Andrew Harmon




Styling with Local Filmmaker Spotlight:
David L. Powell, III

by Candace Smith

All film directors have a unique tale as to how they got their start in the film industry. Some, like Quentin Tarantino, dropped out of high school and acting school to become employed in a Manhattan Beach video rental store. He used his proximity to its massive library to become a self-taught learner of his craft. Others, like David Fincher, directed TV commercials and music videos, honing his eye for directing critically acclaimed films such as Se7en, Panic Room, and The Social Network. Local Philadelphia talent, David L. Powell III is on the fast track to becoming an award-winning film director and writer himself, and has the intelligence, drive, and chops to sharing the Hollywood red carpet with Tarantino, Fincher, and many other luminaries of the movie industry.

According to the Philly native, David’s entrée into his chosen profession was based on pure luck. Having worked at a mortgage company for many years, he was laid off one day and decided to pursue his love of writing. A published author, he first became known after having written a script about the end of the world called “Ophiuchus: Last Days of 2012”. David sent the script to Bill Birnes, an American writer, editor, book publisher, and literary rights agent who is most well known for being a publisher of UFO literature, such as UFO Magazine, and the coordinator of the UFO investigation team for the now-defunct History Channel documentary series UFO Hunters. Bill and his team loved the story and wanted to publish “Ophiuchus: Last Days of 2012” as a book, which as sold, to date, over 30,000 copies.

From there, David was called by a fan of his book who asked him if he was interested to work on a movie called Hex, a movie about the underworld of witches, as its Assistant Director, which became his first experience working on set. This proved to be a challenge, but one that he embraced and learned from. He then tried acting, which he admits that he did not like “trying to read lines and become somebody else”. He states that because of this experience he looks for actors in his films that can portray characters that are not like themselves, and who are especially good with improv. While his foray into acting was short lived, luck proved to show up in David’s life once again. As the “Scorekeeper” for the 2010 movie The Gift which starred, Charles S. Dutton, crew workers noticed David taking video footage of what was happening behind the scenes and Dutton, along with his assistant, noticed this. David was then asked to conduct backstage interviews and footage of the production. From there, he began to work as a PA on numerous film productions on set in Philadelphia and South Jersey.

When asked about his favorite film genre, David quickly responded, “horror”. His favorite horror film character of all time is Freddy Kruger. However, he does not aspire to pigeonhole himself into directing only horror movies. For David, he is happy to write and direct whatever movies people are looking for today, whether it’s a horror film inspired by A Nightmare on Elm Street, or a comedy in the vein of The Hangover.

In just three short years, David has made a surmountable name for himself as a film director, writer, producer, and editor in the tri-state area, as well as on the West Coast. His latest completed film, Oliver Twisted, recently enjoyed a sold out viewing at the Trocadero in Philadelphia, and hopes that it will be picked up for the Sundance Film Festival in 2013. David’s next film project, titled Fickle, is currently in pre-production. His acclaimed film, The Relationship Resume/Relasume, may also be turned into a TV show, and he is in talks with producers in LA to work on a probable female sketch show. With all the exciting projects ahead for David L. Powell III, he still has the time and gratitude to extend his talents for local music video and film productions. As you have read this article, David is working on/has already completed work on the set of The Suspect, working alongside actors Mekhi Phifer, William Sadler, and Sterling K. Brown. David’s drive and ambition to just “go out and do it!” continues to lead him on a stellar path of career accomplishments within the film industry, and he advises anyone with a dream to do the same without looking back.

For more information about David L. Powell III and his films, you can visit his IMDB page,, like him on Facebook, , and check out his YouTube Page,



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