How did you get into directing?
I grew up watching silent films, monster movies and classic animation. I was fascinated how these worlds were brought to life on screen through hand-made sets, make-up, camera tricks and beautiful artwork. While in high school I began exploring stop-motion animation, and fell in love with it. I then attended the Rhode Island School of Design where I majored in Film/Animation/Video. I was drawn to stop-motion because it allowed me to combine many art forms into one, like sculpture, painting, textiles and sound. While at RISD my teachers embraced experimentation, while stressing intentional execution, which requires well-developed direction. My senior thesis film “Undone” was shown in festivals around the world and won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Animated Short at Slamdance in 2009. This film grabbed the attention of Curious Pictures in NYC and I began working there shortly after graduating. I am now a Director there.
What is your most recent project?
My most recent project was done for the Advertising Council’s 57th Annual Award Dinner. The dinner showed the best commercial work from the year. I directed a piece called Health which was an introductory video to all the health commercials made. I created a humorous animation which displayed an unhealthy person vs. a healthy person, using clay and paper. This video was made completely by hand by moving the clay figures and props frame by frame on a multiplane.
What is the best part of being a director?
The best part of being a director is making my dreamed up thoughts a reality before my eyes. It can be a stressful and tiring process at times, but what makes it truly fun for me is experimentation and spontaneity. I plan each and every piece in full detail before starting, but when I actually get down to making it I discover new things along the way. For instance a piece of fabric moves in a completely different way than I expected or the sound of a mop could represent something strange like a person eating. It’s just amazing to see something in my mind develop from a thought into its own living and breathing world.