breaks or not sleeping overnight, or thinking everything has to be perfect, none of those tips are going to matter, which is why we started with the psychology. But I think my favorite process was the process with the calendars now. And it's not really for me. Just throw a few things in month view, and then you come back the next week. So I tried the week view and I kind of turn it into my to do list and that you know, it's it's it's not as bad as I thought. Alright, so what what if you were to go into like a day at a time view so I can really see Oh, no, I can't put stuff in hours. No, I, I distinctly remember, I wish I could go back to the transcript and play it. But I distinctly remember, no, no, I definitely need it to be in month view. So I can just see it. And listen, I can't do an hour by hour. You really were resistant. Oh yeah, I was seven days later. So yeah, I tried the hour view thing. And so here's my calendar, and I basically have every hour blocked out for the entire week. so far.

David J. Turner 46:45

Yes, I remember you were so happy when I showed you that you're like I've been

Zack Arnold 46:49

Oh yeah, I knew it was coming. I knew it was coming.

David J. Turner 46:51

I was really resistant to the to the calendar stuff, as you said for a long time. But Trello was the thing I was like, I can't wait to get to Trello.

Zack Arnold 47:00

I can tell you still to this day, it's the most thorough in depth pro capture in organization process I've ever seen more thorough than I've even been. So you might not have found all the cool bells and whistles and automations that maybe are some of the things that I integrate, and I teach. But as far as your use of the basic skill set, that you have to use Trello to its fullest, without knowing all the fancy stuff, you got every ounce of blood to squeeze out of that rock. Because I saw that I'm like, man did this guy kick the crap out of Trello. Like, there was so much stuff in there. And all these lists and organization, you know, everything organized in these specific sections in each list. And you taught me how to create section break cards like, like, Where did all this stuff come from. So it was it was a really cool experience. And all that's fine and good. Like everybody enjoys the shiny objects in the next tool. But I don't want to talk about how you use Trello. But I want to talk about is the result of using Trello. What happened after you started to have it all in one place.

David J. Turner 48:00

Also, when it's all in one place, it just frees you up to not worry about all the little details and knickknacks. I mean, what I have tried to do is I try to keep the table in front of my editing computer, I try to keep it totally clear except for like whatever I'm working on. And anything else is in another room. Or if it's not physically based, it's in Trello. It takes everything that's not an immediate priority, and it gets it out of my mind and out of my way. And I know that I can easily go and review it and be like, Oh, yeah, oh, yeah, I can fire off those four quick things. So I don't need to worry about like, I can just send that email and I got a call that person and and you know if that's going on, then you're not feeling free to go to the moon, or do and, again, we'll talk about that soon. But it doesn't free you up to think about the bigger things because you're so focused and bogged down by all the little things that really you know, as someone who can get into a flow state that can really mess with me and I could I can lose a whole day doing five little things if I'm not careful. Or I could spend an entire day doing one big thing. In Trello just is like it's like a place to put all the big things and the little things, keep them organized, prioritize so that I don't need to worry about them, as I'm going through my day. And I can just like plan out on the calendar at the beginning of the week. What are the big things that I need to do this week? And everything else that I don't need to do with this week is in Trello I don't need to worry about it. And it just frees me up. And you know, and I guess I guess this is just a kind of a clear picture psychologically what it's done to me. This this last week, I went through my calendar on Sunday night, and I blocked out what I was going to be doing this week. I could not wait to wake up on Monday morning. Because I'm like this week is gonna be awesome. Like, I cannot wait to tackle these things. I cleared away all the clutter. I knew what my big priorities were. I had finished my taxes so that that wasn't fun. That was one here

Zack Arnold 50:00

We all we all got to deal with that death and tax, you know, right?

You got to deal with that. But like other than that everything that I had coming out this week was like a really you know, that that idea of the little rocks and the big rocks, it was like, it was like three big rocks. And I couldn't wait. The contrast between how I was feeling six months ago and how I felt Sunday night, you know, the work weeks about to start and can't wait to get going. That's a big shift.

Yeah, you know, I and I don't know if everybody would agree with this. But I feel like you're doing everything right. When you look forward to Monday, more than you look forward to Friday. And that's gonna depend on your life circumstances. But everybody's like, Oh, God, I got a case of the Mondays. And how many days is it until Friday, and I just want my weekend. I don't want to live that way. That's no fun, where you get two days out of the seven where you actually kind of sorta enjoy and you kind of unwind from the storm that is your life Monday through Friday. That sounds miserable. I live that life for a short period of time. And I realized, I want my favorite day of the week to be Monday because I get to start all over again. And if I don't feel that way, I'm doing something wrong. And I'm making the wrong choices and something needs to change. So it wasn't about you saying, well, I learned Trello and calendars. And I started to get more things done on my to do list you were but that was just a byproduct or a side effect. The result was all this weight and anxiety lifting, which gave you the space and the energy. And more importantly, I would say the confidence to start pursuing things you never would have pursued otherwise, ever. So now let's talk a little bit more about what we've been teasing, which is right now as we speak. And this may come out in a few weeks, and this might be in the past. But as we speak, you have been doing some outreach, because you're now in the advanced program, learning how to connect with people and build relationships, where most people find somebody that they admire, oh, I would like to reach out to example to John Ottman. I want to learn more about how to be a composer and an editor simultaneously. But no, David couldn't do just that. David came to the outreach class one week and said, so I don't know if anybody's aware of it. But there's an application to send eight people to the moon. And I want to be one of them. So let's let's talk a little bit more about this. Because you've gone from a place of I don't I don't even know if I've got the energy or the enthusiasm to to do this job anymore. 10. Yeah, but I want to take a shot at going to the moon. So let's talk about what you're doing now and how you got to this point.

David J. Turner 52:26

So yeah, I mean, it's funny that I'm talking about this here, because I actually haven't, who knows, by the time this podcast comes out, it may be revealed that I wasn't selected, which,

Zack Arnold 52:36

And you know what, the chances are extremely high, that's going to be the case.

Yeah, I mean, they had a million applicants, and they're only sending eight people. So let's be honest, that's probably going to be the case. But I would say that even if I'm not I'm so thankful for the experience because of what it's taught me. So basically, we were Yeah, we're doing the networking outreach class this spring, I was kind of I was kind of going back and forth, like, well, who am I going to reach out to I mean, there's, there's so many people that I respect that, that I met through making waves. And like you said, People like john Ottman, who are doing editing and composing and to figure that out, like I would, I would love to reach out to him at some point. And just and hear more about that. And, you know, so and I think a lot of filmmaking people, there's so many filmmaking people I want to reach out to, and I was kind of trying to figure out who I was going to reach out to first. But before I was going to send my first like, kind of cold outreach email, and I was trying to decide who I was going to write as to, I see something on the internet that Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa has bought, I think 12 tickets to go on the first civilian spaceflight to the moon, and he's bought the entire flight it's going to happen in 2023 and he wants to bring creative people on the flight and he hopes that that through them going that he would find people that through going to the moon it would give them an opportunity to push their creativity further back on Earth benefit society help out each other with with their projects. It was just like, I can't believe it but I think I'm gonna apply I've never done anything like this but I just really feel like I need to apply for this this sounds like kind of everything you know in my just go big or go home and it can lead to burnout, but but I can't help it. That's just that's how I am I that's how you are too.

Yeah, as we've talked about, you're going to the moon is my American Ninja Warrior.

Yeah, exactly. And it's just I just couldn't stop thinking about it. I mean, there was some panic and tears. I started thinking about like, what would it actually mean because I'm like, I'm actually considering doing this like, but I couldn't shake it and it was just I just started thinking about like, what, what would it do to me or to anyone on that flight to see the earth from the moon from that far away to like have that you know, pale blue dot perspective on how small we are. Precious The earth is how huge the universe is how, in a sense, insignificant everything we do on the earth is. And yet seeing the whole earth and valuing it. And it was like I actually started like, seeing I was like imagining seeing the earth from like, however many miles away and, and I could almost like picture like, like lights kind of lighting up on it. It's like, Oh, this thing that was like totally freaking me out. Like, you know, making ways, for instance, like making waves has to be the best movie ever. And then I could just sort of see, the dots are lighting up on Earth where like making waves would have been seen, and it's like, oh, well, that was really important. But but the earth and the universe are pretty big. And this is just a movie, you know, and it didn't really, it's like, people watch it for an hour and a half, here and there. And hopefully, it inspires people. And I certainly, you know, I'm super passionate about it, and super proud of it, but, but just kind of puts it in perspective. And yet, then I thought, but they're intentionally bringing artists to the moon. So what is ours art is like, it's this idea of trying to capture the big picture, capture the universal capture the eternal capture the important things, and then help us understand them and convey them through the art. So I'm like, it's like, I'm both seeing the insignificance of everything, and yet the importance, and it was just my mind just kind of kept going and going and going and just kind of imagine, like, what would that be like, and, you know, kind of like, almost like a spiritual awakening of seeing this. And also, you know, to be on to be on a trip, like, if he's really trying to get people that are excited about this, just basically trying to get a ship full of dreamers, you know, and then to be supporting them on what they're doing to is they want to make positive change in the world. I just, I couldn't stop thinking about it. And I got on the call the next morning with you. And I'm like, okay, I don't know if I'm crazy. But my outreach email is to, to yusaku maezawa, to go to the moon. And I thought I was going to be writing an editor, or an assistant editor or composer, but it just, and you know, what, I'm actually working on the application right now, at the point that this comes out. And you know, it will have been submitted a long time in the past. And who knows, like I said, I may have already been rejected for it. But even if I don't get on this mission, which I probably won't, I just thank him for doing it. Because by me even having to consider that this is the reality has caused me to reflect on all this. And it's, it's almost given me some of that perspective, that I would hope the trip itself would get me already. And it still just makes me more excited about everything else. You know, like I said, the three big rocks that I was excited about on Sunday night, one of them was the moon application. And the other things were just the rest of my life, other parts of my life that I'm more excited to move forward in, in, in a large part, because it's just like, I don't want to be held back. I don't, if we can send people to the moon, civilians to space, and we can go or with the moon, and we can see the whole earth, I can edit a movie, I can compose the music I can, I can go with full force into what I feel like I'm here on earth to do. And I don't need to sweat the small stuff, just throw it on Trello and keep going for the big stuff like keep going for all the moon missions, whether they're literal or not. So yeah, I mean, thanks to the dear moon people, I, if I if I'm on the flight, that'd be awesome. But even if I'm not like, it's exciting, so

Well, just to be the person that decides I am actually going to apply for this requires a tremendous amount of courage, and also a tremendous amount of confidence. And to put in the work requires a tremendous amount of energy. And to circle back to the beginning. In order to get to become that person. Step one, was you had to get out of bed, and you had to make your bed. So there there's a method to the madness. And did I know that this is where it was gonna end up? Not exactly, certainly not with these details. But like I said, when we first talked, I could see that if you had the information, you were willing to get everything out of it, and you embraced it. And you tried things that you didn't want to do that you found out you ended up loving, because you were just like me calendars. I'm creative. I don't need a calendar, that's just this restrictive. And now you're realizing the calendar brings your freedom. And you're realizing that all of these things you've been worrying about now that you have a little bit of perspective and awareness of past choices and past behaviors. It really wasn't a big deal that I thought I was so much so that you have the courage to do something that takes your perspective to a completely different level than pretty much everybody else on the planet. So I'm excited about everything you've gotten out of this over the last few months and you're not even done yet.

It's like a shift from like, what could happen to like, what can happen if you keep going with intentionality? Yeah. If you have practices that allow you to stay energized enough to keep going and not burn out, after six months of seven days a week, you know, you have to you have to be able to pace yourself. And then but if you keep going week after week after week after week, at a pace that's manageable, where you're, where you're hitting the big things, where you're setting aside the small stuff we're going for the moonshots. Where are you going to be in 20 years where you going to be in 30 years? And if you're freed up to do what you're supposed to do? How many people could you help? I mean, you're a perfect example of that. You had this vision and this passion to put together this program, you made it a priority, and like, you're freed up to help me and the other people in the program and, and I'm, in turn, gonna be more freed up to pursue the things that I really feel like I'm supposed to do on earth. And ideally, you know, whatever I'm supposed to do on earth is gonna help other people too. I mean, otherwise, why do we care? So yeah, it only good can come from it.

I mean, a year you hit it spot on, that's exactly why I'm doing what I'm doing. And I don't want to go too much into it. Because speaking of time management, we're horribly over where we were supposed to finish, but that's fine. Because I'm always about worrying about the the quality over the quantity and, and this has all been totally worth it. But one of the things that I realized, probably not that long ago, maybe five, six years ago, is I spent most of my life chasing the gold statue. It's all about it. At one point, I was gonna be the next Walter Murch not the sound part. But as far as like the number one editor writing the books, he's the guy, that was the path, I was confident that I can make that happen. And then I realized that that wasn't conducive to all the other things that I wanted out of my life, all the work life balance, and also being a present father, like, it's it's a lot to handle. And then I thought to myself, yeah, but how cool would it be as a replacement instead of me winning the Oscar? What if I helped 50 people when their Oscars, that'd be so much cooler, and that was kind of where it all started. And it was hard for me for a long time to release that vision. Because it was that singular minded vision and focus that got me through all of the dark periods and the burnout and taking the next jobs, because there was a light at the end of the tunnel. And it was a gold statue. And I realized, it's not gonna be worth it just for the gold statue when I get to that point. But how cool would it be to develop a program to help other people get whatever is their version of a gold statue. And that's been a whole lot more rewarding. And if you want to go into the moon, like, worth it, totally worth it. So that'll be pretty awesome. And I'll be nothing but elated for you. So that's super, super exciting. So I do want to wrap it up, because I don't want to take too much longer. And I want to be respectful of your time. But the last question that I like to ask of these case study interviews, is that if there's another David Turner is listening to this call right now, they're read the dear Hollywood article. And he's like, Oh, my God, this is me. Like, this is exactly what I'm going through right now. I thought I was the only one and there's somebody else out there. But this sounds scary. This sounds really intense. And I'm not sure that I'm ready for this. What do you say to that David Turner that's listening.

You know, there, there is a path forward. And you don't have to have it all figured out. Like there's, there's a path out of that kind of mindset. And that crippling mindset, that it's so easy to put on yourself as a creative person who, who's passionate about what you do and values, the arts, but it doesn't, you don't have to keep moving forward in that way. And the way out, could be as simple as just making your bed, it could start with it. And what I mean by that is not maybe it's not making your bed, but it's just it wasn't an overnight shift for me to kind of get things into a state of order. It was an intentional process, but it it took several months. And and it started small, and it got bigger and bigger. And you know, so that's one thing I would say. And then I would also say that I think it can do us all a lot of good if we take a little bit of the pressure off in terms of what we do. I had an experience. early on when you and I were meeting where there was an interview that was done with me two interviews done that that went online, and I had been fighting normally when that happened, it was so stressful, because it's like you're putting a piece of yourself out there. And and I felt the same way about making waves. It's like you pour yourself into this. And you know, I'm sure that's the case for a lot of people, not only editors for directors and producers and supervising editors, and you know, people that pour a lot into a film and then you put it out there. If you're putting a piece of yourself out there. That can be hard. But But I realized I had gotten a dog like right before these interviews went out in the fall and and when the interviews went off, I was just like, Okay, cool. Now I got to make sure the dog gets outside and goes pee, because I just there just wasn't the mental space to like really dwell on it and it was so much better. So I think just there's there a certain degree of step It's helpful.

All right. Well, I think that that's very good advice. I love that we keep bringing it back to this idea, especially of Let's all create a new normal together. I mean, that's big picture, what I'm really going for, it's going to take everybody finding their version of making the bed one day at a time, whatever that might be. But I really think there's a version of new normal out there somewhere, I don't know what it looks like yet, I don't know how long that's gonna take. But I know that it's gonna take one person at a time, one day at a time, one action at a time. And you're, you're the perfect example of how you can make a pretty drastic shift in mindset and productivity and energy, and ambition. And just a few short months by starting with something small, and letting it let it turn into something bigger. So on that note, going back to this idea of outreach, what if somebody is listening to this? And they say, I want to reach out to David, how do they connect with you? What's the best way to start building a relationship with you and providing you value?

I mean, I would say, you just send me an email, there are too many David J. Turner's in the world. So I say that email address that there are this David J, turn, no er, so D A V I D J T U R N@gmail.com. Or you could check out my website, there's like an outreach forum on there, too, which is, surprisingly, not David J. Turner.com, it was already taken. Of course, it was DavidJturn d a v i d J T u r n.com Or I mean, you can find me on Facebook, too. I haven't really been checking social media much these days. But feel free to feel free.

Good for you, by the way, Virtual high five for that,

David J. Turner 1:06:35

Yeah. I feel a lot better about that. But I'm still on there. And I, you know, post things every now and then. So you know, I don't know, I'm out there. Happy to connect. It's always it's always great to connect with like minded creatives. And I mean, love to pay it forward, you've, you've helped me a lot, I'd love to help other people out who are trying to get out of burnout state.

Zack Arnold 1:06:57

Well, I love that. And I appreciate it. And anybody that's listening, feel free to reach out to David to talk about life, or editing, or sound, or the moon, whatever it might be. You guys can start a conversation, build a relationship, I'm all about it. So on that note, I really thank you for your courage to be open and honest and share things that I know are not easy to share. And it's uncomfortable, and it pushes you out of your comfort zone and into the fear zone. But hey, you're kind of used to it by now, because that's kind of what I've been doing to you every week for months, is pushing you well out of the comfort zone just right to that edge. But that's where I believe we get the most results. On that note, I thank you once again for being here for sharing for being a part of the community and providing all the value that you have. So thank you so much. Appreciate it. Thank you.

Thank you, too. Yeah, it's been great. It's helped me so much. So I appreciate it.

Before closing up today's show, I would love to ask for just a couple additional minutes of your time and attention to introduce you to one of my new favorite products created by my good friend Kit Perkins, who you may recognize as creator of the Topo Mat, here's a brief excerpt from a recent interview that I did with Ergodriven co founder and CEO Kit Perkins, talking about his latest product, new standard whole protein.

Kit Perkins 1:08:10

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Zack Arnold 1:08:30

When people think of protein powders. They think, well, I don't want to get big and bulky. And that's not what this is about. to me. This is about repair.

Kit Perkins 1:08:36

So a big part of what we're talking about here is you are what you eat. Your body's constantly repairing and rebuilding and the only stuff it can use to repair and rebuild is what you've been eating. Unfortunately, as the years have gone by everyday getting out of bed, it's like you know two or three creeks and pops in the first couple steps and that I thought you just sort of live with now. But yeah, once starting the collagen daily or near daily, it's just gone. So for us job one A here was make sure it's high quality, and that's grass fed 100% pasture raised cows. And then the second thing if you're actually going to do it every day, it needs to be simple, it needs to taste good.

Zack Arnold 1:09:10

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Zack Arnold 1:09:42

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Thank you for listening to this episode of The optimize yourself podcast to access the show notes for this and all previous episodes, as well as to subscribe so you don't miss future interviews just like this one. Don't forget to visit optimizeyourself.me/podcast. As a quick reminder, if you're interested in learning more about working with me as your coach and mentor to become more productive and design a clear path towards your goals, enrollment is now officially open for the spring semester of my optimizer coaching and mentorship program. To learn more just visit optimizeyourself.me/optimizer. Applications will be reviewed and accepted until Friday, April 23. And a special thanks to our sponsors Evercast and Ergodriven for making today's interview possible. To learn more about how to collaborate remotely without missing a frame. And to get your real time demo of Evercast an action visit optimizeyourself.me/evercast. And to learn more about Ergodriven and my favorite product for standing workstations the topo mat visit optimizeyourself.me/topo that's t o p o and to learn more about Ergodriven and their brand new product that I'm super excited about new standard whole protein visit optimizeyourself.me/newstandard. Thank you for listening, stay safe, healthy and sane and be well.

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Guest Bio:


David J. Turner

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David J. Turner is an ACE Eddie-nominated film editor, a Cinema Audio Society-winning sound mixer, and a 23 Telly Award-winning documentary director. From 2004 to 2008, he traveled around the world as a videographer based out of Minneapolis, MN – helping raise over $3 million for crisis response domestically and internationally, and garnering 23 Telly Awards for his documentaries. He went on to earn an MFA in Film & Television Production from the USC School of Cinematic Arts in 2011, and discovered a passion for film editing and sound design that led him to teach sound re-recording mixing at the USC School of Cinematic Arts and picture editing at the Los Angeles Film Studies Center. In 2013, he worked as a sound editor and Foley mixer on Fruitvale Station – the directorial debut of Black Panther director Ryan Coogler. He then embarked on a years-long journey as a film editor and production sound mixer on the documentary Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound. The film premiered in 2019 at the Cannes Film Festival, and David was nominated for an ACE Eddie award and won a Cinema Audio Society award for his sound mixing work. Currently, David is pursuing his lifelong passion for music composition, which he is building into a second career alongside his filmmaking.

Show Credits:

This episode was edited by Curtis Fritsch, and the show notes were prepared by Debby Germino and published by Glen McNiel.

The original music in the opening and closing of the show is courtesy of Joe Trapanese (who is quite possibly one of the most talented composers on the face of the planet).

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Zack Arnold (ACE) is an award-winning Hollywood film editor & producer (Cobra Kai, Empire, Burn Notice, Unsolved, Glee), a documentary director, father of 2, an American Ninja Warrior, and the creator of Optimize Yourself. He believes we all deserve to love what we do for a living...but not at the expense of our health, our relationships, or our sanity. He provides the education, motivation, and inspiration to help ambitious creative professionals DO better and BE better. “Doing” better means learning how to more effectively manage your time and creative energy so you can produce higher quality work in less time. “Being” better means doing all of the above while still prioritizing the most important people and passions in your life…all without burning out in the process. Click to download Zack’s “Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Creativity (And Avoiding Burnout).”