1) How did you get into directing?
I love stories. I think they are the most powerful tool we have for teaching and communication, and film uses the most tools available to tell a story. I like that there are many options to get a narrative element or an emotion across and getting creative on how to do that is exciting. But, I think I really got into directing the day I learned that movies aren’t real. Once I learned that people actually make them, I was hooked and wanted to try to emulate them.
2) What is your most recent project?
I just directed and DP’ed a branded content campaign for FRAM with 3008 Productions via The Richards Group, Dallas. We shot in L.A. with UFC contenders Johny Hendricks and Donald Cerrone and at a track in North Carolina with pro motocross riders Justin Barcia and Westin Peick. We used an array of cameras from Epics to drones to get all the shots we needed. I’m really happy with what we got and the client was very pleased. The videos have started to go up on their microsite.
3) What is the best part of being a director?
The feeling of excitement I get that I actually get to do this for a living. I’m constantly reminded of how lucky I am to be able to do something I love for a job.
4) What is the worst part of being a director?
Waiting. I have learned patience as a director. But I like to move fast, and I’m always thinking of ways to avoid problems or holdups before they happen.
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.?
I’m interested in commercials and branded content. I think there’s so much room in the market right now for some fresh ideas and new approaches to storytelling through advertising. I’m hoping to shake things up! As far as genre, I’m interested in comedy, dialogue and visual storytelling. I’m also planning to shoot my next short soon.
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 with you?
I’m lucky enough to have some amazing professional mentors, but my greatest mentors have been my folks. They’ve always been so supportive of me in pursuing this crazy thing, and I wouldn’t have gotten here without them. Their main message has been to stay true to what you believe in and find the truth.
7) Who is your favorite director and why?
Kubrick is the man. I love how easily he moved between genres but kept his lifelong themes of his characters going insane. He had such confidence in his style, and it really came through in the comedy in his writing. I think great artists are only trying to say one thing throughout their careers and he got to say it in many different ways.
8) What is your favorite movie? Your favorite commercial or branded content?
Favorite film is 2001. I’m a huge space nerd. Favorite branded content has to be Wes Anderson’s Prada short “Castello Cavalcanti.” I also enjoyed fellow Art Center grad John X. Carey’s “Dove Real Beauty Sketches.”
9) Tell us about your background (i.e. where did you grow up? Past jobs?)
I grew up in Dallas. Started making little films around eight and didn’t stop. Got into acting in my teens, did some commercials and stuff like that, but starting thinking this could actually be a career in high school and got serious about it after college at Art Center. I’m glad this is working out too, because I don’t think I’m really qualified to do anything else!