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An Interview with David Gaz, Director of Kindness is Contagious (formerly Good Virus)

by Mike Haberfelner

April 2013

Films directed by David Gaz on (re)Search my Trash


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Even though we have talked about this at quite some length before [click here], do bring us up to speed: Your documentary Good Virus - Kindness Is Contagious - in a few words, what is it about?


Good Virus is a documentary film about being nice and the benefits of being nice.


Since we last talked, how has Good Virus - Kindness Is Contagious evolved?


Good Virus has changed quite a bit since last time we talked, most notably we had Catherine Ryan Hyde, best-selling author of Pay It Forward, come on board as both an interviewee and narrator. We also did a whole new opening credit sequence.


Catherine Ryan Hyde, probably the most high profile name in your cast - how did you get her interested in your project?


Sara Glaser, my producer has a knack for talking people into working with us, so basically I give her a name and she uses here magic to get them on board, but, that said, Good Virus is right up Catherine's alley, and because of the subject matter, a film about being nice, we haven't had too much trouble getting people interested.


Catherine Ryan Hyde's novel Pay It Forward treads quite similar ground as Good Virus - Kindness Is Contagious - so was the book (or the film based on it) at all an inspiration for your documentary?


Pay It Forward was definitely an inspiration, but James Fowler's article in Discover Magazine was probably the most direct inspiration, at least for the topic of our film, since his, and Nicholas Christakis's, research scientifically addressed the infectious nature of kindness. But, now that you boring it up, I am wondering if her book had an influence on his research? I may go back and ask him that question.


Catherine Ryan Hyde ended up not only being interviewed for your movie but also doing the narration - so what was your collaboration like?


Amazing! Her voice has such confidence and authority. But I think the coolest thing was just being in the same room with someone whose books I've read and loved. You know when I read the book (and saw the movie) I hated that she killed the kid at the end, and it was pretty cool to ask her why, in person just the two of us.


Since I have already seen the first version of Good Virus - Kindness Is Contagious (an already very good one, mind you) about one and a half years ago - why the laid back workpace since then, and what are the advantages and disadvantages? And did you work on any other projects in the meantime?


Great question! I don't know if laid back though is accurate. I've come to the conclusion that I have an Edisonian process to my work (I think it took him 1,000 or so tries to get the lightbulb right). Some people know what they want and make it that way, I know what I want, but have to go through tons of iterations until it looks right to me. It's an awful way to work and very stressful. I wish I was among the former group. In my past films I have kept more to a schedule and they weren't nearly as good. I also work as an advertising creative director, so I did have a lot going on in-between. I took 6 months off so I could look at the film from a fresh perspective.


Related to that, will Good Virus - Kindness Is Contagious further evolve, do you have any more stuff you'd like to include in it?


I have a ton of stuff I'd like to put into it, but I think it will stay this way and the other stuff will go into a follow up film.


Also related, since our last interview, any good stories about how the good virus has spread?


You bet! Here is my best one:

"Good Virus is a documentary about being nice. It seems like a strange idea, but there’s so much more to it than simply being nice. There are possible health benefits, and the film shows that kindness is contagious. It was the inspiration from this film that led me to one of the happier moments of 2012. During the holiday season, I was shopping for books. I decided to buy The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, but not for myself. When I reached the counter, I told the cashier to take the book and give it to the next person with a child who was shopping. Tears began to fill her eyes, and she declared that this was the nicest thing she had ever seen someone do. It made her holiday that much better, and mine as well."

-William Brownridge, The Toronto Film Scene


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It's even better in context of the article:

Any idea when and where Good Virus - Kindness Is Contagious will finally be released onto the general public, and any future plans beyond that?


My guestimate is in a year. We have begun submitting to festivals, my submission plan is about a year, I want it to have a good run, at which point we will release it commercially.


Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?


The website is, the blog links from there and I'll have the Facebook and Twitter hooked up to it as well.

Anything else you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?


What's the nicest thing that anyone has done for you?


Thanks for the interview!


My pleasure!!!!


© by Mike Haberfelner

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Thanks for watching !!!



On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD



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... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...


Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!


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