My passion is telling stories.
As far back as I can remember, I have loved to tell people stories. At first it was just getting some friends together so I could tell a tale or two. But then when I was just turning 12 my dad bought a family VHS camcorder and my world changed forever. I started using my friends as actors to make some amateur movies, which were usually sequels to Hollywood movies I had seen… a bit ahead of my time in the Hollywood studio system, if you ask me.
With such a strong direction at a young age, I started learning everything I could about the art and craft of motion pictures. I was busy in high school, although I spent little time studying. Instead I focused on the craft of theatrical performances, worked part-time at a local movie theater to learn the business of theatrical exhibition, interned for my high school district’s audio-video department making educational videos to learn editing, and interned at the U.S. Olympic Training Center to get my hands on the latest capture technology. During my senior year I landed a part-time job as a weekend news camera operator for KKTV, a local CBS television station. I was hired on full-time a few months later as an on-air switcher and segment director.
After graduation, I moved to Seattle to launch Northwest Cable News, the [then] most technologically advanced digital 24-hour television news station in the world. I got burned out on broadcast news pretty quickly because it had to be turned around so quickly, which left little time to build a narrative and nuance a story. But what I did get was training on all of the latest AVID technology, which at the time, was very hard to get your hands on. I also met my future wife, who lived in Southern California, so it gave me some additional motivation to get to Hollywood.
I headed to Los Angeles to work in in production to build experience with long form narritive storytelling. About 6 months after "getting off the bus" I got a major break working as a technician and operating telescopic camera cranes through Panavision, which I continued for the next decade. It was such a great gig because I got to work closely with, and learn from, the master filmmakers who are also my idols. Powerhouses such as Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, Cameron Crowe, and Michael Bay, to drop a few names. I was working on the movie Seabiscuit when the producer said "you need to start producing movies." That was all I needed to hear to know it was time to take the plunge.
It took some time to get through film school before producing my first film INTELLIGENCE. All of the experience and insight of cast and crew roles paid off when we made such an epic period film with almost no budget. Director Allen Martinez and I focused all of our energy on the story and putting every last dollar in front of the camera. The high quality story and look paid off when the movie went through the festival circuit and picked up a handfull of awards.
In addition to producing a few more films over the next few years, I started directing a television series for the Film Syndicate and FX Network called DVD ON TV. It was a fun but challenging wrap-around show shot entirely in a real-time virtual environment. Most of the time we were pushing technological boundaries so I soon realized that some days the humans win, and some days the computers win.
I really hit my stride when I began developing and producing projects with Russ Cundiff and Milo Ventimiglia at Divide Pictures for MTV and multi-billion dollar clothing brand American Eagle Outfitters. It was such a great experience working with creatives who had ideas on pushing the boundaries of new media and brand integration, and had a budget to make it happen!
In 2008, I was invited to attend the Middle East International Film Festival in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. At the festival I was approached to launch and head a new type of studio. Two months later I was moving my wife and two children to the Middle East and in January 2009 Experience Media Studios launched in the newly formed Abu Dhabi media zone. The studio has since produced various media and technology projects for brands and entertainment including the Josh Hutcherson feature film The Forger, as well as 3DPOV, a portable room scale virtual reality system. Whether we are producing media or innovating techology, we are just telling stories.
I jumped at the opportunity to combine my passion for filmmaking with my love of aviation in 2015 when I was asked to join Pro-Cam Rentals, the largest supplier of camera movement technologies including telescoping cranes, remote heads, and accessories in eight full service locations throughout the United States and Canada.
As their Chief Drone Pilot, I use my 20+ years of stabilized remote systems and my manned aircraft pilots license to build a new Aerial Division that offers the entertainment industry unmanned aircraft camera platforms to capture aerial cinematography for movies, television shows, and commercials.