One Man Band Survival Guide w/ Director & DOP Ben Staley | WC Ep. 7

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In episode seven of our ongoing YouTube series, World Class, Vistek video producer Dale Sood Skypes with Emmy Award winning director and cinematographer Ben Staley.

Emmy Award winning director & cinematographer Ben Staley is a true renaissance man. He grew up in the wilds of Alaska and has risen to be one of America’s best do-it-all story tellers – all the while maintaining a very strong photography practice.

In this episode we dissect Ben’s latest project – a feature length documentary shot and directed entirely by himself. A rare insight on what it takes to be the excellent at, well…everything. Shooter/Directors (aka one-man-bands) this is episode is for you.

The One Man Band Survival Guide w/ Director & DOP Ben Staley

Chapter Time Stamps:

  • 1:27 Ben’s background & history
  • 13:10 Moving to Los Angeles & getting TV work
  • 19:00 Working hard & building relationships
  • 25:36 How to maintain quality & focus on priorities
  • 30:41 Case study: Starbound (feature documentary)
  • 38:31 How to one-man-band a feature documentary
  • 44:34 How this doc compares or contrasts factual television
  • 50:08 Getting subjects to reveal themselves
  • 53:54 Starbound technical package
  • 59:18 Ben’s photography practice & philosphy
  • 1:02:41 Directing talent
  • 1:04:43 Balancing photography with filmmaking

Follow Ben Staley and view more of his work below:


Download the Podcast here:

About Vistek’s World Class Interview Series

Vistek World Class is a skype-based in-depth discussion & tutorial series with the industry’s top photographers, cinematographers, and visual artists.

In each episode, we dive deep into the guest’s life and work and pull out some incredible insights and tips that you can immediately put into practice in your own projects.

This series knows no bounds as we search the globe to uncover some of the profession’s greatest talents!

You can find all our World Class Series Episodes on

our YouTube channel or

listen to the Podcast versions on our Mixcloud channel