Another Hollywood Award Show
Genre: Musical Comedy Type: Live TheaterLearn More
As far back as I can remember, I've loved telling 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 amateur home 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 while working part-time at a local movie theater to learn the business of theatrical exhibition. An additional two internships filled the rest of my learning both for my high school district’s audio-video department making educational videos where I began learning editing, and at the U.S. Olympic Training Center to get my hands on the latest high speed capture technology. During my senior year in high school 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 first as a camera person, but then for audio, and 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 quickly burned out on broadcast news because media had to be turned around so fast, 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 editing technology, which at the time, was very hard to get your hands on. I also met my future wife in Seattle, who lived in Southern California at the time, which gave me some additional motivation to get down to Hollywood. So I headed to Los Angeles to work in production to build experience with long form narrative storytelling.
Six months after "getting off the bus" I got a major break working as a technician and operating telescopic camera cranes through Panavision Remote Systems, where I continued for the next decade. It was such a fantastic gig because I got to work closely with, and learn from, the master filmmakers of our generation, who also happen to be 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 one of the producers said "you should 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 film 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 FX Network called DVD ON TV that was 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.
From there I went on to develop and produce It's a Mall World and Winter Tales with Russ Cundiff and Milo Ventimiglia at Divide Pictures for MTV and multi-billion dollar clothing brand American Eagle Outfitters. There I learned from creatives who pushed the boundaries of new media and brand integration, and 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 where I was approached to launch a new type of production company that focused on both media and technology to tell stories that create "experiences." Two months later I was moving my family to the Middle East, and in January 2009 Experience Media Studios launched in the newly formed Abu Dhabi media zone. Experience Media has since produced various media and technology projects for brands and entertainment, most notably the feature film The Forger, as well as 3DPOV®, a portable room scale virtual reality system.
It is very fulfilling to continue working on Hollywood movies, television, and live broadcasts as an ICG/SOC specialty camera operator where I keep up on the latest production technologies and continue honing my craft telling stories through a camera lens. Each day I leave the set filled with gratitude from creating cinematic images that audiences will enjoy.
In 2015 I jumped at the opportunity to combine my passion for filmmaking with my love of aviation when I joined Pro-Cam Rentals, the largest supplier of camera movement technologies including telescoping cranes, remote heads, and accessories in seven full service locations throughout the United States and Canada. As their Chief Drone Pilot, I use my decades of stabilized remote systems experience and my instrument-rated 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, broadcasts, and commercials.