As partner and head of creative at entertainment and brand content studio BARK BARK, Daniel Sattelmeyer (ABJ ’08) leads and supports a talented team of more than 25 media industry professionals in strategy, creative, production, design and post across the country, making award-winning series, documentaries, promos, commercials and content pieces for the world’s top brands, networks, studios, celebrities and clients on every platform.
Sattelmeyer’s credits include director, executive producer and showrunner for “America’s Caddie” on ESPN+, “Show Me More” on AMC+, “Doc McStuffins” specials on Disney+, and long-form series on Nat Geo, FOX and Sundance, along with many more campaigns across Disney, Hulu, Paramount, Warner Bros./Discovery, Food Network, National Geographic, AMC, FX, 20th Century Fox, NBC/Universal and Sony, working with some of the biggest stars on the planet.
Outside of work, he enjoys tennis, golf, Nintendo and vinegar-based foods with his wife Teresa, daughter Lucy, son Murphy and dog Raccoon in Atlanta.
Below is a brief interview with Daniel Sattelmeyer.
Grady College: Why are you involved with the Grady Alumni Board?
Daniel Sattelmeyer: I’ve always wanted to give back to Grady and the industry at large, and I’m at the right point in my career when I actually know a few things (only a few though) to be able to contribute meaningfully. I’m excited to have a small part in connecting real world experience to higher education and keeping UGA at the forefront of fostering students to become the next generation of content creators joining the ranks.
GC: What are you hoping to contribute to the Grady Alumni Board during your time of service?
DS: The board has such an amazing variety and decades of experience in every field of media, and I look forward to both learning from them and offering mine in a unique niche working in the middle of so many key players – major networks/streaming platforms, series, big brands and ad agencies. UGA plays such a huge role now in the film/tv industry here in Georgia and around the world, and I hope to further that mission.
GC: What advice do you have for today’s Grady College students?
DS: Be a master of your domain. Whatever field you’re moving toward, know everything you can about that specialty. The best part of being in this industry is that “consuming content” is necessary for work. Watch everything in every genre, take note of what works, what inspires you. Lastly – work ethic, attitude, knowing your craft, thinking critically and being proactive are so much more important than your GPA. That’s what we’re all really looking for in our next hires.
GC: What experience during your time at Grady College had the biggest influence on where you are today?
DS: The Honors in Washington program had the single biggest influence on my career. They connected me to Grady alumni in Washington D.C., where I had the opportunity to work for National Geographic Television during a summer internship in 2007. That was my first experience in a real network television environment with real producers making real content, and it had such a huge impact on my development. At the time, Nat Geo did a lot of reenactments, and they were doing a doc on the CIA experiments with LSD in the ‘50s. One night we were on set at a building in downtown Washington D.C., where I was appointed as the lead person doing crowd control on the street while they filmed a reenactment of the guy who supposedly fell out of a 10th story window after taking LSD, but the conspiracy was that the CIA pushed him. All these people start lining up around the street looking at this guy laying on the ground, and I had to tell them “oh nothing to see here, move along, just making television.” That was my first taste of the rush of being on a real set and being a part of creating something together, and I’ve been chasing that ever since.
GC: What modern challenges would you like to see current students and recent College alumni solve?
DS: Resist the desire to skirt hard work for the shiny beacon of AI and ensure those tools are used responsibly and are complementary versus destructive. The power of human creativity is paramount, and we’re dangerously close to casually falling into a place we can’t return from.
GC: How has your field changed from your graduation to now?
DS: Exponential change happens so much quicker now. What once took 50 years to progress took 10 years, and now we see that same monumental change happening in only two to three years. Technologically, when I graduated 15 years ago, we were barely even using HD, still laying off to tape, transitioning from SD to HD, and now we have the tools to create, edit and produce high-quality UHD content in the palms of our hands. But beyond technology, I’m also inspired by the changes we’ve seen in the last 15 years to give more people of every background a seat at the table and ensure diversity across the board in front of and behind the camera. It’s a never-ending learning experience. There’s always more work to be done, but that’s what I love about the industry and my job. No day is the same. There’s always something new to tackle and something to get better at.