Q. When did
you know you wanted to be in your industry?
College. In middle school I became interested in film/video making.
Later in high school I was almost obsessed with making short video
movies. The trouble was that I never even considered pursuing it as a
career. When it came time to start applying to colleges I had no idea
what to do, so I chose an engineering school. Almost at random. That was
Clarkson University. The first thing I learned at engineering school was
that I didnít want to be an engineer. The school had a campus TV
station run by students and I got involved with them. I knew I had to
change my educational direction but I still didnít know what I could
do professionally. I decided that I would take what I thought was a
chance and study what I really loved ; cinema. So I transferred and
ended up at The College Of Santa Fe in the Moving Image Arts department.
Its turns out that CSF was an excellent choice for me.
Q. What are some of the sacrifices that you made to get
where you are at in your career?
Well firstly, Iím not all that far along in my career. Iíve been out
of school now for several years and Iíve barely reached the first rung
on the ladder. Its slow going.
The chief sacrifice Iíve made is social. I wanted a job that was
related to my field. I found an excellent job but I have to work the
night shift. That just about ends your social life. And while Iíve
made some new friends, I rarely see them because they have daytime
The second big sacrifice Iíve made is environment. After college I
needed to move to a location that had more activity in the film world. I
chose New York because I had a couple of friends who were already there
or in Boston. New York, however, is not the most pleasant place to live;
for several reasons but mainly the high cost of living, overcrowding and
the amazing amount of pollution.
Q. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Job-wise Iím shooting for an editor position. Career-wise I hope to
have a foothold in the film industry by having one of my short films in
the festival circuit. What is the line between job and career? It is
vague, but I think the blurrier you can make that line, the happier you
Q. Where do you see the future of your industry going?
There are so many great small films that are being produced these days
and actually reaching an audience. So I think that will continue.
Unfortunately for the mainstream movies, the quality there seems be
getting worse and worse.
Q. What advice do you have for people starting out in
The key, I think, is to never stop dreaming. As soon as you get
disillusioned with the whole industry (which happens constantly) is when
you need to concentrate more on your dreams. Also, it is important to
set realistic and achievable goals. But your dreams are really what
gives you the ability and motivation to focus on the goals youíve set.
Q. What are some of the biggest mistakes that people make
in your industry?
One of the main mistakes Iíve made is thinking that mistakes are
something to be avoided. They should be expected and learned from. You
can make your life very difficult if you are constantly afraid of making
mistakes. It can shut down all your forward momentum. The best way to
operate and learn is to move forward and fail. There are a lot of
pitfalls out there and you canít find them until you fall into them,
so best to just get on with it.
Another mistake I see a lot is not following through. Its tough to reach
a goal if you only go 3/4 of the way. Its very easy to get distracted
from your goals. So clear and concise goals can help you follow through
to the end.
Q. Who are some of your role models and why?
Brad McEntire (www.audacity.com) is a role model because he works hard
at his projects. He always goes the distance. He has enough experience
so that he knows what he can handle and he knows that he will lose his
momentum if he doesnít try to take on just a little more than he can
handle. He always seems to have about fifteen projects going all at the
same time, and they always turn out really well. He is also not afraid
of his career. That is to say that the theatre is his first priority and
he takes it very seriously. Everything in his life is geared to some
specific goals about where he wants to go in life.
Q. How do you manage your social life vs. work
Not very well. Because I work at night, Iím limited to the weekends to
shoot projects or meet up with friends. Which is not so bad in itself,
but the time seems very limited. Its also tough to wake up early in the
day when everybody else is active. I try to get all my errands finished
during the week before work, which is an advantage of working at night,
but often that doesnít work out.
Q. What is the most important thing you hope to gain out
of your career?
The fulfillment of dreams. Of course that is the only thing you can work
towards. On the employment front, I think it is important to work in a
position that can educate you in your field or otherwise further your
career goals. Otherwise you are spending time and energy backpedaling.
Q. What inspires you?
Inspiration is a finicky muse. I find most of my visual inspiration
comes from music or other aural experiences. Conceptual inspiration, for
me, seems to come from conversations. After I have engaged in a really
good conversation I usually get some good ideas and then have to rush to
try and get them down on paper. So I always enjoy talking with
intelligent people. Traveling is also a great source of inspiration but
I donít get to travel much because it can be expensive.