Q: What led you to directing?
The only jobs I dreamed of as a kid were movie-related. First was the Disney animator phase. After that came the visual effects artist at ILM phase. In college, I studied painting, design and illustration, which then led to a desire to be a movie poster illustrator. But it was always easier to find work as a designer/art director than as an illustrator. That led to almost 25 years as an agency creative. Ultimately, directing was always what I wanted to pursue and after rising to Executive Creative Director, I realized it was time to take on a new challenge. It was a scary jump off the cliff but it’s been an amazing experience. I feel very privileged and fortunate to make a living doing what I love.
Q: How has your agency experience helped in your directing?
The most obvious thing is my experience working with some of best directors, editors, producers and production companies. I’ve literally been in the agency’s shoes. I understand the concerns, expectations and challenges they’re up against. Also, my film school has been the agency production process. I don’t approach a project as an auteur filmmaker but as a brand storyteller. And that’s something that clients appreciate as well.
Q: Where do you find inspiration?
First, in the kid’s section of a bookstore. It’s a wonderful way to sample great illustration. There’s so much hope and optimism in children's books as it should be. I love being inspired by new illustration styles. Second, on the streets of NYC. As a New Yorker, it's understandable to want to avoid the congested tourist areas but I love to hang out in those parts of the city and people watch. And lastly in the dark of a movie theater. I love when you can be transported elsewhere for two hours when those lights go down. It’s still one of my favorite things to do.
Q: What do you love about directing?
Collaborating with so many other talented artists across various disciplines. It's always a new challenge. When everyone’s hands are on the rope and we’re all pulling in the same direction, that's when the magic happens.
Q: What recent movies have inspired you?
Every once in a while I see something that I would describe as "sublime cinema".
- The Artist -
- La La Land -
- JoJo Rabbit -
- Belfast -
- Coda -