1) How did you get into directing?
My stepfather was a filmmaker, so I always grew up with cameras around and would even occasionally get to be on set. He would teach me how to shoot and we would edit with multiple VHS tape decks. Growing up with it in my natural setting I always had a desire to be behind the camera, but ended up on a path more focused in the performing arts, directing theatrical productions and acting. When I got the opportunity to direct a music video, I immediately felt at home and knew that was where I was supposed to be.
2) What is your most recent project?
I recently directed a project for Coach that profiles acclaimed jewelry designer Philip Crangi. He has recently collaborated with Coach on a limited edition men’s jewelry and accessories line. The :60 docu-style piece zooms in on the inspirations that he draws for his designs from NYC and the discoveries made throughout his creative process and collaborations.
3) What is the best part of being a director?
Collaboration. Being able to grapple with my own creative thoughts and formulate a direction and then collaborate with a lot of talented people is the best part for me. I’m a big fan of the process and working with the actors, the DP, the creatives, the producers and the entire crew is always exciting. I even get excited about good crafty! A while back I was on a shoot and the crafty my EP got was amazing. It was a game changer on set for client and crew. Made me realize that every part of the filmmaking mechanism is key!
4) What is the worst part of being a director?
On the flipside, being tempted by craft services and mindlessly eating handfuls of M&Ms and getting sick is less than ideal.
5) What is your current career focus: commercials & branded content, TV, movies? Do you plan to specialize in a particular genre—comedy, drama, visual effects, etc.?
Right now my focus is on commercials and branded content. I really enjoy working in the lifestyle, comedy and VFX-driven genres. Working on shorter form projects and rapidly moving onto the next thing once one is finished as we do in commercials is an amazing opportunity. I learn so much and just keep getting better, so I welcome it with open arms! Truly a blessing.
6) Have you a mentor and if so, who is that person (or persons) and what has been the lesson learned from that mentoring which resonates most with you?
My mom has always been my mentor. She is a fine artist and has always encouraged me to follow my passions artistically. She is constantly pushing me to work on my composition and reminding me that I can use my art to create aesthetics that can really be translated into something that other people can really resonate with. She’s constantly pushing me to be my best. My dad on the hand is a real ‘get stuff done’ kind of guy and he always has pushed me to finish things that I start. Crucial skill for an artist to grapple with because, “Hey, it’s art, it’s never done!”
7) Who is your favorite director and why?
Terrence Malick is my favorite director because I think it’s so fascinating the way that he shoots things in their rawest forms. The way that he shoots things so wildly, shattering fundamentals to tell his story through the eyes of the viewer, really getting in touch with the story, the actors and the setting that he’s shooting, and you can really go anywhere from there. In his work, it’s less about creating the shot and more about being in the space with the characters and the story.
8) What is your favorite movie? Your favorite commercial or branded content?
My favorite movie would have to be a tie between Robert Altman’s The Player and Michael Mann’s Heat.
They’re two entirely different films, but the thing that I love about both of them is the director’s attention to detail and the directors’ ability to work with the actors and set the stage for them in such interesting and unique ways.
My favorite commercial work would have to be Wes Anderson’s American Express “My Life, My Card” spot. That commercial is just bonkers awesome!
9) Tell use about your background (i.e. Where did you grow up? Past jobs?)
I grew up in Myrtle Beach, SC with artistic parents: my father was a musician/sculptor and my mom was a painter. After spending time acting and directing theatre and personal film projects, I opened Light of Day in 2011.