I can trace my interest in visual storytelling to a moment in high school. Sitting in a yearbook editor’s training seminar in Northern Virginia, I watched dramatic images of the high school experience dissolve, one to the next, on a large auditorium screen. The “Chariots of Fire” theme provided a haunting soundtrack and I was transfixed, even teary. For the next couple of years I made slideshows for just about every occasion. I fed my interest in movies by hanging around the American Film Institute in Washington D.C. In fact, I loitered so much that they broke down and gave me a summer job.
I studied Communications at the University of California, San Diego. After graduating, I began work as a contributing producer of short student documentaries and teaching tools for 2100 Productions in Madison, Wisconsin. Visiting college campuses all over the country, I loved interviewing students and hearing their stories. Three years later, I worked as a Reporter/ Producer for the Milwaukee Public Television program, “Techno@Bytes” and later the long-running series, “Outdoor Wisconsin.” As an urban kid, I was way outside my realm of expertise, but I picked up an appreciation for a whole different lifestyle and some good fishing tips.
In 2000 I moved to Chicago and began working for Towers Productions, an award-winning provider of television documentaries. This was a tremendous learning experience and brought an opportunity to produce nationally televised programs. Among them were several episodes of the acclaimed series, “American Justice.” These were fascinating, if sometimes disturbing, examinations of the criminal justice system, and often of both the dark and light sides of human nature.
While taking a professional break to “produce” and chase three energetic boys, I became interested in another form of storytelling: screenwriting. I explored the craft and began writing an adapted screenplay of my own. Like many parents of young kids, I was compelled to watch Pixar films repeatedly… and was therefore exceedingly grateful they were good stories. So, when I read that Pixar (among many other notables) was profoundly impacted by attending the highly praised Robert McKee Story Seminar, it seemed like a good next step. I attended in Minneapolis/ St. Paul in 2010, and the seminar had a dramatic effect on my understanding of stories and their roles in our lives
Since then, I have worked on original, adapted and documentary ideas. My goal has become to add to the reservoir of stories that challenge, inspire and in some small way, address Aristotle’s timeless question: “How should a human being lead his life?”