Transformation Talk with Sean Hanish

Welcome to Transformation Talk. Every Thursday for a year, starting in September 2012, I’ll post an interview with someone who is a force for good in the world. These men and women have either deepened their passion or found their calling after experiencing a loss, trauma or diagnosis.

I want to broaden the conversation around grief and its transformative power. My hope is that in their words you’ll find echoes of your story. In their inspired actions, you’ll see yourself and your immense possibility.

*Special Request: The technology of Skype is amazing and imperfect. Please listen with your heart and forgive the occasional blips on the screen.

This week’s interview is with award-winning film and commercial director Sean Hanish. Sean’s new movie, Return to Zero, is the first Hollywood film to center around the taboo topic of stillbirth. He wrote, directed and co-produced the film based loosely on his personal experience after the stillbirth of his son. We had a fun conversation about a really hard topic. If you feel moved to support the film, all the relevant links are below.

Bio and link to download the audio version are below. Running time is 23 minutes. If you’re receiving this via email, click through the title to view the video.

Right-click or Control-click here to download the audio version.

Sean Hanish is a multi-award-winning film and commercial director and the writer, director and producer of the new movie Return To Zero. He has been a member of the Director’s Guild of America (DGA) since 2005. After studying under master film theorist David Bordwell at the University of Wisconsin, he completed his Master of Arts at the University of Southern California, School of Cinema/Television.

His short films, “Sales Tribe Grachecki” and “Real Men”, have garnered dozens of awards both domestically and internationally and his ensemble play “Acts of Contrition” had sold-out runs in both New York and Los Angeles.

While his passion is film, Sean has had a career as a writer, director and producer in a variety of mediums. He created and executive produced two highly-rated Prime-Time network television sports specials for CBS. He also began creating, directing and producing commercials for a wide variety of international clients such as CBS, NFL, DISNEY, NCAA, HALLMARK, LIZ CLAIBORNE and OSCAR DE LA RENTA. This experience culminated in his creating and executing multi-million dollar campaigns for the launch of the fastest-growing brand in the home-furnishings industry, CINDY CRAWFORD HOME, and the largest independent furniture retailer, ROOMS TO GO.

Find him at Sean Hanish Creative
Learn more about Return To Zero
Watch the trailer
Like Return To Zero on Facebook

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7 Responses to Transformation Talk with Sean Hanish

  1. Sean and Alana, What a great interview! I felt like I was in the room with you both and just didn’t want the ‘visit’ to end. It is great to get to know both of you even more…yes, other members of this club that we did not chose to join. BUT having said that, you are both right…the people in the baby loss community are very special people. We care for and about each other. I can tell that you both agree that we are very fortunate to have such amazing baby loss friends.

    Your ‘Transformation Talk’ is another step in the process of breaking down barriers and shattering the silence about the taboo subject of stillbirth (and miscarriage and other early infant death).

    It is my hope that we all continue to stay unified in our mission to make a difference, bring this movie to the Big Screen EVERYWHERE, and cultivate an environment where our communities do not fear stillbirth so much that they won’t talk about it. Rather, let’s bring this one of out of the shadows for the sake of the families who have been there. AND let’s raise our voices to demand that work be done to find the causes so we finally have some prevention strategies to save the lives of our precious unborn.
    To help us unify and amplify our voices, I invite your visitors to join (for free) a Coalition to

  2. Illuminary says:

    What an inspiring interview!
    I love this mans integrity and passion.
    His giving up his commercial career, to make this movie, that not only helps himself mend, but has the potential to really reach out and make a HUGE difference in so many peoples lives…
    I am hoping that it is a success for him in whatever ways he needs it to be.
    I hear a piano playing in his future, It might be one of his kids thats the impetus for that!~laughing~

    • Alana says:

      Sorrow – I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I’m always inspired by people who follow their passion and make a difference in the world. (Like you too, beautiful maker of art!)

  3. Lauren Borroel says:

    Thank you both for this beautiful interview. My husband and I lost our second born daughter, Lily, just 4 hours after her birth. My grief has opened up a whole new world that is both frightening in its unchartered nature yet freeing. Free to be less fearful day to day, knowing the worst has happened.

    My heart breaks for the mothers of sweet stillborn babies. Though I wasn’t able to hold my daughter while she lived, I found great comfort that she lived outside my body. I mourn for those who did not have even that small comfort. Thank you

    • Alana says:

      Big big love to you and your family Lauren. Thank you for sharing a little of Lily’s story with us. Even the shortest lives have massive impact, don’t they?
      xoxo Alana

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