By Tabitha Barr/Editor in Chief
If you’ve ever seen the 2001 film “Bubble Boy” with Jake Gyllenhaal, then you’re clearly in the know with how the world can be scary, but worth the adventure.
Director of “Bubble Boy” and many more projects, Blair Hayes is a jack-of-all-trades in the media world, and has been for more than 20 years. Writer, producer, director, camera operator and more, Hayes has experienced several opportunities in his life that has lead to a successful career in the film world. He spoke at Hutchinson Community College’s campus in late August, and talked to students about what he’s accomplished and what they can be successful in doing if they have the passion to do it.
Hayes attended film school at the University of Miami to pursue a love for movies and film. He landed a job as a PA (production’s assistant) while in school and moved up the ladder from there during and after graduation. He started working in commercials, although not his first pick, but gave him a big leg up in the film world. From a PA to a location scout to being apart of the Directors Guild of America, he became an AD (assistant director), or producer, for a lot of commercial companies, which skyrocketed his career.
This led to Hayes making good money at a young age. At 25, he bought his first house, fully funded from his own work ethic. Commercial companies began to know his name and were requesting him to work on their next project. Hayes had made a name and quite a long list of clients in a short time span.
Even though the commercial gig was beneficial for his wallet and his resume, commercials weren’t Hayes’ passion. At 29, he left the commercial world to focus on becoming the director he’s dreamed of being. Hayes said he sold his house and “used the $80,000 of the $100,000 profit to create a film reel.” Back then, it wasn’t as easy as going to an editing software and playing around, but a complicated and expensive process. In just a couple of months, he found a production company that brought him on as a director. Not long after, he landed a Chevrolet commercial and did a re-edit of it. The company enjoyed his version and it ended up playing during the Olympics broadcasts.
His film reel and creativity paid off in the long run as he started directing his full feature-length film, “Bubble Boy”. This film came with its complications after its release and lead Hayes back to commercials.
Blair has directed 10 full length films, including his latest one, “Great Plains”, that he wrote and directed himself. “Great Plains” aired on Lifetime and is one of seven movies he’s directed on that platform. He’s also directed three Hallmark movies.
Hayes has pushed through multiple creations and made a name for himself by being passionate about everything he puts his heart into.
“If you’re not passionate about wanting to do this, stop and go do something that’s practical,” Hayes said.
In this artistic career path, a passion has to be present or nothing will be done well. He spoke to the HutchCC students about the challenges he faced in the production of commercials and movies. He said if you’re not 100% in, those challenges hinder the whole process.
A lot goes into the eye behind film. Hayes has had the work ethic to keep pursuing film, even through hardships. His advice to HutchCC students is to find that passion and keep working toward it. If the drive is present, anything can become of it.
Hayes continues to make his mark and spread his ideas through his work. To check out more, visit his website at https://www.blair-hayes.com/.