Written by Leanne Esposito
See stories through the lens of this talented young filmmaker and the world will come to you
If art is man’s nature and nature is God’s art, then David Pierson’s relationship with art and nature is truly a gift from God.
David’s creative visual expression is exceptional. His films are breathtaking. Works of art. I imagine David sees the world as a set of beautiful frames, much like an exhibition of an artist’s still life canvases that are brought to life through a process of mechanical momentum.
All art tells stories and artists present narratives in many ways, either by using a series of images to represent moments in a story, or by selecting a central moment to stand for the whole story. Artists communicate with their audiences by engaging you to participate in their visual presentation.
They are asking, can you see what I see? Whether David is filming underwater or climbing a mountain, his focus is on the story he wants to share with the world; directing and producing a work of art which is woven and crafted like a grand master.
This young filmmaker is very cool. But he’s not cool in that alpha male, square jawed way, although he is very handsome. He’s cool because of his brilliance and his ability to motivate through art. This softly spoken genius has a talent for telling visual stories on a myriad of subjects. But it wasn’t always this way.
David is a slow burn. Introverted in youth, he has taken his time. Much like great art – David’s not in a hurry. Film wasn’t on his radar at Aldridge High, even though the talented educator, film and television teacher, Will Gunn, is nowadays a mentor to the young man. It’s hard to tell David’s age. I didn’t ask. If you look into his eyes there is a depth that can only be attributed to an old soul who has seen, done much, and still has more to tell us.
He studied IT and Technology at school but back then didn’t feel pressured to fulfill any personal creative dreams. David, blessed with a relaxed nature, took an alternate scholastic path completing a Certificate III in Multimedia during his senior years in high school.
Throughout the course he dabbled in design animation, tackling a short film or two as if he were testing the waters. After graduation he dove headfirst into an undergraduate degree course at Central Queensland University where he quickly made international connections.
While studying for a Bachelor of Digital Innovation Florida State University sought him out to work collaboratively on a visual effects program. David seemed surprised by this turn of events.
“I was posting my work in forums online and they found me,” he said. It wasn’t long before David’s brilliance was again acknowledged when he and a friend won a national short film competition for EB Games. Again he is restrained on this achievement and his manner is always modest.
“We did pretty cool stuff at uni. During the holidays one of my mates and I did a short film for EB Games. We won an arcade cabinet and the video was used in their stores as promotional material,” he said.
Moving on to the present, and skipping over the years when David financially sustained himself by working in IT while filming weddings, he is now ticking all the right media boxes. The services of David Pierson Films are in high demand.
His video and filmmaking business is booming. He has a long list of clients – a veritable who’s who of the Fraser Coast and beyond, but it wasn’t always this way. He shares with me a simple key to his success – confidence and belief.
“While I did uni I was working in IT where I interacted with people. I became more confident. The wedding videos came later. As the business progressively grew I went full-time with the production. I knew when I wasn’t working I had to hustle. You’ve got to believe in yourself,” he said.
Appreciating that visual art is predominately about storytelling we can understand why he is passionate about people and places – especially weddings and the romance of a love story. David explains why.
“There is a technical aspect to film. But when I started with weddings, and filming people I found I could connect with them to tell the human story through their emotions.
“Whenever I approach a project it is human focused. I want to show an experience.” David is uniquely insightful and sensitive. His creative inspiration comes from the lives of us all. He is motivated by what he sees and his vision is wide.
His desire for an interconnected society and world has seen him trek across the globe to explore a variety of experiences and to share some amazing film narratives. He seeks out people in unusual places and in some fairly extraordinary locations.
Whether he is diving shipwrecks, 4WD driving or climbing Kilimanjaro in Africa, David visually chronicles the stories of the people who inhabit that space. He is the Van Gogh of documentary makers.
He effortlessly inserts himself into the landscape, so delighted and inspired by the nature of humans in their habitat his lens seems to naturally capture and highlight the rich tapestry of the colourful world in which they inhabit. The videos are so intensely beautiful that the casual viewer can’t help but be transported to another world.
Whenever I approach a project it is human focused. I want to show an experience.
From his own admission he has an altruistic global mission. His aim is always to share and enrich through his visual storytelling. He wants to give a hand up to those in need and to communities across the globe.
The Social Place (www.thesocialplace.com) is David’s brainchild. He has created a local online platform where he and his team tell visual stories about people in the community. He hopes to reconnect humanity in this virtual space.
In a socially fragmented society David believes the social platform will redress the disconnection. The results are positive as he reaches out to people by connecting businesses and services which are already making a change and a difference to many lives.
“I find that the videos act as a call to action. They will watch a video and think what’s next,” he said. A couple of years ago now David and his friends, with support from family and friends from Australia and Germany, as well as a local business and church connected to an African community, went on a mission to Uganda. They raised funds, designed, engineered and built a community church centre. Filming and documenting the process aided in securing funds.
“We documented our story as it happened. People saw the vision and supported it. They now have a building and the community has grown stronger. It is a focal point. A refuge in storms and a centre for doctors. It has a multi-purpose,” he said.
David tells me he would like to replicate this call to action model through social media and videos around the world, in order to give communities a hand up rather than a hand out. Earlier this year he and his friends returned from the Philippines ready to commence another project which has since stalled due to the global pandemic.
Whether he’s on deck filming whales for a client, swimming for pleasure with sea creatures, climbing a mountain for change, or in his own backyard, of one thing you can be certain, and that is, the lens of David Pierson will always be on a mission to capture and share an inspirational story. He will be asking. Can you see what I see?