One of the brightest spots in the DCEU is the 2019 superhero comedy film Shazam!, directed by David F. Sandberg. The filmmaker got his start on social media, making short horror movies for YouTube before making it to Hollywood. Sandberg recently posted a video titled Can You Be An Introvert Director? in which he talked about being diagnosed with Atypical Autism at a young age, his struggles with press tours due to his introverted nature, and how hard work helped him succeed.
“There’s always room for improvement. And how do you improve at something? By doing it over and over and over […] You start out making really shitty movies but you keep at it and as the years go by the movies get a little less shitty […] Dedication can often make up for a lack of innate talent. But that’s the tricky part. Not the learning. The dedication. Not giving up. Because progress isn’t always linear. There will be moments where what you’re making is worse than what you made before and it feels like you’re going backwards but that’s ok. Even in those moments you’re learning things that might be useful later on. Or you’re learning what just doesn’t work for you. Experience is never a waste.”
On social media, David F. Sandberg is an effervescent presence, frequently posting joke videos and messages with regards to his film projects. Those include a video of the end of Shazam! where the camera pans up during Superman’s cameo to reveal an endlessly long neck, and posting fake reviews praising the sequel to Shazam!, which is yet to be made.
Despite his obviously well-developed sense of humor, Sandberg admits in his new video that he feels drained whenever he has to attend press tours while promoting his movies and prefers to focus on his work instead. The filmmaker’s love for his craft is evident from his early days when he was making horror movies on a zero budget with one or two other actors in single locations.
Sandberg’s path to success in Hollywood despite being an introvert is inspiring for other filmmakers who struggle with the daily hustle and bustle of the film industry. A classic sign of introversion is feeling drained and tired from long bouts of social engagement, and needing to have some time alone in order to recharge. According to Sandberg, that quiet amount of downtime can be a good opportunity to work on future projects in peace.
Directed by David F. Sandberg, Shazam! stars Zachary Levi as Shazam, Jack Dylan Grazer as Freddy Freeman, and Asher Angel as Billy Batson. The movie tells the story of a child and his family who can transform into magical superheroes with the aid of a magic chant. The film’s sequel, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, is scheduled to be released on June 2, 2023, after a long delay brought about by the global lockdown of 2020.