1) How did you get into directing?
I began my career as a still photographer and was asked a few times if I shot video but I had to say no. So I finally made it a priority to embrace the art form and realized it was an awesome way to build on the stories that I was creating with stills.
There was a serious learning curve when it came to many aspects of production but it’s been a great ride.
2) What is your most recent project?
I’m prepping a campaign for Hanes active wear. Can’t wait to shoot it. Skate parks, motorcycle tracks...it’s gonna be great.
3) What is the best part of being a director?
Being the director frees me up to think about shots more broadly without worrying about all of the details that I need to when shooting stills.
As a still photographer, I’m solely charged with manipulating all the details of an image. When directing, I really love working with a large team of professionals and a great production company who take my direction and surprise me with their talent.
4) What is the worst part of being a director?
Losing a job that was absolutely perfect for your specific style and artistic eye.
Critiquing your own work. There is always something that could have been better. It eats you up but you do learn to let it go and use that for the next one.
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.?
My focus has always been on the art. In terms of the medium and genres, I’m comfortably unfocused. I want my directing work to evolve the way my stills have. I love to shoot real people in real environments, unstaged and raw. Almost documentary but with a cinematic polish. I want to evoke emotions that make viewers feel like they’re in the scene.
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 most with you?
I learn from everyone I meet. I cannot point to any one mentor, I have had many good people help me get to where I am today, they know who they are. Some of the most important mentors actually taught me what not to do. Mainly how to treat the people that you work with.
7) Who is your favorite director and why?
Oliver Stone, Alfred Hitchcock, Scorsese, Coen Brothers, Tarantino, John Hughes...I love to watch movies—old and new—and these are just some of the many directors I respect. I really don’t have a favorite and there are too many to list. I love the nostalgia of a John Hughes movie...that was my era. Takes me back. Tarantino is just raw and crazy. Coen Brothers just can’t go wrong…
8) What is your favorite movie? Your favorite commercial or branded content?
I think the most memorable movie of 2013 for me was Captain Phillips. Pure action from start to finish. American Hustle! Where does Christian Bale get that ability. Again, there are no absolute favorites, I could throw one out and it would change next week…this is why I don’t have any tattoos. But recently I revisited No Country For Old Men and it was one of those nights that I should have not started that movie. 3am on a school night...that movie has killer acting and the moodiness that I love. In terms of spots, Jack Links Beef Jerky “Messin With Sasquatch” is just funny as hell any day of the week.
9) Tell use about your background (i.e. Where did you grow up? Past jobs?)
I was born in Jersey but grew up in Clearwater, FL when it was an awesome place to live. I’ve always had some form of freelance work. I had my own lawn business when I was 15. I did anything for a buck—dishwasher, photo lab, handyman, photo assistant.