I was at a crossroads near the end of my high school experience, not knowing what I wanted to do with my life. A lot of the people around me were getting into college to study business or whatever they decided. All I knew was none of that was for me. Not long after, I bought my first camera with literally no money to spare, and that’s where my story really started.
I always wanted to make something beautiful, and in my early years as a cinematographer, I spent a lot of time trying to make people look good. I kept chasing that. And, the more I wanted to create something beautiful, the less opportunities I got to do so. Through that struggle, I realized I was chasing all the wrong things. I continued to fail until I found the secret: connecting to people through story. Over the past decade, I’ve been able to find those connections, and work in some of my favorite cities including Seattle, New York, and Atlanta.
Besides my compassionate wife and two kids, there are three things that I value:
- A collaborative environment. I thrive on being around people I can learn from and those who are receptive to what I can teach as well. It brings me comfort when I get to work with a crew who can complement my strengths and hold me accountable.
- Transparency. I believe openness creates trust. When working with a crew, I think it is best to pinpoint any source of tension or obstacle, deal with it, and keep it moving.
- Preparation. Pre-production is where you actually make the film. I look at it like this: Investing more time into the foundation is the only way to create timeless projects. Not only is fleshed out pre-production fundamental, it also saves time, money, and energy when certain things don’t go quite as expected.
Timing is everything when it comes to collaboration. The right people working together at the right time creates the perfect space to turn an idea into a story.