My passion for cinematography began on the streets of Brooklyn where I grew up. When I wasn’t in school or playing sports, I was roaming around my neighborhood with my father’s 8mm movie camera, watching and filming the street life and mini dramas unfolding all around. I didn’t know it at the time, of course, but these casual filming adventures were developing my creative eye and my personal way of seeing the world. I began to realize that, through the way I photographed (and later edited) my film, I could control how it looked and how a story could be told. The opposite of a eureka moment, these lessons in visual storytelling crept up on me during all those hours with my dad’s camera…and one day I just knew I was hooked.
Another aspect of my early life that has had a profound impact on my work is the sports teams I played on as a kid. An admitted jock — baseball, basketball and stickball — I loved the camaraderie of being on a team and working together toward a common goal as much as I enjoyed the physical aspects of the game. So it followed that — unlike a painter or a writer who works alone — my creative expression would be in a collaborative form. Each new project is like a pick-up game with a new team, as a cast and crew of professionals come together in a raw space or a location to create something out of nothing. That’s the truly fun part of being a media maker.
As a bit of a technophile, I welcome the constant stream of new technology flowing into today’s filmmaking industry. Each advance adds to the filmmaker’s toolbox, offering creative possibilities that were not even conceived of a decade ago. I take advantage of these developments in all my work and am fortunate to be part of today’s sophisticated media environment.
Two other passions include traveling and teaching, both of which I’ve been able to enjoy through my work. Filming has taken me around the world many times. My teaching projects include camera and lighting courses in the United States, Europe and, most recently, a workshop I taught at the Sharjah Media Center near Dubai, United Arab Emirates. My other passion