We go to the movies to escape and to be entertained. There are times when a film can motivate, inspire and evoke emotion straight into one’s heart and soul. A great story told by the right people in the right setting with all the colors of human interactions, frailties, strengths and desire will touch you, provoke thought and ask questions that if an individual chooses, can inspire understanding, growth and hope into their own reality. This is why my passion is to create film. The best films tell a story that speaks from a place of honesty and vulnerability. So in order to understand my passion for creating works that have the potential of aligning with your story, perhaps it’s beneficial for you to understand what has inspired me by listening to mine.
I was born in 1960 in Neptune, New Jersey. My parents were together at the time but somewhere during the first year of my life, my mother decided that being a wife and mother was not part of the life she wanted so my sister and I were thrust into foster care while my two brothers went to stay with family. I was too little to remember much of the next several years but there are those moments that we all have when one doesn’t need a photograph to know what a memory looks like, the feelings in the air or the emotions in the heart and one of those moments happened to me when I was just a five year old little boy. It was Christmas time and I was staring out the window watching the snow fall trying not to pay attention to what my teacher was talking about. My attention was diverted when the classroom door opened and just like from a scene in a movie, there stood my Dad filling up the doorway until our eyes met and in slow motion, he came toward me, swooped me up in his arms and told me it was time to come home. Santa Claus, Miracles, God, my Dad…I believe in them all.
If we are fortunate to live long enough to experience a few decades of life, we realize that the injustices, pain and loss that we experience, influence and shape us and are as much of a source of gratitude as all of the other shiny gifts that are wrapped up with ribbons and bows.
My Father and Stepmother worked hard to ensure that I would never take anything for granted and to respect other people as much for what we don’t have in common as for what we do. I experienced love in a model rocket that my Stepmom helped me build for school that may not have been as shiny as some of the others built by fathers and sons but it went the distance. She went the distance. I learned a quiet strength from my Dad when I saw him walk away from racial and social injustices instead of utilizing his physical stature to defend or intimidate. And although I was too young to be conscious of it, I understand that he whispered a promise to me when I was just an infant that he would come back to get me, my sister, and my brothers when my Mom decided, whatever her reasons, to walk away and forever more I knew that if he said he was going to do something it was already done.
I have made my own mistakes. I have sometimes made decisions out of fear and there were times I lost my way. Times when I didn’t fight hard enough, times when giving up seemed easier than growing up. I realized that there are people who have and will assign certain characteristics to me without so much as shaking my hand or engaging in conversation. I learned that although there is more good in people than not, hate continues to present itself at times when it seems illogical and without cause. Art, however, has the ability to bring us together. Entertainment through film can quietly, albeit powerfully highlight awareness, choice and sometimes even dismiss ignorance.
If we are to be truly blessed, we act on our dreams even though we may be afraid. The stories brought to life through film are there to propel you closer to your dreams. Watching possibilities unfold on screen can create a space large enough in you for God to whisper in your ear as a reminder that your dreams were ultimately his idea and that you have everything you need to be or do what you are meant to. I am influenced by faith and motivated by passion. It is my desire to serve a greater good, to seek to understand, and to make a difference. The stories that I tell may be my vision shaded by experience or imagination but I recognize they are yours to add value, recognition and love within your own life.