I've been a filmmaker in one way or another for as long as I can remember. In high school, my parents bought me a video camera and I started directing sketches for school assemblies. The audiences actually laughed. There was no greater feeling and I was hooked. As that was happening, like most teenagers, I found music. I started playing guitar, fell in love with the drums and started a radio career. My first show, The BackStage Pass, which also became one of the first podcasts in the fall of 2003 as it morphed into a weekly talk show. It garnered guests like BB King, Jason Mraz, Fall Out Boy and many more. By January 2006 it was a daily "podcast" being broadcast out of Los Angeles while I was interning at Indie 103.1.
The fall of 2006 had me in Detroit doing weekend overnights on 89X when my Program Director was offered the opportunity to start a brand new radio station, Fuel 90.3. He asked me to be the music director and one of the evening/weekend hosts. This is where I really fell in love with music. Bands would come by the station, we'd do an interview, they'd bring instruments, we'd record acoustic performances. I learned how to engineer and record bands. I started bringing a video camera into these sessions and started posting the interviews on YouTube, which was still pretty new. I was hosting events around town, getting to be a part of crazy promotions, was a music correspondent on CTV for the Juno Awards and two years later when Fuel, became Amp Radio, and was no longer playing the music I loved, I took the idea of YouTube and the talk show and took the show on the road with uStream for a daily live streamed talk show from across North America. We broadcast from dozens of cities for approximately 100 episodes and while I was in Los Angeles pitching the show to television, I got a call from another brand new radio station, this time in Edmonton at 95.7 The Sound. I could play all the music I loved, I could be the afternoon drive host and there was the possibility of career advancement within the company. I was in. That station lasted for seven months, before it became Lite 95.7, and while the company kept me on, programming music for soccer moms and talking about stuff relevant to forty-plus year olds at 28 was not appealing. I started looking elsewhere. That's when MSN found me.
They needed a new talk show host for their interview series, MSN Exclusives, which was also broadcast on XBOX. I could not only host the show, but they had seen my work, and said I could produce, direct and edit the show. All I needed was a camera op. I found a great one and we shot 476 episodes over three years with everyone from Robert DeNiro, Selena Gomez and Katy Perry to JJ Abrams, Lady GaGa and The Rock. In the middle of all that, I directed a half dozen music videos and corporate videos for Google, Universal Music and TD Bank, among others. Directing and producing music videos, was one of the most rewarding things I had ever done and I realized, my original dream of being a feature film director was still dear to my heart and it was what I should be doing. So, I quit the talk show and moved to Los Angeles.
The first thing I did was compile a bunch of interview clips and make a critically acclaimed short documentary. Then I set my sights on a feature. I felt comfortable with the technical aspects of directing but I still didn't know how to direct actors, so I took improv and acting classes at The Groundlings, UCB and Margie Haber. From the first very class I fell in love with it. I had never acted a day in my life, but I knew it's what I'd be doing for the foreseeable future as a pseudo film school if it started paying the bills, which it did. Now, I needed a script. I read dozens of unproduced screenplays hoping one would jump out, some were okay, even good, but I didn't connect with the material. So, I read every screenwriting book out there and started writing. I had four ideas, three features and a tv show. The first feature wrote itself quickly and started getting great reviews on the Black List, but it was a very personal story and I started realizing to tell it properly it needed to be on television as a limited series, which will take more time. The second script, Long Time Gone, a screenplay my dad wrote a draft of when I was in high school, was always in the back of my mind. It had a magic quality to it, but was also missing something. I took the challenge on to complete it. Over the last three years, we've tirelessly polished the script and I'm finally happy with it. My production company, Scared Goose, is producing it, I'll direct it and we're currently in development. The next chapter begins...
Canadian Acting Enquiries: Robyn Friedman at Fountainhead Talent.
American Acting Enquiries: Daniel Mahan at The Envy Agency.