Shooting videos of Andrew Bird and Toro y Moi for Pitchfork. Going on the road with Bon Iver to shoot a tour documentary. Filming Rock the Garden and singing backup for Trampled by Turtles. It may sound like a music fan's dream come true, but it's all part of a typical work day for Dan Huiting.
Huiting's career hasn't always been so rewarding. He toiled away at odd jobs for most of his 20s while trying unsuccessfully to make it as a musician. "For two years, I was cooking pizza for like $8.75 an hour and fucking hated every second of every single day," Huiting says.
That all changed when he made a music video for a song he wrote with some friends and fell in love with the process of shooting, lighting and editing. He decided to go to Minneapolis Community & Technical College to study cinematography, where he met current collaborators, networked like crazy and dove into film work every day -- for free.
He got involved with the website MPLS.TV, shooting and editing videos for the "City of Music" series that had bands playing live sets in unique locations around Minneapolis. That led to a steady gig at Twin Cities Public Television (TPT) -- as well as a pivotal video shoot for Gayngs, where he met Bon Iver's Justin Vernon. "It was just a cool hang and a cool vibe," Huiting says of the experience. "Everything about that night was sort of magical."
Vernon and Huiting quickly hit it off, and the partnership spawned the music video for "Calgary," the first single off Bon Iver's Grammy-winning 2011 album "Bon Iver, Bon Iver," and a still-in-the-works tour documentary.
One thing led to another. When Huiting was backstage at "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" for a Bon Iver taping last year, he was introduced to Pitchfork founder Ryan Schreiber by mutual friend Darius Van Arman of the Jagjaguwar label. Schreiber ended up picking up "City of Music" for the go-to music website.
The only downfall of Huiting's job? Being too busy. When he's not at his 9-to-5 at TPT directing "Minnesota Original," he's at home, editing videos. Over the weekend, he'll travel, shoot music videos for Pitchfork and go to shows. Huiting says he typically puts in a 70-hour workweek. "I get a lot of opportunities to travel and do things that are really exciting, but it sucks when I have to turn things down because I just don't have time. There's not enough hours in the day."
Despite the demanding schedule, Huiting says he can't imagine doing anything else. "I still love music and creating things, but this way I get to work with so many talented and creative people and it's even more collaborative."
Job: Senior producer of "City of Music" series on Pitchfork; director of photography/editor at "Minnesota Original" on TPT.
Education: High school at the School of Environmental Studies; studied cinematography at MCTC.