My story... so far
I’ve always been a storyteller. As a kid I was invited to parties just to tell stories. One time I didn’t even know the birthday boy. I shot my first movie at age seven. The camera broke a couple years later only exposing one frame at a time, so I taught myself animation, which ended up being the only film business in my hometown of Winnipeg.
As a teen I hung out at the National Film Board of Canada (an animation Mecca). I was teaching animation by age 20, opened my own studio by 21, mainly writing and producing segments for Sesame Street. Eventually I became a live-action Sesame field-director as well.
Sesame paid my way through film school where I focused on cinematography. After graduation I quickly worked my way up through the camera department, serving as the Director of Photography on several shows. I was also in demand as a storyboard artist, particularly for stunt & VFX sequences. Both positions allowed me to learn alongside dozens of directors.
I met my wife Catherine in a bar. Actually I met her making a movie that was set in a bar. I was the DP and she was the Boom Op. She kept dropping the mic in the frame to get my attention (that’s how I remember it). Eventually I proposed to her in a packed theater with a homemade movie trailer.
In 2000, a degenerative condition in my right eye destroyed my camera career. It should have been devastating, but even at the time we saw it as divine intervention challenging me to pursue my true dream since childhood – to direct. I also thought I looked good in an eyepatch.
I was hired to write, produce and direct for the series It’s A Living on the CBC. Those were exciting years, traveling North America in pursuit of adventure and stories. The show taught me the important balance between meticulous planning and brilliant improvisation. It trained me to stay calm in the midst of chaos. It gave me movie ideas to last a lifetime.
After several years of It’s A Living and now almost legally blind in one eye, I felt ready to pursue my feature writing/directing career. I was having a tough time launching a movie career in Canada, but contacts in Los Angeles encouraged me to move south. In 2005, my wife and I gave up our cushy Vancouver lifestyle and moved to Hollywood to start over.
In Los Angeles, we’ve been blessed with incredible friends and contacts in the industry. With their help, I’ve written and directed four feature films and a high profile webseries for NBC Universal, as well as sold or optioned five screenplays, with several more in the works.
We’ve also been blessed with two beautiful children who inspire us daily.
Oh, and several years ago I underwent a procedure on my bad eye – and my vision was fully restored.