My first day on a film set was in the summer of 2004 in San Francisco. I was hired to be a Production Assistant for 200$ and my only task was to bring ice to set. I couldn't sleep the entire night before. I woke up early, Printed out directions from webcrawler (these were the days before smart phones) and road out on my bike before sunset with a bag of ice in my backpack. My back was freezing but I thought I had made it!
Shortly after that I found myself in the camera department where I started as a LOADER (35mm and 16mm) and worked my way up to FIRST ASSISTANT CAMERA where I developed a strong on-set foundation. With the advent of the digital age I decided to move on and step away from camera. I set my sights on being a GAFFER and started over again as a SET ELECTRICIAN. About a year later I started to get work as a gaffer and now I can look back and be proud of the nine years I spent shaping and molding light. I truly loved being a gaffer and still sneak off occasionally to exercise those muscles.
At this point in my career I've done almost every job you can find on a call sheet and I have immense respect for every position on set. It takes a village to make good work standout and no man or woman can do it alone. The film industry is one of those few places where BETTER TOGETHER is a necessary mantra to preach.
So many times I've been on set where the concept is brilliant but the budget didn't allow for the filmmakers to bring the creative to life. It fell flat because of budget restraints. There are other times where I'm on set with an eight man crew, lobster for lunch and the creative just stinks! I've seen so much money and resources over the years go down the drain because of mediocre creative work.
My primary focus now is with CREATIVE DIRECTING. When I decide whether or not to take on a project I always ask myself two simple questions.
1. Is this going to be super creative?
2. Is the crew/project going to be given the proper resources to execute the creative successfully?
If we can answer these two questions together than I will meet you on set where we can leave everything up on the screen!