Growing up on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, I knew no one in the film industry, nor did I have connections to anyone who knew anything about getting into film.
Not knowing I was homeless (or houseless as we say in Hawaii) the beach and the jungle was my theatre. I was never really exposed to television or movies and didn't start going to the theatre until my aunt started working at one when I was around 10. We'd have family days where my cousins and I could watch movies for free. That's where the obsession with big giant screens, Dolby theatre surround sound, cinematic imagery, and stories began.
From then on, I became fixated on electronics. If I wasn't surfing or being a troublemaker, I was hanging out in Radio Shacks, Rent-A-Centers, and Circuit City. Tinkering with the functions of musical instruments, computers, stereos, and home theater systems was how I discovered the general grammar of digital technics. Studying visual cues as sound design traveled in sync all around me while viewing display movies until store closings were my film lectures. Watching films on big screens with surround sound, was lightyears away from the experience of seeing broadcasts out of a round box knob turning tinfoil antennae machine that caught four channels. Scrambled snowy sitcoms, westerns, and the evening news of a society synced into the same programming was the analog experience. Any TV sets or speakers people threw out, or car stereos I could wrench from a scrap yard I'd collect, strip down, and put back together. I'd nerd out on circuit boards and connect anything with wires, sometimes tripping the circuit breakers. I would create my home theatres with a daisy-chained wall of 6x9s and 15-inch subwoofers. For fun, I'd power my systems with car batteries, a 1000-watt Pioneer amp, and a Clarion car stereo tape deck that I'd Jerry-Rigged with a CD Walkman. I would bump everything from Bone Thugs to Metallica on that setup. It rocked the neighborhood, and it was awesome!
Eventually, I was able to create decent home theatre systems from scraps. One day my uncle Thomas, a grouchy fisherman, was throwing out his family's Commodore 64, and I had to have it. For those of you younger millennials that don't know what that is its a computer. Up until that point, I hadn't come into much contact with computers. Aside from the ones in stores, at a friend's house, library class, or my aunty Patty's weird husband's Acer Aspire. "Hackers" had come out on VHS at this point, and I had a dubbed bootleg version from one of my childhood friend's mom who'd rent movies and (tape) them for her kids and neighbors. 'Angelina Jolie' convinced me that "The Net" was the future so I couldn't wait to plug in my hand me down Commodore 64 and start hacking "The Net." Of course, that's not how the internet worked back then, but I did get to play some Pac-Man.
Not really knowing how computers worked or how films got made, I imagined that someday I'd make a movie come out of such a thing. I went on to become an Oregon Trailblazer, Scorched Earther, DOS Gamer, and a pretty decent Napster user. Y2K didn't happen, and a few more years went by until I finally started to think about filmmaking. I remember one day after football practice, my sisters had to go to Walmart, and this was back when there used to be Borders Bookstores. I'd hang out and read for hours or listen to music while the girls did their thing. I went to the photography and film section of the store and looked for books on screenwriting. At the head or tail of a tv show, or film I'd see, script by, screenplay by, or written by, in the credits and it stood alone like a director's credit. Things start on paper, so I thought that writers made movies. I found a book that seemed like it would make me into a Hollywood buff and bought it. I don't remember who the author was, but his book was about to change my life. It was in the preface of the book, the very first paragraph that the writer said, "If you want any control over what a film looks like, don't be a writer. Be an Editor." I put the book down and never read another page.
~ See resume for bullet points, projects, and explore my portfolio.