In an attempt to grow his global audience, Daniel Loveless took a chance to film his latest segment of the What Yuh Know series to Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates.
But apart from the language barrier, Loveless faced other challenges including restrictions on filming in public without permission from authorities.
“The reason for even selecting Dubai to film was because I was looking for a new challenge for myself to produce content for my audience in a place that they would never expect me to go.
“When I read a lot of reviews about Dubai online, about how strict it is on recording and producing stuff, I loved the challenge.
“I told everyone I was going to Dubai, and they told me don’t because things are strict over there… I said that was exactly the reason I was going.”
Even though Loveless anticipated it would be difficult to film in Dubai, he wasn’t prepared for the reality.
“I literally just booked a flight for two weeks. I went to Dubai with my cameraperson, but I also took my mom.
“I got into a lot of problems producing content in specific places because I’ll be stop by police telling me that I need approval to record, so it was really difficult to get content but I did push through.”
While the official language of the United Arab Emirates is Arabic, Loveless said many people spoke English but there was still a language barrier due to his and their accent which made filming difficult.
“People spoke English, but it wasn’t as clear which made it difficult to ask simple questions like spell Dubai.
“So the first day of recording, I needed to go back to drawing board. I did research and spoke to friends in Dubai to figure out how to ask certain questions.
“Instead of asking people to 'spell Dubai,' I had to ask them to 'What is the spelling of Dubai?' which was way more understandable, so it was a culture shock.”
In the end, Loveless succeeded in asking questions like how to spell words and solve simple math problems. He also asked questions about the Caribbean.
He filmed episodes at places like the Dubai World Expo and the Dubai Gold Souk, one of the traditional markets for mainly jewellers.
To market TT, one of the main goals for filming shows internationally, Loveless gave out souvenirs from TT as prizes to participants who answered questions correctly.
Loveless he also attended the T20 Cricket World Cup in Dubai where he met Brian Lara, Russell Latapy, Dwight Yorke, Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Nicholas Pooran.
“I didn’t know anyone of them personally per se but they knew me, so it was a good feeling to be sitting and have Lara call me out. I felt very welcomed.”
On November 22, Loveless started releasing the over 15 episodes he filmed in Dubai.
Loveless also recently released over 20 episodes which he filmed in August in the US cities of Atlanta, New York, and Miami.
His overseas ventures are aimed at getting more eyes on his show and giving the Caribbean more exposure.
“I don’t want to be limited by an audience in just Trinidad and Tobago or just in the Caribbean.
“I wanted to expand the audience in an effort to put not only TT but by extension, the Caribbean on the map.”
To make this possible, Loveless worked with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts for the show’s prizes while filming in the US.
He usually gives participants of the show small cash prizes when they answer questions correctly while filming in TT but US winners had the chance to win all expenses paid trips to TT courtesy the ministry.
“I reached out to the ministry and I had a meeting with the Minister of Tourism Randall Mitchell and we discussed the idea of promoting TT through my show.
“Instantly the ministry hopped on board to sponsor the all-expense paid trips.”
For the episodes filmed in the US, Loveless asked questions about TT’s culture and included promotional videos by the ministry which highlighted TT’s culture.
In all, three people – one from each US city he filmed in – won the all-expense paid trips to TT and are expected to visit in 2022.
Loveless said the ministry is currently assessing what significant national cultural events will be happening next year and planning the trips for that time..
Apart from his recent international filming sessions, Loveless continues to film episodes locally and he is currently producing a Christmas series called Countdown to Christmas and intends to release one episode a day beginning in early December.
Recently, Loveless also became the host of the Caribbean version of the hit US YouTube series Hot Ones.
Like the series’original premise, Loveless interviews a wide range of prominent guests ranging from singers, actors to even politicians like Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi.
“It (hosting the show) has been a very enlightening experience for me, at first I went in thinking that it would be easy because of What Yuh Know.
“But getting into the studio to film the show was a shock. I’m loud and extroverted on streets but in the studio I needed to be more reserved.”
The show airs on TTT and season one will wrap up in December.