Dave's Docs

During four decades as a cameraman, I met a lot of people who are really good at what they do. I saw that whatever their field – technology, business, education, science, or the arts – leaders apply identical principles to the mastery of their craft. Only the vocabulary is different.


In the early '90s I saw an Esquire Magazine article by author and Aikido instructor George Leonard, who observed that top professional athletes share exactly five traits. Electrified by Leonard's discovery, I set out to investigate – to see if this paradigm applied not just to athletes but to peak performers in any field. My partner Susan and I crisscrossed America, recording conversations with leaders from sixteen different disciplines. The resulting DVD and PBS documentary, THE 5 KEYS TO MASTERY, confirmed Leonard's theory.

Featuring: Carlos Santana, BB King, Paul Reed Smith, Linus Torvalds, Eric Kandel, Steven Tobolowski, Kelly Clark, Wendy Rieger, Etirsa South, Launi Meili, Ivana Chubbuck, Dana Chladek, and George Leonard, 


Producer: David Lent

Executive Producer: Al Cattabiani

Viewer comments:

"...showed me perspectives I hadn't considered before and brings mastery to every facet of life, learning, and ways of being. It reminds me of why I became a coach in the first place." 

Donna Karlin, leadership coach, Ottawa, Ontario


"The video was a great find. After watching it half a dozen times, I just let it keep playing to listen to the soundtrack. It came along at a critical juncture in my life and helped me considerably."  Frank Giovinazzi, Alexandria, VA


“We tend to think that time spent toiling away in one place is wasted when, in fact, we are learning! The 5 Keys DVD was the best gift that I got this year. It all makes sense to me now.”  Karra Duncan, filmmaker, NYC


“I showed the DVD to my students, and they were electrified.  I didn't sleep either Saturday night or Tuesday night, so I now know to view it during the day. The 5 Keys is a life-affirming and life-changing creation.”                                                                            Bob Doenges, martial arts instructor, Tulsa, OK


"Powerful and uplifting, transmitting the energy of self-actualization. It inspires the recognition that we all have an extraordinary potential and purpose, which can be fulfilled if we’re willing to pay the price—through surrender, diligence, guidance, vision, and risk." 

Jessica Roemischer, composer, Berkshire Hills, MA


"One of the best things I found on YouTube."                                     Vijay Rana, photographer, New Delhi, India

LInk to  the documentary coming soon

Our cameras were the first to be allowed inside the walls of what was, in the fall of 1974, America's most violent prison—San Quentin. With unlimited access to the Adjustment Center, Death Row, cellblocks, exercise yards, and guard towers, I was part of a team who produced and filmed the critically-acclaimed (and censored) PBS documentary INSIDE SAN QUENTIN, broadcast by WGBH Boston in 1979.
LIFE WITHOUT is my 'outlaw cut,' inspired by the prisoners who shared the most intimate details of their broken lives. Because the prisoners - and guards - did not censor themselves for my camera, I felt a duty to make a film that would not look away from their ugly, disturbing, poetic truths.


"I was blown away by your film."  Dustin Hoffman, actor, NYC


"After seeing the film, I was depressed and moved. My perceptions of San Quentin and other prisons will never be the same - I was there." John Harrison, San Francisco CA


"A bleak look at the conditions and inmates of San Quentin Prison. Since the first step toward change is awareness, take that first vital step and watch." The Hollywood Reporter



The film will be viewable soon.
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