I've been obsessed with movies for as long as I can remember. My parents got a super-8 film home-movie camera when I was 10, and I decided to try to make my own version of Star Wars in our back yard. I continued to make short films from then on, over 30 of them in fact, before moving on to video and more professional film formats. Below are some examples:
This is a hand-drawn cartoon I did in the 1990's. It was made with resources and support from the company I worked for then called Baer Animation. My goal was to create a 5 minute animated film. The idea came from the dismay a co-worker and I had with how the animation industry tends to lay people off frequently. Initially, Terminated wasn't received very well. Most people who saw it thought it was depressing and suggested that I needed to lighten up.
It was shown at a DreamWorks studio film festival, where most of the people watching it were facing layoffs themselves. The theater was suddenly filled with cynical laughter and the general vibe was that at last people were "getting the joke".
Making Terminated was a great learning experience. It involved over a thousand drawings, dozens of hand-painted backgrounds, hours of painting cells, technical set up, and lots of cash to get it finished. I enjoyed working on every frame, from conception to completion with little or no help from anyone.
Bob Is Dead
This was my first serious attempt to make a professional, live-action film, and it was a complete disaster. The problems that came up were legendary. The film itself turned out awful, and was left incomplete. Five years later I decided to try again. I believed that it couldn't be as bad the second time around.
The first night of shooting the new version, my lead actor dislocated his shoulder on set. He had to be dragged out in his cartoon boxers to an ambulance. Those involved began to talk about "the curse of Bob." Undaunted, we carried on, and the finished film wasn't too bad. It was almost banned from the DreamWorks Film Festival because of the naughty sex toys depicted in it. I wrote a letter of appeal to Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg, and received a notice from their offices stating that DreamWorks had no intention of censoring creativity and my short film would be shown in its entirety as the last film of the festival!
Every Waking Moment
This project came out of talking with my friend Scott Sackett, a fellow filmmaker. We love scary movies and always wanted to do one together. Home movie technology had really come a long way by this time, so we came up with a shakey-cam, "Blair Witch"-style project. It was fast and inexpensive to do, and was made long before the shakey-cam idea was the cliche it is now.
This is a shorter version, the original is 15 minutes. The shorter one gets to the point faster and is easier to post on-line. I submitted it to a website where it quickly got a lot of hits, and it was eventually found by a festival promoter in Italy. He asked me if he could show it at a horror film festival in Naples, which was very exciting. Every Waking Moment still creeps me out every time I watch it, as it should--it's based on my own nightmares!