How did you get into directing?
I loved horror movies as a kid, but they gave me nightmares. Learning about how these films were made helped me get over this fear. I would make movie cameras out of old shoe boxes and boom mics from mop-handles and feather dusters, and I’d shoot epic, faux-productions with my friends. Though we couldn’t watch these “movies,” it was the act of making them that I fell in love with. Eventually, my parents bought a video camera and even though it wasn’t supposed to leave the house, I was all over the neighborhood getting my friends to star in new movies that I could edit in camera. In high school, filmmaking seemed like a childhood fantasy. In college, however, I took some film and photography electives and was hooked again. I changed my major to filmmaking because I knew if I didn’t pursue directing I would always regret it.
What is your most recent project?
My most recent project is a spec spot for Boost Mobile. It’s about how cell phone companies can nickel and dime you into feeling cursed and trapped. Of course, Boost Mobile is the cure for this curse!
What is the best part of being a director?
Filmmaking is such a team effort, with trust—I believe—being the most important factor. Occasionally, making a film can feel like war, a battle of mental, physical, and logistical difficulties. Working with a group of people and overcoming these obstacles is exhilarating, a perfect example of how the journey can be the reward. It’s incredible, for instance, to work with talented actors and discover that something is working on set better than you could have ever imagined. I am interested in actors and their methods, so it is very rewarding to help them achieve their best performance. Overall, the potential of being a director and leading a creative team is an indescribable feeling, a buzz that can last for days after a shoot.
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?
I have three mentors. Two were college professors, J. Thomas Grady and Mark Lapore. Not only did they give me the confidence and education to pursue my dream of being a director, but they also made me feel like any dream I had was possible. The other mentor is Steve Bradley at Headwire Media. When I was ready to move to Los Angeles, Steve sat me down and gave me a primer that I live by to this day. His primer and the insight he gives me into my work have been invaluable.