Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
When I was four my Uncle showed me Yellow Submarine and Star Wars and said, “These movies will change your life.” He had no idea how right he was. Since then all I’ve wanted to do is make movies and entertain.
What's life been like since graduating from MPI?
Since graduation MPI, life has been hectic, in the best way possible. Shortly after graduating, Kathryn (Career Services for MPI) got a bunch of us in for interviews to work on Transformers 4. From them it spitballed into a myriad of projects. Since Transformers, I’ve had the privilege to work on music videos with Grammy winning artists, corporate videos with a plethora of sports starts, and in production offices of films with Oscar winning directors. None of these would have ever happened if I never stepped foot into MPI.
Can you tell us about your latest project?
That’s a loaded question. I’m currently running two Companies, New Radio Media and Ten6ths. NRM is a new streaming platform specializing in all forms of new media (podcasts and other streaming entertainment). Ten6ths is a production company I started and run with my partner Andy Bisaha. Most recently Ten6ths https://www.facebook.com/Ten6ths/ is finishing up post production on a short film I produced and co-wrote with my buddy Cole (also an MPI grad), The 404 Diner. We actually shot on 35mm film, so that was a fantastic experience. Also, after about a year of development, we’ve finally began production on a pilot for an animated series called, “Avenging Justice”. We’re beyond fortunate to have some of the who’s who of voice actors attached to the project, headlined by the legendary Rob Paulsen. We’re also in early phase of crafting a script for a potential feature film about Tommy “The Hitman” Hearns.
How do you think MPI has helped prepare you for the film industry?
MPI helped me prepare for everything I’ve came across while out in the field. From how to act on a set, to how to operate in each of the various departments, MPI gave me the building blocks to construct a great career in the production industry. From jobs here in Michigan, to all across the country, I’ve used my experience at MPI to make a name for myself.
What advice do you have for anyone reading this who might be considering the pursuit of a career in film?
Just do it! If it’s something you love, then pursue it with all your willpower. It’s a lot of hard work and long hours, but if you truly love it, it seems like no work and passes in no time at all. Also, network as much as possible! I like to say it’s not who you know, but who knows you. Meaning if you work hard, and people see it, you will get more gigs.
What's one of the biggest misperception people have about the film industry?
That’s a tough one, because there’s a lot. I find that people generally don’t realize just how much work goes into a film. Like, you watch a short film, it’s 10 minutes… but those ten minutes come from months of prep, and even before that however long the script takes to craft and write. Then you have all the work the various departments put in, which all add to the mise en scène. There really is no one person who’s more important than anyone else; if you’re on a set, there’s a reason for it and the overall project can’t be completed without everyone.
What does it take to "make it in the buiz" today?
Passion, Hard work, and networking. NETWORKING, NETWORKING, NETWORKING!!!
What's been your most rewarding moment as a filmmaker thus far? So this year has been full of them so far. Earlier in the year I got to direct a music video for Swift ft Obie Trice from Eminem’s old rap group D12. Then last week, I got to direct one of my childhood idols, Rob Paulsen, for the previously mentioned “Avenging Justice” pilot. I’m still trying to contain my excitement about that one.
What's next for you? Next up is beginning production on season two a show that I’m show runner on for New Radio Media. It’s called, “Get It To The Geeks” and is a show all about “geek” culture. I’m also finishing up post production on a short film wrote and directed last year called, “If The Delivery Man Knocks”, as well as developing what could possibly end up being my first stab at a feature film.