I am a native New Yorker, born and raised in South Brooklyn. I can't remember a time when the idea of telling a story didn't appeal to me. Storytelling has always been an interesting medium to me in that it allows you to create, explore, and if you choose to do so, destroy worlds and the characters that reside in them. My fascination with visual storytelling all started at a young age with my grandfather, a full-on, gung-ho, black and white film photographer. I was always drawn to photography and was lucky enough to learn from him before he passed on. He explained to me the basics of shutter speed, ISO, and aperture, and I was off and running. Many years went by where I always had a camera glued to my hands. Keep in mind, this was the late 1980's throughout the 1990's, and camera phones weren't in your pocket like they are today. The technology of photography has evolved into something very special and even though it's welcoming, as well as convenient, nothing will replace the years of experience I had gained practicing analog photography. We were by no means well enough off to just load film into the camera and shoot away. Every shot took careful thought and planning because you weren’t able to just delete photos off of memory cards like you can do today. You didn't know what you captured until you had it developed but that was the fun part. Developing film wasn't all that expensive but when you drop off 10 or 20 rolls at once, it becomes just that. But none the less, those were exciting times in my life. Waiting to see what you shot was just as fun as the shooting itself. Every medium should tell a story, whether it is a photograph, film, sculpture, painting, etc. Even a single image should leave the viewer walking away feeling something.
I found an escape from the mundane through films like The Shining by Stanley Kubrick and Jaws by Steven Spielberg. Writers like Rod Serling, Richard Matheson, and Stephen King have always been a huge influence on my approach to storytelling. These men fully immersed their audience in the worlds they have created. You became a part of these worlds and in turn were affected by what happened to these characters. In anything I create, I want the viewer to walk away thinking and asking questions. I want the audience to feel something.
I am a huge horror movie fanatic. Films like Prince of Darkness by John Carpenter, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre by Tobe Hooper, Night of the Living Dead by George A. Romero, the Friday the 13th series, Night of the Creeps by Fred Dekker are only a short list of films that have helped shape my perspective on storytelling. I try to approach each project with an interesting perspective all while capturing truthful emotion.
“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things but their inward significance” - Aristotle