Q&A: John Daugherty

  • Photo by Jodi Miller
From the December 27, 2011 edition

John Daugherty has a knack for being at the right place at the right time — stumbling into different creative pursuits and finding success in each. A short list of his titles includes: DJ, actor, producer, editor and co-founder of Vital Companies. The Grandview creative collective recently helped complete “This Narrow Place,” a film that’s been getting buzz in film festivals across the world.

Daugherty spoke about creating opportunities.

I moved to Ohio when I was 10 or 11. I was born in upstate New York and lived in Jersey for years. I came to Ashland, which is north of here. We came because of my father’s job. He’s a pilot for United Airlines and got transferred here. I came to Ohio State University for school and never left.

I went to OSU for graphic design and history of art. That’s my formal training — if you call that formal. I know Final Cut pretty well for the most part. I enjoy bringing the people together to make it all happen, more of a producer’s role.

When we started Vital Companies, we didn’t have a business plan. We didn’t have anything written down. Our philosophy was to have collaboration between creative people in different fields — audio, video, film, music production, remixing. Now, people are coming in and out. People are collaborating. People are feeding off of each other.

We have a blast working. Just like with anything else, things get tense. We want people who work for us to want to come to work every day.

Friends who live in other cities always ask me, “When are you moving out of there?” Columbus has been good to me. That’s always my go-to answer. I’ve lived in Columbus since ’87 or ’88. It’s grown every year since I’ve been here.

Most of “This Narrow Place” was shot in spring and summer of 2010. It’s about a kid from Detroit who’s a meth head and kid from the Middle East. The kid from the Middle East comes to Detroit basically to buy a part for a bomb. By circumstance, they meet each other, and they strike up an unusual friendship.

Something people might not know about me is that I was an extra in “The Ides of March,” the George Clooney and Ryan Gosling movie. I got nixed out of that one, though.

Three things I would want with me on a desert island are something to play music on, something to watch movies on and matches.