How did you get into directing?
I’m still trying to figure that out myself. It was never really something that I intentionally set out to do. My friends and I grew up making videos on rainy days–being from Portland that was more often than not–but I never really considered it as a possible career and went on to get an English degree. After college, a good friend of mine got Final Cut and I played around with it until I got pretty good. Soon thereafter, I began getting hired as an editor. Eventually, I got sick of sitting at my computer all day so I grabbed a camera and began shooting and editing my own videos. One day, one of my clients called me a director while introducing me and it sort of stuck. My ego has been spiraling out of control ever since.
What is your most recent project?
I’m actually in Qatar right now shooting some brand spots for a company out here. If you ever have the chance to visit, I’d highly recommend it.
What is the best part of being a director?
I love the collaboration and the teamwork. I’ve had the good fortune to work with some truly amazing people and it’s always inspiring to see the combined talents of a crew come together and create something that’s far beyond the capabilities of an individual–especially when that individual is somebody as limited as myself.
What is the worst part of being a director?
Tough question. This might be a cop-out answer, but I’d say that the travel schedule and being away from my wife and kids can be a bit rough at times. Although, my two-year-old son peed on me right before I left for this current job, so some trips are easier than others.
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.?
My current career focus is commercials and branded content, but I’d love to shoot some more music videos and narrative work if the opportunities present themselves. I’ve worked on that type of stuff a lot in the past, but not as much recently. With regards to genre, I don’t plan on specializing in anything in particular. I like to mix it up. It helps keep things fresh for me.
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 mentor would have to be Jerry Brown. Jerry is a fantastic director and I met him after answering a craigslist ad to digitize tapes. He’s been unbelievably gracious in offering advice to an annoying wannabe ever since. One thing I’ve learned from him is that you can be successful in this business, more specifically as a director, without sacrificing any of your morals and by treating everyone you come across with respect.
Who is your favorite director and why?
Ah man, it’s too tough to name just one. And I’m not cool enough to get away with naming any obscure directors as being my favorite, so I’ll spare everyone from my list of predictable names.
What is your favorite movie? Your favorite commercial or branded content?
I don’t really have a single favorite movie, but I have been watching Mary Poppins a lot recently with my kids. I hadn’t seen it since I was little and forgot how good that movie was so I think it’s worth mentioning. With the exception of Dick Van Dyke’s cockney accent, it’s damn near perfect.
As far as commercials go, Nike ads have always stood out in my mind. Google “nike commercial” and something great will inevitably pop up.
Tell us about your background (i.e. Where did you grow up? Past jobs?)
I grew up in Portland, Oregon, where I was the youngest of five kids. That is where I still live today with my beautiful wife and our two children.