I've been interested in cinematography since childhood shooting home movies with a Super-8 camera. In high school I was a photographer for the newspaper developing film and making prints in my home built darkroom.
Professionally, I started at the bottom as a production assistant, and worked my way up through most every department, and even did a stint chasing ambulances - shooting whatever news I could find for a local TV station. For a while I shot documentaries, and then shifted to visual effects camera for several years, which really taught me a wealth of highly technical aspects of cinema.
Over the years, I've shot countless projects of most every type there is, and I still approach every show like it's the most important project of my life. This is why I like to be prepared yet remain flexible, for as we all know, surpises can happen... Sometimes magical ones!
Every show has it's own unique set of challenges and opportunities, and I leap out of bed looking forward to every shooting day as if it was Christmas.
Personally, I feel that it's too easy to shoot a "sizzle reel" with of a bunch of cool shots. Instead, I think it a far greater challenge to maintain a consistent look or signature throughout a film regardless of the conditions and locations, while visually supporting the story, director, and editor. That is the true art of the craft.
I've shot around the world in 4K, 2K, and HD digital formats, analog video, as well as 65mm Imax, 35mm, Vistavision, 16mm and Super-16mm film.
I'm a career Director of Photography, both on large union shoots, as well as shooting one-man-band style run and gun, down and dirty in the trenches, even in un-relenting rain. I've been a blue ribbon panel judge for the Emmy Awards "Best Cinematography" category and received Emmy plaques myself from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for my visual effects camera work in the past.
Dedication is as important as passion in my craft, for one must also set an example being timely, dependable, and reliable in addition to being an artist. I believe in motivating a crew through respect instead of fear, and always remaining calm and positive regardless of circumstances.
When film makers discuss "below the line talent" I must say that I often feel that I am that line, being tactful and quiet while the actors rehearse and perform, interfacing with producers and budgets, assistant directors with schedules and logistics, diplomatic with directors and the blocking, and making sure the crew has the support, morale and equipment that they need.
Some DP's spend their days on the set watching a monitor, I can't imagine doing that exclusively, as actually operating the camera is essential to me. I find it is a joy to operate because maintaining good composition with moving subjects and cameras can create visual poetry in motion. As important point and counterpoint are to music, composition in framing is just important to a film as the lighting, the contrasts, and the coverage.
I believe that every decison in pre-production, on the set, or in post is "all about the good of the film", and when you have an experienced crew behind you whith heart, the whole production runs like a well oiled machine; it is truly synergetic and joyful with everyone contributing and giving one hundred and ten percent to make what we're all doing really matter.
And if you're lucky enough to spread an exciting, thought-provoking, or positive message to an audience while doing all of this...
Well, that is why I'm a cinematograher, that's why I do this, and
I would be greatly honored to do it for you on your project too!
Chief Bottle Washer and
Director of Photography
Los Angeles California
Director of Photography
That's not to say that making movies is not hard work, in fact it can be brutal at times, and oddly, for me, that's the fun of it. "Crop it, flop it, or drop it", make your page count each day, and make every single shot in every scene serve the story and the director's vision.