Tom Explores Los Angeles


We spoke with Tom Carroll and Derrick DeBlasis to learn about how they came around to making one of our favorite YouTube shows, Tom Explores LA. If you haven’t heard of these guys, we think you’ll love what they’re up to. This is the first in a series of Know Your Craft interviews.

How did you get into filmmaking? Was there a particular event, or more of a progression?

Ever since I can remember Iʼve loved movies. When I was a kid I looked at a film and saw actors up on the screen, so thatʼs who I thought made the movie – the actors. It wasnʼt until I was twelve, when a friend of mine decided to put on a VHS his parents had of Stanley Kubrickʼs A Clockwork Orange, that I realized I wanted to be a director. My next birthday my parents bought me a Sony Hi-8 camcorder, and Iʼve been making films since. – Derrick DeBlasis

Did you have a mentor? How did you learn and practice?

I use to work a lot of odd-end production and art department jobs for commercials and TV, and everyday on set I would watch what everyone was doing- try to absorb as much as I could. But, the real practice came from just making shit. During an uncomfortably long creative dry spell Tom came to me with an idea of something he wanted to make, And weʼve been shooting one episode a month for the last two years. The show has been the best practice of all. Every episode I push myself to try something different, and tell the story in the best way I can. – Derrick DeBlasis

Have you had to take any risks to get to the level you’re at now?

Making “Tom Explores Los Angeles,” weʼve had to face various risks. Whether itʼs trespassing to gain access to a dilapidated building, or shooting in isolated spots while lugging expensive camera equipment. We have found that the greatest stories arise from some degree of risk taking. Anybody can shoot inside of a functioning mall, but the story we are interested in, is the mall thatʼs been abandoned for ten years. If we are shooting somewhere, and we are all a little on edge then we know we are doing something right. – Tom Carroll

When thinking about the future of your work, what are you the most excited about?

When thinking about the future the thing that excites us most and motivates us to continue to tell stories is the unknown. We have seen so many forgotten corners, talked to so many interesting people, all because of the show. As the show moves forward it will continue to facilitate connections to people and places that we would never get to experience if it werenʼt for “Tom Explores Los Angeles”. – Tom Carroll

Check out the latest Tom Explores LA show:

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