The Morning Call: Army lifted aspiring director Daniel Speers of Chester County


Even though Downingtown native Daniel Speers grew up obsessed with movies, particularly Mel Gibson's "Braveheart," he never imagined he'd have the confidence to direct his own films.

It took a stint in the Army for Speers to realize that he owed it to himself to try and realize his dreams.

"The Army changed the way I viewed life," says Speers, 28. "They broke my pride down. Basic training was miserable. But once I stopped questioning [the process], they started building me back up. And I begin to see what's possible with discipline.

"It's actually one of the themes I return to again and again in my movies. Even a person who's afraid of failure can achieve their goals if they're willing to put in the time."

After five years in the military, 27 months of which was spent in Iraq, Speers returned to Pennsylvania with a determination to make movies. He enrolled in Temple University's film school and quickly turned out two shorts, including "Divided," which earned best first film at Temple's Diamond Screen student festival and "Clara Te Foveo," the story of a man grieving for his late wife.

Speers' latest film "Infinite" is his most ambitious project. The 20-minute sci-fi thriller centers on an astronaut who awakens from a long sleep aboard a spacecraft only to discover the presence of an otherworldly being. Unlike Speers' previous shorts, "Infinite" required the extensive use of computer-generated special effects.

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