33: Meet Dave Calhoun

Director of photography and gaffer, Dave Calhoun has worked for 15 years in film -- and, having made the Little Rock area his home for the past 15 years, there's a high probability that you've seen his work. 

1. Name, occupation, years in LR, neighborhood: Dave Calhoun; my work is in film and video production in Arkansas and beyond. I own a production company, Southern Light Pictures, Inc.; with exception for a little stint of us living back in my hometown of Arkadelphia for a while, my wife and I have been in the Little Rock or North Little Rock area for about 15 years. This summer we bought one of the CityGrove Townhomes in Argenta. We love the area and will likely stay for a good long while. Our two girls like it because of the museums and shows in the area--mostly within walking distance. When my wife Claudia and I go out, we usually walk somewhere and walk back (perhaps stumble, in my case). 

2. What has surprised you the most about living in Little Rock? I think what was most surprising to me about this town was that it didn't take me too long to adjust to "the city" when I first moved here (at least that's what us small town folk call it).  Even though it is considerably larger than my hometown of 10,000, it still felt like home to me. Granted, it is not a real big city--and maybe that is why I like it. Feels comfortable. I've worked in some of the biggest and coolest cities in the world, but have never had the urge to move away. It’s fun to visit other places, but home is here for me.   

3. You spend a lot of time behind a camera. What has been one of your most interesting experiences? My job is interesting, I'll say. And I have met a fair amount of famous and interesting folks--from presidents, actors and musicians, to violent felons in max security prisons and to special forces guys that were not allowed to tell me their name. I've worked all over the U.S., and some in Mexico, Canada and Europe. But one of the most memorable things I have seen was during a commercial for a local hospital. We scrubbed in and got to film an actual brain surgery!  I was shooting video and all I could think of was, "HOLY SH*T!! THAT IS SOME DUDE'S BRAIN!!"  

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 4. It's the weekend -- what's on your agenda? With my work there's not really "weekends" unless I don't have a scheduled shoot or a work-related task. Then I am off….sort of.  I’m always thinking about it. But Saturday is the weekend for my girls, so my wife and I try to take them to fun places. We walk or ride the trolley to Heifer or--when it's warm--go to the fountain at Riverfront Park. The girls recently saw the Beauty and the Beast at Robinson Auditorium--they loved that.  At night, if we can get a babysitter, Claudia will try to get out for dinner and a show. We like to catch good music in the area if there is any. I recently saw Trey Johnson at Reno's in Argenta—he's a great folk/blues artist. Or I sometimes I'll just not do much at a--sleep in a little, drink coffee all morning while looking at movie trailers, then fire up the grill and open up a cold one in the afternoon.   

5. Finish this sentence: My perfect evening in Little Rock involves...I think there are several versions of what I would consider a perfect evening. But one I like a lot is when we get the girls are fed and in bed without a fuss, there is a movie on Netflix that both Claudia and I want to see, and then we watch it and it's actually good! Then go to bed and sleep peacefully. That one does not happen that much, but it sure is cool when it does.