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The video was hilarious and very touching. I loved it!

Cline Dion
The man who single-handedly redened the
productive airport layover.
Katie Kindelan,
This video is Internet gold and youre now an Internet
Mike Galaos, Headline News CNN
This is my favorite thing on the Internet right now.
George Takei
AllByMyself_txt.indd 1 8/15/14 7:42 PM
All by Myself, performed by Cline Dion:
All by Myself, by Lonely Airport Guy:
Behind-the-scenes footage of the
making of All by Myself:
Cline Dions response:
To contact Richard to check if hes lonely or wants
to speak to your organization as a keynote speaker:
AllByMyself_txt.indd 2 8/15/14 7:42 PM
Richard Dunn
AllByMyself_txt.indd 3 8/15/14 7:42 PM
Published by Michael Wiese Productions
12400 Ventura Blvd. #1111
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 379-8799, (818) 986-3408 (FAX)
Manufactured in the United States of America
Copyright 2014 by Richard Dunn
Photos on pages 67 and 68 are courtesy of CNN.
Photos on pages 86, 87, 88, and 89 are courtesy
of Delta Airlines.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be
reproduced in any form or by any means without
permission in writing from the author, except for
the inclusion of brief quotations in a review.
AllByMyself_txt.indd 4 8/15/14 7:42 PM
An Introduction to My Lonely Airport Guy Adventure
Who Is This Lonely Airport Guy, and
How Did I Get 20,000,000 Hits?
Theres Gold in Them Thar Layovers: Spotting
Extraordinary Material All Around You
Make Mine a Video: Choosing the Best Form
to Work In
The Airport Orson Welles: All by Myself
from Inception to Finished Video
Viral Is the New Black: Great Outcomes
You Cant Plan For (Or Can You?)
And Now Im Not Lonely Anymore:
My Fateful Meeting with Cline Dion
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Well I guess by now youve heard the story of the
Lonely Airport Guy because youre reading his
book I mean my book. Wow. Youre reading MY
book! That statement pretty much sums up my
reaction to this whole crazy whirlwind adventure
that began with a rare opportunity, a full battery on
my iPhone, and some fearless ambition.
Ill do my best to really break down what happened
in the coming pages but for now, imagine that you
whispered a joke to a friend (which youve done
many times) and the next morning CNN calls to
ask you to come down for an interview because they
heard the joke, and they say the joke you told was
really funny. A few days later, 20 million people have
heard your joke. Youre kidding, right? Nope, not
kidding. Thats basically my story.
I shot a funny video on my iPhone, uploaded it so my
friends and family could get a laugh, and now, after
appearances on CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, USA Today
AllByMyself_txt.indd 6 8/15/14 7:42 PM
W H A T G E T S S H O T I N V E G A S D O E S N T S T A Y I N V E G A S 7
Online, TMZ, Inside Edition, Buzz 60, Good Morning
Australia, UK Channel 4 Stars of the Internet,
Swedish Radio, German websites, Korean news
stations, and over 330 websites all over the world
in more than 150 countries (literally just to name
a few), Im writing a book for Michael Wiese (the
worlds premier publisher of lmmaking books)
and in this moment right now were together.
That must have been one funny video. But was it? I
mean really. Was it? What was it that garnered the
attention of 20 million people? Wanna take another
look? Or dare I say a rst look! When youre nished
watching again dont forget to share the laugh. Here
is a link to the ofcial video on my YouTube Channel.
Lets see if we can discover together how exactly
my iPhone made me famous and gure out if your
phone can make you famous too.
AllByMyself_txt.indd 7 8/15/14 7:42 PM
20,000,000 HITS?
Before I break the seal on this bad boy and show
you inside the smoke and mirrors of my video, I bet
you want to know what kind of guy would stay up all
night and do such a strange thing. Let me tell you
what kind of guy.
For as long as I can remember, I have had a sense
of humor thats from a real unique perspective.
I dont see the things around me quite like every-
one else. Because of this, when I meet new people
I honestly keep playing over and over in my head:
Dont talk too much, dont talk too much. And then
I proceed to talk too much.
I have a lifetime of experience working in live enter-
tainment and I am constantly focused on how to
do things differently with a funny twist. One of the
coolest things my dad said to me when I was in
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W H O I S T H I S L O N E L Y A I R P O R T G U Y 9
my twenties was this: Most people do one or two
things really well. You do nine or ten things well and
I need to remember that when Im upset at the two
or three things youre doing wrong. That is still a
good assessment of me twenty-plus years later.
Constantly trying to keep all the plates spinning.
I have a hard time being still or silent. Its out of
all these behaviors that my video All by Myself
was born.
I pretty much have four goals in life: love God, love
my family, make people laugh, and lose twenty
pounds. I have been wildly successful at three of the
four items. As you can see by the Flashdance scene,
its my last goal that I continually fail at.
I am obnoxiously glass half full in life. I believe in
fearless ambition. The willingness to try anything
as a calculated risk.
I see laughter as the currency of humanity. Making
people laugh brings value to others. I brought value
to millions and millions of peoples lives with this
video. Heres something to think about no matter
what youre trying to do: When your goal is to enrich
the lives of others, you will gain a favorable out-
come. Contributing generously to others will yield
personal success. Without a doubt, every time.
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A L L B Y M Y S E L F / / / R I C H A R D D U N N 10
If you consciously set out to do something for others,
you will in the end reap the rewards for yourself.
Get-rich-quick schemes dont work because they are
not about others. Find something that needs doing,
or hasnt been done, and devote yourself to it.
I was born in Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada. Grew up
in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. Graduated
from Liberty University in 1995 with a BS in
Communications. In 1996 I got married WAY above
my pay grade to a woman who thankfully thought it
more important for me to have a big sense of humor
rather than a big bank account. She didn't think that
one through. I worked for nine years at Walt Disney
World as a lighting technician then designer. I left
Disney to pursue a career in freelance lighting design.
I moved back to Moncton for ve years with my wife to
work in our family business while still doing freelance
lighting design. I moved to Atlanta in 2006 and con-
tinued to build my career as a lighting designer and
now technical director for corporate entertainment.
In 2012, my capacity for love and joy was exponentially
increased when we had our baby girl, Bailey.
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W H O I S T H I S L O N E L Y A I R P O R T G U Y 11
Im a guy who works hard. Very hard. I take my
responsibility to provide for my family very seriously.
I live anywhere from six to seven months a year on
the road. Hotels, suitcases, air miles, and Facetime
are major parts of who I am. I like cheese and
peanut butter sandwiches. I pull the onions out of
onion rings and just eat the batter. As a child I would
mix icing sugar and milk in a bowl and eat it. As an
adult I drink syrup. Maple, pancake, chocolate, it
doesnt matter (maybe not cough). Im not talking
sip sip. Im talking glug glug. Send help. (Scratch
that send syrup.)
At 2 a.m. on June 6, 2014, I shot a video on my
iPhone that somehow led you to be reading these
words. I know! Crazy, eh?
I didnt come to make this video from a dead start.
I know lighting inside and out, one of the main
ingredients in any visual medium. What do you have
what special skill, background, or insight that
sets you apart? When Robert Rodriquez was shooting
his first feature, El Mariachi, he had a gun, a horse,
and a vision and designed his film around what he
already had. I had an airport that no one was using.
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A L L B Y M Y S E L F / / / R I C H A R D D U N N 12
This book is ultimately about how I shot the video
on my iPhone all by myself. This was a spontane-
ous, done-in-one-day project, that ended up looking
like a professionally produced, well-blocked, well-
lit, multicamera, well-staffed, masterfully edited,
beautifully directed, calculated, very expensive,
planned-way-in-advance video package but it
At rst, a wide debate erupted over whether I had
shot this video by myself. Most now believe me, but
among the hordes of viewers who loudly cried pub-
licity stunt! were Harvey Levin from TMZ and Matt
Lauer from the Today show. As my personal appear-
ances increased and my behind-the-scenes footage
was released, Harvey Levin had me on TMZ Live for
an eight-minute interview. During that interview, he
apologized to me and we pinky-swore never to ght
again. (I made that last part up.)
Now, Mr. Lauer on the other hand was pretty direct
in his comments. He alluded to the video being done
in advance and pre-produced. Ill admit that I nd
it amusing that he chose to question my integrity
in front of millions of people. In his disbelief he
said that this piece had to have been profession-
ally done. I agree with you there, Matt! By me! Ive
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W H O I S T H I S L O N E L Y A I R P O R T G U Y 13
scheduled a couples hot stone massage for the two
of us so we can hash this out in our own way.
I will say this, though. I learned something about
myself from Mr. Lauers comments. Despite the
hundreds of positive comments that kept pouring
in, I would get caught up with and overcome by the
random negative post or, in this case, Matts dis-
belief. In hindsight, I am the rst to call foul when I
think something may be photoshopped or tweaked
to be something its not.
Truly though, the only thing that came from Matts
comments was more publicity. Isnt that really all
that mattered?
Controversy is good publicity because it gets
people talking about your work. In my case, no
one believed that I shot this on an iPhone all by
myself. When no one asked about this, I would
bring it up. You know, a lot of people think I had
a crew, that the video couldnt have been made by
one person. And from there I would launch into
shameless self-promotion about how I did it!
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A L L B Y M Y S E L F / / / R I C H A R D D U N N 14
This was an off-the-cuff, shot-in-four-hours,
edited-in-four-hours, all-I-wanted-to-do-was-
make-my-wife-laugh piece of video.
Key lesson? There is HUGE value in doing projects
just for fun!
Doing things just for fun is worth it because
other people will have fun as a result. Michael
Wiese and Ernie Fosselius made the Star Wars
spoof Hardware Wars, a short film that made
over $1 million, because they wanted to meet
George Lucas to show him what fun they had
spoofing his blockbusters special effects.
Things dont always need a grand purpose or com-
mission. There could be no greater piece of video
that shows my true personality, and that is the video
that has captured the attention of millions of people
all over the world. It all started as a gag.
Number of cameramen: 1 (me)
Number of actors: 1 (me)
Number of cameras: 1 (my iPhone)
Number of locations: 1 (the airport)
Budget: $0.00
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W H O I S T H I S L O N E L Y A I R P O R T G U Y 15
Result: 20 million hits (as of this writing), worldwide
recognition, and a book deal
I started with a music video. So did Weird Al Yankovic
who made a career of doing high-profile music videos.
You can also look at your own body of knowledge
and slice and dice it. I asked myself, What else
can I do? and I found myself writing a book. What
other income-earning things can I now do? Maybe
I can get on the public appearance circuit and be a
keynote speaker at conferences? You can be sure of
one thing: If the opportunity arises, I will say yes.
Of the thousands of comments spread over 330 dif-
ferent websites, one of the most satisfying for me
came from a viewer who asked, How is it that this
is better quality than a $5M Hollywood production?
Touch! Compliment received!
Having worked in live entertainment for over twenty
years, I have grown accustomed to viewing the
world in a certain light. I grew up watching my dad
run our family business of convenience stores, and
one of his mantras was, You need to learn to see
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A L L B Y M Y S E L F / / / R I C H A R D D U N N 16
things with a different set of eyes than everyone
else. Well, Dad, in front of everyone who reads
this book, let me tell you how right you were. His
point was that in order to run a successful business,
youve got to see things as only you can see them.
You know your goals, you know your abilities, and
you know what your customers need.
You need to be aware that everything you are, every-
thing you have, and your entire world around you is
because of three things: circumstances, choices,
and consequences. Thats it. Nothing else plays
a part.
Of these three things, you only have control over
one: choices.
Circumstances: You had no choice over where you
were born, who you were born to, your physical
composition, your race, or your upbringing. These
things were all decided without your input or con-
sent. You may be thankful for your circumstances or
you may detest them. That has no impact on where
we can go from this second in time forward.
Choices: This is 100% in your control. You are smart
enough to assess your situation, weigh out the evi-
dence, and make a decision. The fact about making
choices is that you are incapable of not making a
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W H O I S T H I S L O N E L Y A I R P O R T G U Y 17
choice. Choosing to do nothing is still a choice. Your
choices lead to the third C: consequences.
Consequences: The direct result of your actions.
Good, bad, or indifferent, your choices lead
to consequences.
Heres the exciting part. Every time you are faced
with consequences, you get to make another choice.
That choice triggers more consequences. The more
you go through this process of choice and conse-
quence, the better you will be at it.
Not to get all Tony Robbins on you but this is
something you need to learn in relationships, in
business, in lmmaking, in LIFE. Your choices are
yours. Stop focusing on your circumstances and
start making great choices!
Can I get an AMEN!
See things differently than others. You already
do. We are all different. Celebrate that and
discover your unique gift. Do not copy or make
derivative work. Study yourself and find out
how you see things differently. Share that.
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A L L B Y M Y S E L F / / / R I C H A R D D U N N 18
I did not see an empty airport. I saw a movie set. I
didnt see a moving sidewalk. I saw a hundred-foot
dolly. I didnt see an escalator. I saw a ninety-foot
jib. I didnt see a wheelchair. I saw a tripod. Do you
get what I mean? I must change the way you see the
elements around you. You MUST see with your own
specic set of eyes. Where is your opportunity? Can
you see it?
Lets say this again through the eyes of production.
In order to shoot a successful video, you need to see
things as only you can see them. You know the video
you want to shoot, you know the tools that are avail-
able to you, and you know what your audience wants
to see.
Success in production isnt about the lighting, the
sound, the stage, the video, the venue, the talent,
the volume, the resolution, or about any one thing.
Ready for this? The production will be judged as a
whole. Did you engage them? Did you tell a story?
Has your viewer changed in any way after watch-
ing your piece? Regardless of any other technical
element, if you move your viewers, in ANY WAY, you
have achieved a goal.
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W H O I S T H I S L O N E L Y A I R P O R T G U Y 19
It is not about technical proficiency. If you tell
a great story or show the audience something
they havent seen before they will forgive
technical quality (e.g., The Blair Witch Project).
Very few will distinguish that the lighting was off, or
the subject wasnt framed right, or the acting was
a bit off People will say, That was great!, That
was just okay, or That was horrible. Very few
will be discerning enough to know exactly why they
didnt like something. But trust me, they will tell
everyone else what they thought. (The rst reason
I knew I had a viral video after the very rst day was
that EVERYONE who watched it, shared it.)
Just think about this for a second. I did not deliber-
ately plan the production of this video before I was
bumped from the rst ight, but from the shot list
(list of images I wanted to see) I created that after-
noon, to the audio, to the editing, it was all because
of the eyes I used to see what it was I wanted to
accomplish. Hopefully by the time youre done read-
ing this book, I will have altered the way you see
things. I want for you to instinctively know when
your lighting is bad, or when you shot looks off. I
want that for you!
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Before I get into the Hows of the video, one of the
rst questions people ask me is why was I there in
the rst place?
Ill answer the question but rst, Ill tell you this:
it was a particularly scary feeling to see this video
pass 100,000 views and know that it was ofcially
out of my hands. At that point, I couldnt stop it even
if I wanted to. Launch sequence had been initiated!
Almost instantly, the facts got distorted. The public
comments became truth, and my dialogue was
merely noise in the background. The rst round of
inaccuracies came as people said how awful Delta
Airlines was to let me be in that situation. Why
would McCarran Airport trap me in? Why did I steal
the T-shirt? He didnt even clean up the water he
poured on the oor. He was so stupid not to go
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W H O I S T H I S L O N E L Y A I R P O R T G U Y 21
back to the strip. (These are just a fraction of the
mistruths that came quickly to the surface.)
For what its worth, Ive been ying with Delta for
eighteen years. I love Delta. They offered me a room,
I declined. McCarran is always open. There is secu-
rity footage of me cleaning up the water and placing
a wet oor sign in the area in case I missed any!
If I had gone back to the strip I would have missed
this awesome ride, and, last but not least, heres the
receipt for the shirt I bought. Some people never let
the truth get in the way of a good story!
Looking back, every one of these next few details
had to take place in order for me to be engaged with
you right now.
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A L L B Y M Y S E L F / / / R I C H A R D D U N N 22
I had been working in Vegas on a corporate show
as the lighting designer. We had torn down that
morning and I was booked on Flight 2202 at 3:10
p.m. While I was waiting for the ight, the Delta gate
agent announced that they were in an oversold situ-
ation and they were looking for volunteers to take a
later ight. I called my wife and we though we could
use the $400 Delta voucher they were offering. The
agent then rebooked me on Flight 2102 at 11:15
p.m. At this time she told me that this later ight
was oversold as well and although I was guaranteed
a seat, I could volunteer again later that evening if
everyone showed up.
Thats when the wheels started turning for me. I
wonder what this place looks like at 3 a.m.? Theres
no way it would be empty. Or is it? Oh well, if I get
bumped a second time, well see what happens.
As the afternoon wore on, I thought I would take the
bump if offered, (and ultimately the additional $500),
and spend the night.
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W H O I S T H I S L O N E L Y A I R P O R T G U Y 23
Is there something else that you can create
in the time available to you? A limited time
frame requires that you think fast and smart.
Lets see, Ive got a few free hours
I started wondering if there was something I could
do as a funny video to show my wife. My first
thought was just running around like a fool in the
wide-open airport, to the tune of Kenny Loggins
Danger Zone. Maybe that would be funny? Out of
sheer boredom, I began googling songs about trav-
eling. Leaving on a Jet Plane, Rocket Man, On
the Road Again but nothing seemed funny. That
was my only prerequisite: funny.
So then I googled songs about being alone. Are You
Lonesome Tonight? Only the Lonely, and then I
heard it! The song that literally made me laugh
out loud! All by Myself by none other than my
Canadian sister, the one the only, Cline Dion! This
will be EPIC!
(Note: To the hundreds, yes hundreds, of people who
told me this was originally done by Eric Carmen I
know. To the hundreds of other people who told me
I should have used Erics song, I respectfully submit
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A L L B Y M Y S E L F / / / R I C H A R D D U N N 24
that its not as funny to watch a middle-aged man
lip-synch the haunting melody over another dudes
voice. Since I deal in the currency of laughter, I felt
it funnier to belt it out to the higher register of Ms.
Dion. Settled? Thanks for your understanding.)
Give yourself a wide range of music choices. In
my case, lip-synching a womans voice made it
funnier. Do you want to shoot everything from one
angle or shake it up? Do you want every scene to
be outrageous or do you want to pace yourself?
Be willing to change your direction if you see
something you know will work. Dont limit yourself!
Now, this will be funny! No, not funny hysterical! But
wait Youre exhausted from a long week, youve been
waiting in the airport for hours, is this really funny? Or
are you just really REALLY tired? Who cares! Its funny
right now!
So this was the beginning of the ofcial planning.
If I was to get bumped, I would crank this out. I
bought the song from iTunes and put it on repeat on
my iPhone. I walked around the airport and looked
at the Need Help Delta sign and thought, That
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W H O I S T H I S L O N E L Y A I R P O R T G U Y 25
would be funny to sing in front of! I saw the huge
tortoise sculpture on the oor and thought, That
would be funny to sing to! I saw the outline of a
woman outside the ladies room and thought, you
guessed it, That would be funny to reach out to!
After listening to the song, literally twenty times, I
knew I wanted the airport to seemingly disappear
in the opening moments. It was around 8 p.m. when
I took some of the shots of the full airport. (In case
I got bumped again I wanted this daytime footage.)
I began a rough shot list because the ideas just kept
coming and kept getting funnier! Heres the actual
nished shot list I came up with on my iPhone by 1:37
a.m., to be exact. (At this point I was praying that I
would get bumped. I wanted to shoot this video!)
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