Tell us about yourself. How did you become an artist?
It was not my intention, if so. Occasional encouragement shy of false praise is a boon to creative types. A spec of talent was all I required to get on the rails. Along with some technical training and on-set experience, I’ve managed to render some output. Persistence took me to the precipice––still testing my wings, and I’ve lost a few feathers but managing all the same.
What was your first job in the art field?
My first paying job in the film industry was during my teens as a production assistant on TV commercials in Toronto. I always had an inclination to the craft of acting and any job that brought me close to film or theater enthralled me.
What makes you want to tell stories? In other words, what are the themes/issues you want to incorporate into your work?
Scenarios based on epiphanies resulting from observing basic human-nature reactions to
suspenseful situations, captivate me. The resultant tragic or comedic elements––same coin, different sides––spur me to assemble stories populated by characters dramatizing these occasions. My short comedy film “Patent Pending” is an absurd lark scribed by yours truly and should be considered a farce. Occasionally, these types of amusing offerings can be entertaining. I financed the production of the picture from my own pocket answering to no one, offering me the freedom to do as I pleased which is a seldom-enjoyed opportunity. It’s not indulgence if you yourself invent the game, set the rules and pay the piper––merely child’s play.
Please tell us about your vision and your method of approaching a new project?
Everyone has unique personal experiences. These lived-through events shape perspectives and hone interpretations of the peculiarities of the goings-on in daily life. My reflections as such, become my road map. Is it a desirable destination? Is the route as direct as possible and an enjoyable journey? My ability to generate a swift rough draft script is my method of discerning the worthiness of the premise of the screenplay––or novel. Slow and steady gets the job done––or at least to the breaking point.
Who are your filmmaking influencers? What are the films that were influential for you?
A dozen of my favorite filmmakers –-some of whom were or are producer-directors or writer- directors are Kubrick, Lynch, Scorsese, Herzog, De Palma, Tarantino, Gilliam, Del Toro, Coppola, Hitchcock, Scott and Chaplin. The bodies of work generated by these titans all contain films that influenced me.
How do you think the industry is changing? How has COVID affected independent
Trends and practices––swinging like a pendulum, occupying a different space at any given splinter of time. By the time you detect a trend, you’re too late to get on the bandwagon. Uncertainty is the only thing you can rely on––and gladly so. I am wont to parade a cliché in search of a grimace from an audience or reader.
To your question asking whether Covid affected independent filmmaking; in my experience, it has created some stumbling blocks but has had no significant effect on the overall scheme of things.
What advice would you give to aspiring artists? What are some of the things they must
Nose to the grindstone and follow your guts. Walk when others run––but don’t cry when others laugh––and vice versa.
Do you think films/stories can bring about a change in the world?
Filmed stories can encourage a positive change in attitudes and approaches to life, or simply spotlight age-old tropes that elevate the human condition.
What do you think people like to watch these days? Has the pandemic changed people's taste?
People are eager to experience captivating stories. I don’t believe the recent pandemic has altered tastes in filmed entertainment. Perhaps the turmoil and the pandemic lockdowns temporarily had ‘captive’ audiences realize and appreciate to a greater degree, the craft utilized to create their entertainment. Contrary to ‘changing taste’, ‘affirming taste’ may be apropos.
Please tell us about your upcoming projects.
I have written several screenplays to keep my silos filled and to be ready for directing opportunities with such. Some of my scripts are based on my novels and some are original, both feature and episodic series pilots. I delve into various genres to deduce my strengths and weaknesses. My website––found at my name as a .com site, unravels more of my story.