“Life is short, so do what you love and love what you do.”Tyler Heckerman
How does a filmmaker make an impact?
Creating films is about much more than what we see on-screen.
It’s about the effect we have on those around us, the little things that often go unnoticed.
Tyler Heckerman is one of those Producers who doesn’t just get the job done, he gets it done in style, with panache. He manages projects in a way that doesn’t exhaust the crews he works with, but instead leaves them feeling inspired and excited to get on set again. This skill is one of the intangible elements of producing that ties entire productions together, because ultimately it’s not just about making your day, it’s about relationships.
“Working within each film department throughout my career helps guide my judgement as a producer, resulting in compassion and empathy for my fellow filmmakers. We are all moving towards the same goal, the key is to move in harmony.”Tyler Heckerman
FINDING THE PATH
So how does Tyler do it? What makes him so special? It’s a combination of his unique experiences and balanced attitude towards work and life.
Like most in this industry, Tyler had an unorthodox route into this position. He started as a Business Major at Cal State Fullerton. But he mentions, “that ended after two weeks in Accounting 101…” He was destined for bigger and better, more creative things. That said, his business skills are top notch, even without the official degree, and a huge asset to Origin Point. Budgets are his bread and butter! But the most exciting part is the final result.
After graduation, he started out as a freelance editor. Shortly after, he found himself exploring other disciplines like cinematography, and eventually directing. With his diverse skill set, he founded his own independent production company. He handled projects from start to finish, collaborating with brands like Red Bull.
He always had a passion for documentary work. One of the projects he worked on, Being Canadian (2015), was nominated for Best Documentary Screenplay for the Writer’s Guild of America.
In 2014, Tyler sailed around Cape Horn – also known as the Sailor’s graveyard, this is one of the most dangerous sails in the world. His mission was to shoot a documentary about the experience, the people, and the lessons learned. This adventure opened his eyes to the world, he felt his independence, and he was called to travel even further.
After a few years of freelance work in LA, Tyler was feeling somewhat burned out and needed a change. He took a leap, sold all of his possessions, and moved across the world to Australia, where he followed his passion and continued to work and tell stories down under. Experiencing other ways of life opens our eyes to other perspectives, introduces compassion, and kindness for others. This is something Tyler has in spades, and it shows in his work as a director. His sense of love for strangers helps him tell those stories.
You can see his cinematography skills in action on one of his long term projects, 5 years in the making: UNZIPPED: An Autopsy of American Inequality. Currently streaming for free on WaterBear. This film covers one of the most-discussed issues facing citizens of LA and across the USA, illustrating the real-life struggles that unhoused people experience, through a lens of compassion.
This is more than just another project for Tyler. In a city where the homeless are overlooked at best, or seen as a nuisance, he will take leftover crafty & lunches to feed them without hesitation. This level of kindness for others is only a small glimpse at his huge heart.
YOU DO YOU
As a Producer at Origin Point, Tyler has been invaluable to the team in helping us execute projects at the highest level. This role allows him to not be stuck behind a desk all day. It’s an outlet for his natural charisma, allowing him to interact with people on a regular basis, and solving problems. It can be stressful at times, but that’s part of the fun!
“Honestly, the thing I like the most is solving puzzles. I like the challenge of taking all the pieces and making them fit together”Tyler Heckerman
Getting along with everyone on set is a tough ask for anyone, especially the producer, but it comes naturally to Tyler’s mindset. Filmmaking is hard enough, and kindness on set goes a long way.
Ultimately, what makes Tyler an effective producer goes deeper than budgets, schedules, and call-sheets, at his core he’s a genuinely compassionate person, and that positive attitude towards life exudes through everything he does.