The first movie I ever watched that made me believe I could be a filmmaker was Kevin Smith’s Clerks. The audio was barely adequate, the picture quality was, for lack of a better word, gritty, and the dialogue was edgy to say the least. The soundtrack was amazing while the plight of Dante and Randall struck to the core of who I was – a 20 something Gen Ex-er who loved playing video games, watching the Green Bay Packers, and listening to and loving anything the bands from Seattle put out. What is there to say – I was smitten with the movie. Still am.
I knew nothing about filmmaking beyond the perception that it was expensive. The first DV cameras weren’t available yet, which meant if you wanted to make a movie, you would be shooting on film, which meant production expenses were beyond my minimum wage capabilities after rent and my other living expenses were covered. I held out hope, but realistically, it was nothing more than a dream and would remain that way for several more years.
The first time I stepped behind a camera was at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn. The project was to create a short film that told a story with nothing but images. It would be shot on Hi-8 and edited using the one of the schools tape to tape, linear bays. For a story about death and the afterlife it wasn’t particularly good but it was a hell of a lot of fun to shoot. From that point on I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
Since 1998, I've had some career ups and downs but one thing has remained constant - a deep desire, a need, to make movies and tell great stories. I've had the privilege to work both in front of the camera and behind it, work in advertising and as an independent filmmaker, and I've met some amazing people (I've also met some a**holes and sycophants too). Through it all, nothing trumps the pure joy of creating a project from start to finish.
My dream, as it has been for more than 20 years, is to work in Film or Video Production. Everything else with the sole exception of being a dad, pales in comparison.