Meet Tyler Manson — Our Schmooru of the Month

I met up with the most radical dude, Tyler Manson, a director whose range of work from surf films to commercials is sure to impress. I asked, and he answered.

Leça do Bailio When you first started working in this industry what was your biggest concern about “making it”? What the hell does “making it” mean anyways?
To be honest, I don’t think I realized I was a member of “the industry” until fairly recently. I’ve always felt like an outsider, and I think that might be my strength, so don’t blow my cover. I just enjoyed making short films and that led into commercial directing in a very random and organic way. I don’t think I’ve “made it” by any means, but “making it” probably means being able to do whatever you want and enjoy the process. What is your spirit animal?
I have no damn idea.

You did a pretty rad show for VICE, can you talk a little about that and what it was like to be able to create content for VICE?
I really enjoyed making Hi Shredability. It was a time in my life that was free and full of discovery. I didn’t really know what I was doing, but was surrounded by interesting people willing to open up to me and share a sliver of their world each week. VICE is always leagues ahead of the rest, and I’ll always be a big fan of their work. Especially their international reporting.

Did you choose this career path or did it choose you?
I was just a kid making skate and surf films and it led to the commercial world, so I guess it chose me. I’m pretty oblivious to be honest and I don’t really think of myself as a commercial director. I’m still the guy just making movies, but now a few more people watch them. I guess I just do what I do and the rest comes. I’m open to happy accidents.

As a director and collaborating with different folks all the time, what do think is the most important thing when working with other creative people?
Filmmaking is 100% a collaborative art, so the most important thing is having a strong POV and not compromising. I’ve slowly been growing my gang, and I now have a go-to group of creative people that I admire and trust.

You collaborate a lot with all kinds of characters, who are some of your favorite people you have worked with?
Thomas Campbell took me under his wing at an early age and for that I’ll be forever grateful. Lately my DoP Joseph Aguirre has been a huge collaborator and creative partner as well.

Kim Jong-il invades America and takes all photo and video equipment away, you have one contraband camera…what is it?

New York Pizza or California Burrito?
New York Pizza.

It seems like you’ve always done it your way. What advice do you have for aspiring directors who don’t want to compromise?
I’ve made more compromises than I’d like to admit, but I guess just do what makes you happy. The creative is and will always be more powerful than the paycheck. It’s all about the idea.

Tyler’s work can be seen here: (and you most definitely should check it out!)


Comments are closed.