Everything Everywhere All At Once has been an audience and critic favorite since the uniquely mesmerizing film was released in theaters in March of 2022. It became the first film by A24 (which continues to place a focus on creative projects) to cross the $100 million box office mark and is up for 10 Academy Awards while already winning accolades from the Golden Globes, the Hollywood Critics Association, National Board of Review, and many other esteemed establishments. The success of the film is an encouraging mark in a year where sequels and “easy wins” for movie production studios tended to reign supreme. It also represented the return or rise to star power for a number of individuals who had roles in the movies - Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, Stephanie Hsu, and Jamie Lee Curtis have all been nominated for multiple recognitions. 

Perhaps the two biggest stars to come from the electric success of Everything Everywhere All At Once are Daniel Kwan and Daniel Schienert, who are also referred to as the Daniels. The directing duo is raking in awards and has quickly become two of the most sought-after creatives in filmmaking. In addition to the many recognitions they have already received, Scheinert and Kwan are nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards on March 12th. It’s safe to say that the Daniels have reached a worldwide level of fame - but did you know that one of them is from Birmingham, Alabama? 

Daniel Schienert was born in the Magic City on June 7, 1987 and would eventually be enrolled in the Oak Mountain School system. Schienert would attend Oak Mountain Elementary and Middle School before transferring to Shades Valley High School and its International Baccalaureate program. His last three years of high school already showed Schienert’s passion for film as he competed in Sidewalk Film competitions. Daniel would go on to meet his creative counterpart at Emerson College in Boston. After working on short films together, the two quickly found success in the world of music videos by directing for the likes of Manchester Orchestra, Foster the People, The Shins, Tenacious D, Passion Pit, and eventually the famed “Turn Down For What” video which starred their friend and actress Sunita Mani. 

The first feature film directed by the two was the eccentric Swiss Army Man in 2016. The film, which features a bloated Henry Radcliffe, brought ingenuity back to the writing room and separated the Daniels from a stream of similarity that flows through Hollywood so widely. Their 2022 film has only hurled the Daniels into a new level of stardom that will surely result in even more thrilling projects that push the boundaries of what we consider cinema. 

Daniel Schienert has come a long way from his Oak Mountain days in Birmingham, but still cherishes his Alabama home community (his parents now live in Guntersville). He has certainly made the school motto ring true - “Nothing but the best”. Good luck at the Academy Awards and we can’t wait to see what masterpieces come next. 

Cover image from Everything Everywhere All At Once