Jenn Rose Smith Discusses The Daydream Show, A Lush New Travel Series
“Landscapes are a big part of the way I experience places”
By Aaron Parsley
Photographs courtesy of The Daydream Show
For some, the travel bug is chronic. Fleeing home to experience new places can become a way of life. For others, travel is reserved for special occasions, a well-deserved respite from the daily grind or the salve for an itch for adventure that creeps up from time to time.
Jenn Rose Smith is a photographer, art director, filmmaker and avid traveler. Her gorgeous new digital series, The Daydream Show, provides a rush of excitement for constant wanderers and will plant the seed of inspiration in anyone who’s searching for her next journey.
The show — which premieres Monday, June 7, on thedaydreamshow.com, IGTV, YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook — is a collection of less than five-minute episodes that capture the essence of Jenn Rose’s travels to a handful of the world’s most beautiful places, including Bali, St. Barth, Australia’s Byron Bay and Key West. New episodes will debut each Monday through the summer of 2021, following a delay of the show’s scheduled 2020 premiere due to the pandemic that halted travel across the world.
“Ultimately, I think it made the project better,” Jenn Rose says of holding the footage until now.
We spoke with the filmmaker about the combining her dreams of traveling and filmmaking, voyaging alone, making new friends along the way, learning to fly a drone and creating a series that focuses on the beauty of landscapes, people, flavors and unexpected magic — as well as plans for a second season of The Daydream Show.
Watch the trailer, read the interview below and be sure to catch every episode. Also, follow @jennrosesmith on Instagram for more information and dreamy giveaways.
TRIBEZA: Tell us about your new series and how you came up with an idea for a show.
Jenn Rose Smith: This project was the culmination of two lifelong goals — to travel abroad and to make films. I chose a few destinations that interested me and researched lots of filmmaking gear. I spent months learning to fly a drone and operate a gimbal before leaving. Then I packed it all in one big backpack and got on a plane to Bali. This was back in 2019. The project just revealed itself as I went. It was really a magical process.
How did you pick the locations in your series?
My favorite destinations typically have a lot of regional character. I love history, old buildings, learning the local traditions and stories. Everywhere I went had those things, plus beautiful landscapes. Landscapes are a big part of the way I experience places. The way the sunlight looks, the plants and the colors of a place — I really tried to capture that in the show.
What do you bring home with you (besides beautiful images) when you return from a trip? Do you collect mementos or shop for anything when you’re away?
I like to bring home something scented from a place whenever I can. It might be perfume, incense or a really beautiful candle. It’s one of the best ways to remember a place and enjoy it once you’re home.
How did you make the leap to directing a web series? What were the challenges of this new pursuit?
In my previous job as an art director, I was able to experiment with video quite a bit. I had already learned the basics of Premiere Pro and had many years of experience directing photoshoots, as well as being a photographer myself. I was ready to make the leap. The biggest challenge for me was learning to use all the new gear. And this project ended up being the perfect learning tool for that.
Who traveled with you and helped create The Daydream Show?
I traveled alone but many people ended up helping me along the way. In just about every location I went, I made a friend or two I seemed almost destined to meet. Sometimes they would help me find the best filming locations, introduce me to restaurant owners or even appear as subjects in the show. It really was a magical journey in that way.
Any fun stories about shooting on location, mishaps or unexpected “gold” or amazing moments while you were out in the field?
There were so many fun stories and unexpected moments. One of my favorites is when I wanted to film one of the beautiful waterfalls that Bali is known for, but I needed a clean shot without tourists. My friend Ketut drove me to the tiny village outside of Ubud where he grew up. We hiked through the mountains to get to his secret spot, stopping and saying hi to all the farmers in the hills he knew along the way. When we got there the waterfall was just how I had imagined it, but better. The light was perfect. I’ll never forget that day.
You planned to put this show out a while ago but the pandemic and other world events put it on hold. Tell us about making that decision and why the timing was important. Also, how hard was it to hold onto something for so long?
It was very hard. There was a point where I really didn’t know if I’d be able to finish it and put it out there. Ultimately, I think it made the project better. It forced me to slow down and look deeply at the experience and really think about the best ways to share it with others.
As someone who clearly loves to travel and see the world, how did you cope with the “stay at home” aspect of pandemic life? How did you get your fix?
Fortunately for me, I had about 8 months-worth of footage to sort through and edit. So that kept me very busy. I was able to really relive a lot of my favorite moments and focus on creating an artistic statement about each place.
What’s is (or was) the first place on your list for post-pandemic travel plans?
Like a lot of people, a road trip sounds nice to me soon. That’s really what I had in mind for the second season of the show anyways, even before the pandemic began. Right now I’m thinking California, Arizona, New Mexico … Louisiana is always in the back of my mind, too. Wherever I end up going, I’m excited to get out there and start exploring again soon.