After finishing college football David Culligan had a void in his life.
“I was waking up with too many hangovers and I was not enjoying myself. I knew I always had different interests . . . so I picked up a camera,” he said.
That decision led Culligan to his 365-day project.
Every day, Culligan makes a minute-long video documenting his adventures in Halifax and around Nova Scotia. He gets over 200,000 impressions per week. His project began on June 4.
Vlog entry 141 starts with Culligan, 23, filming his car ride to Three Fathom Harbour, shot on his iPhone 6. We know when Culligan arrives to Three Fathom Harbour because we get an aerial view of the coastline and watch the sunset, courtesy of his drone. The video concludes with a bonfire and the friends who tagged along for the adventure.
Job opportunities, new friendships and unforeseen adventures have arisen for Culligan.
“I’ve learned that there are amazing people and opportunities right here in Halifax. Halifax is on the cusp of something special and I don’t want to miss it,” Culligan said.
The project has taken Culligan to places he has never been before, including Cape Breton, the Annapolis Valley, Winnipeg and New York.
Culligan said he “would never have visited these places without my 365 project. I’m getting to meet someone new every day.”
An average day for Culligan begins with a 6:30 a.m. video shoot and ends with a 12:30 a.m. video edit. He uses a Go Pro, Phantom 3 Drone, iPhone 6 and a Canon 80D DSLR with a Joby GorillaPad focus tripod. The variety of mediums allows him to capture many different perspectives of his daily life.
His videos have attracted the attention of family businesses and restaurants around Halifax.
Culligan will include a business in his 365 Project in exchange for its product. Sauté Healthy Meals Delivered gives Culligan pre-packaged meals in exchange for coverage in his videos.
Along with Sauté, Culligan has done product placements with Steele Ford and Kennel Beauty products.
Dan O’Rourke, digital content adviser at Communications Nova Scotia, is an admirer of Culligan.
O’Rourke headed a campaign entitled Change Makers. The Nova Scotia Government hired O’Rourke to feature Culligan in a Change Makers video.
“The Change Makers campaign is about identifying and highlighting Nova Scotians being entrepreneurial, innovative, and doing things to make our province a better place. Dave’s 365 Project is innovative and his videos provide Nova Scotians with a new way of seeing themselves and our communities,” O’Rourke said in an emailed response.
The job market in Nova Scotia can have grim prospects for recent graduates.
Millennials often have the mentality that they can have fun ‘anywhere but here.’ Graduates often opt to travel upon graduation or fall victim to the ‘anywhere but Atlantic Canada’ brain drain.
Culligan has challenged that notion full throttle.
“Nova Scotia has the potential for talent development but we do not have the capacity to keep talent here,” said Claudia De Fuentes, professor of entrepreneurship and innovation studies.
She went on to say “the access to technology helps growth and innovation.”
In his first Sunday edition, Q & A vlog, Culligan said his ultimate goal is to “have an impact on people in a positive way.”
He is enjoying every minute of the demanding project. Many people ask him if he is excited to finish the project, to which he always responds “no way.”