I love screen-sized stories. I love the way they connect us. I love the way they help us understand ourselves. I love what they can tell us about our shared humanity.
And I love the complex creative challenge of fitting them to the screen, and making them entertaining, watchable, and profitable, too.
And I love the camaraderie of working with people who share this passion for screen-sized storytelling, who are committed to the artistry of film, and who know how to make every shot, beat and utterance truly satisfying.
Thrilled to announce that I've been included in The Black List's 2016 TV Writers Staffing Book (pg. 19) for my one-hour pilot CINEPHILE.
My first feature film IN RETURN is a testament to passion, persistence, patience and perseverance. The film was shot in eleven and a half days over three weeks (with two pickup days six months later). Roles were cast the week before shooting with no rehearsal time. It was filmed in prime Toronto locations such as the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Gardiner Museum of Ceramics and the iconic CN Tower, and made with the help of Technicolor, Footsteps Studios, Tattersall Sound and the ACTRA TiP program on a budget under $125,000 by a dedicated crew and outstanding producers.
The film went on to receive the Audience Choice Award at the Cinéfest International Film Festival and the Green Bay Film Festival. It also played to a sold-out opening night crowd at the Toronto Independent Film Festival, and was an official selection to the Indianapolis International Film Festival.
IN RETURN found distribution with eOne and is now available on VOD and iTunes.
Flashback: Where my passion started
Growing up, I never went to a family cottage or to an overnight camp during the summers. In fact, we never even went on a family vacation. Not once. But while other kids were off learning to water-ski, I used this “disappointment” as leverage in what can now only be described as one of my greatest personal triumphs: convincing my parents to take our entire family to see our first movie in a theater.
Now I won’t get into the gut-wrenching details of how I conned/convinced my parents to haul us all to the theater, but at about halfway through the movie I vividly remember looking over at my mom and dad and seeing them laughing—bellowing out true, gut-busting laughs. I then looked to my sister, who was turning five in a couple days, and to my brother, who was all of three and three-quarters at the time, and they were howling, too [though my siblings were laughing so hard because a) they had never seen my parents laugh so hard, and b) who lets two kids under five see Spaceballs!].
As a boy, seeing my family enjoying something together, their elated profiles glowing in the theater, cemented for me the power of film, and the lasting gift of film.
I hope to create experiences that matter and tell stories that are remembered with my work, too. But probably with fewer mogs.
"My three Ps: passion, patience, perseverance. You have to do this if you've got to be a filmmaker."