You started filming at age 10. What inspired you to get into film at such a young age?
I loved movies for as long as I can remember. When I was just 3 years old or so I would sing and dance to The Wizard of Oz and Annie on VHS. I was always enamored with storytelling and the power of film. At 10 years old, my dad gave me his old camera which had a broken microphone. I was making silent films and I loved it. I would film my friends and myself all the time, trying different film tricks I’d teach myself like starting and stopping while keeping the camera still to make people disappear. And we would make dummies and props and throw the dummies off the club house roof and I just remember it was my favorite thing to do.
At this point, I had no editing capabilities, so it was all in camera editing and figuring out how I could tell a story. I loved that my imagination could go wherever it wanted; it was the ultimate freedom for me. I would even bring my movies to school and show them to my class. I wrote a lot as well. Once I was introduced to the horror genre, I really loved telling scary stories. My first horror film I remember was seeing Child’s Play on TV, and shortly after the TV adaption of Stephen King’s It.
How would you describe your filmmaking style? How has it evolved over the years?
Well, it was my arts high school that allowed me to grow and learn at such a rapid rate. We had a collegiate full level video program, news room, and top of line Canon XL1’s. This was 2002, my freshman year. I was able to come in and say, hey I want to direct something and learn to edit, and my school had an amazing team of teachers who basically said, this is your playground, do what you want. I won several national awards in video during my high school career and that was really when I knew this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.
But to answer the question exactly, I would describe my filmmaking style as cinematic documentary. At first I was able to work with bands a lot, and then athletes. My turnaround time needed to be quick, so I became a very efficient yet thorough shooter. I was able to turn around a project very quickly, without losing the story or the quality.
My first big project with the NFL was being able to film and edit my ride into the stadium of the player I was with and have it air before the game started. So I’d have about 2 hours from when the player arrived to when the game would start. That was definitely high pressure, but I never missed an air date. It was a lot of fun!