I went to see the film WHIPLASH this past weekend and I have not stopped thinking about it since.

That is the power of an exceptional film. In my opinion, WHIPLASH is jazz music in the form of a film and it’s truly amazing. The emotional journey it takes you on is second to none.

I always try to spread the word on any film that hits me like this, not only because I hope others do the same for my work but because I feel I have a responsibility to do so. If I’m going to champion thoughtful, original storytelling, then I should celebrate those who do it well.


I get there is a place for the Iron Mans and the Shades of Gray out there but this is a film that demonstrates the power film is capable of. In my opinion – it’s an emotional, impactful journey that leaves you thinking about yourself and the world around you…

What more can you ask from a piece of art?

As an independent filmmaker, I’m consumed by what it means to make one’s art in the world in which we live in, especially since it takes money and at least in terms of filmmaking, other people. And I’m equally intrigued by those who manage to get through the iron gates of mediocrity and get their rare, brilliant, humanistic work onto the radar of the masses.

WHIPLASH, I tip my hat and bow my head to you. A diamond in the rough. And hope.

Thank you.

Living one’s dream is not typically the easy way. But with colleagues’ like you, I’m all a flutter.



I am an independent filmmaker. I’ve made 6 short films to date and I am in the process of raising the funds for my feature film debut, which I wrote with a writing partner.

And I am desperately trying not to lose hope that the movie industry will return to its 60s/70s-era spirit and revive the mindset of vying to create art for wide audiences.

Scorsese, Coppola, Cassavetes… just a few filmmakers who had something original to say and did so in a creative way. Where are they now? Scorsese has somehow managed to figure out how to maintain his art while working in the studio system – God bless him!; Coppola figured out a way to finance his own work (largely through his winery) – YAY!!!!, and Cassavetes, well, he unfortunately has passed on, but may he RIP knowing he created original films. Who is following in their foot steps? Very few. I am trying. And in my personal opinion: Wes Anderson, Sophia Coppola, Richard Linklater, Kenneth Lonergan and David O,Russell are among the few who have attempted to break through the studio system and make original and intellectually stimulating films that tell humanistic stories in artistic ways.

Look, I get that people like comic books and being scared and I understand there is an audience to see Avengers 25 and Saw 15 but what about the rest of us? It is so hard these days to find an original film at a movie theater that is character-driven yet not written down to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Fortunately, the Internet has allowed for easier viewing of more options but the studio system has in large part shunned the rest of us in terms of theatrical releases.

That’s why when I go to an AMC (which screens indie pics to some degree btw) and watch a film like BOYHOOD by Richard Linklater, I am brought to tears.

This film is unique. It’s raw. It’s real. It’s smart. It’s honest. It’s slow. It’s life unfolding and yet manages to make sense of it.

It’s art.

When I walked out of the theater, thinking about the film I just saw, I had a smile from ear to ear. Not so much because I was happy a film similar to those I make was getting some recognition, but because of another very important factor that has stayed with me to this moment.

It gave me hope.


Going the distance.

I want something badly. Very very badly.

I want to be able to make my films.

I should disclose that I’ve been fortunate enough to have made five short films, most of which received at least some attention at festivals and screenings, but I have yet to make my first feature. It’s written though. And while it’s had the same title for the past ten years, the drafts it’s gone through… oh my! Tens upon tens. But now, it’s finally where I want it to be, or very close HAH, as my writing partner and I fine tune the last act.

And speaking of a writing partner, for the first time since I began my filmmaking career many years ago, I have chosen to write with someone. Never thought I could, or should I say would, but it’s working out and has elevated my feature script to a place I wanted to take it but didn’t on my own. It’s hard to admit that but it’s the truth and I have grown to absolutely love the writing partnership I’ve formed with a friend of mine I’ve known for over ten years. What one of us lacks, the other makes up for and together, we work as a team. We are brutally honest with each other. It’s wonderful. And in addition to this feature, we’ve written a short film that we are dying to make but alas, the funds have not revealed themselves yet. We’ve tried though. For over a year now, we’ve been submitting our short script to every grant app and short film contest we come across that can help us. We got a nice nod from Slamdance as a quarter-finalist in their 2013 Screenplay Competition but other than that, nada.

I refuse to sell my soul. I will not be a filmmaker-for-hire. I come with my project and vice versa. Case closed. I have no interest in making something I don’t whole-heartedly believe in. I work day jobs and make ends meet, so fortunately, I can continue with my plan. That said, I need money to actually make my films. It’s a tough one. I try hard not to shoot union because of all the extra crap that comes along with it but I firmly believe in paying my crew well and being allowed to shoot where I’m shooting. WHERE ARE YOU MONEY?? HOW DO I GET TO YOU??

Right now, my writing partner and I are waiting to hear if a short script we wrote as part of a contest is going to get made. We made it to this point but now, the top five will be selected out of the fifty of us who are waiting to hear…

This part sucks. I feel like I’m always waiting to hear if my film is going to be picked over other ones, whether it be our script or finished product. The waiting is the worst but I suppose if the job was easy, everyone would be doing it and there would be way too many films.

Speaking of which, why are all the movies these days either tent-pole comic book action movies or “small films” that stare Robert DeNiro and Ryan Gosling? Can’t some of us smaller storytellers get a share of the audience without spending a zillion dollars on casting and marketing? What if the only available books were paperback romance novels and comics? Wouldn’t readers demand more choices? Why are moviegoers accepting this or are they not but rather turning to television where the real genius is being used in terms of storytelling (though TV series and films are very different entities.)


Anyway, we should find out by Wednesday. It will either be a day for celebration or yet another “no, thank you” email to add to our overflowing file box.

One day that box is going to grow dust from lack of use. I just hope it’s sooner than later…