1) What was your first professionally directed work and when was it?
Commercial for a company called Construct Connect in 2019
2) How did you get into directing?
I have been a cinematographer for 15 years and recently have had the urge to expand my skillset.
3) What is your most recent project?
My most recent directing project is Silk City.
4) What is the best part of being a director?
Best part about being a director is also the scariest, which is the responsibility to create a world in itself with each film. Whether an entire universe or a singular character, you bear the responsibility of authenticity.
5) What is the worst part of being a director?
There’s no worst part about being director, just lack of sleep.
6) What is your current career focus: commercials and branded content, television, movies? Do you plan to specialize in a particular genre–comedy, drama, visual effects, etc.?
My current focus in directing is commercials and short form drama. I am working on a few scripts that I hope to kick in to development within the next couple of years.
7) 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 have no specific mentors although I admire the work of too many to even mention. Best advice I ever heard was to just trust that little voice inside your head, direct with your gut.
8) Who is your favorite director and why?
My favorite director depends on the day of the week. It’s impossible to categorize one as favorite as there are so many nuances to filmmaking that to praise one would be to ignore so many others. That being said Steven Spielberg, David Fincher, Jean Pierre Jeunet come to mind…
9) What is your favorite movie? Your favorite television/online program? Your favorite commercial or branded content?
I don’t think I can really answer this any better than the previous question since any answer would be as misleading as revealing. But if you must know: Seven, Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back, In the Mood for Love.
For series it would have to be Twin Peaks.
10) Tell us about your background (i.e., where did you grow up? Past jobs?)
I grew up in Finland started in the industry as an editor. I moved to New York in 2005 to learn production and the art of filmmaking. I always wanted to direct, however the more I learned about the craft the more I was drawn towards everything that had to do with cinematography. It has only been in the last couple of years that I decided to turn my focus into directing professionally.
11) How has the pandemic impacted your career, art, craft, shaped your attitudes and reflections on life which in turn may influence your work, approach, spirit, mindset?
The pandemic has been a curse in terms of opportunities and has definitely stifled all momentum, however I believe it has also given me valuable time for introspection as well as togetherness with family that I would never have had the opportunity for otherwise. I hope to emerge a more focused and balanced filmmaker from all of this.