My approach to directing always begins with the scrpt. I spent my childhood studying acting and performing in the theater. For me, the process begins when I breakdown the script into beats to find the heart of each scene and chart where my characters are coming from and going to, what they want and how they plan to get it. The core of the Meisner method is in learning to listen and communicate with action verbs. Practicing that skill has been instrumental in all aspects of my life even outside the theater. A good director collaborates and listening is a key skill in conveying the visual plan to the team of skilled technicians that make up the crew.
I have worked many jobs in production to learn the language and duties of all the crew.
It is this work experience that makes me a strong director. I have made it my mission to dive into the trenches of production and get my hands dirty, by doing the job of actor, director, producer, writer, editor, camera operator, production coordinator and assistant. I understand what it is to be the first person on set and the last to leave. Developing problem solving skills from prep through post has helped me to know what I want and what I can do with what I have. This work experience has taught me how to motivate the crew and having your crew on your side is instrumental in completing your day.
Working with John Badham I learned how to think with the cameraʼs eye and how to see the light. Johnʼs process of preparing a shot list is full of creativity. It was this homework that gave me the confidence to make my first film and begin to hone my skills as a dramatic action director.
Introducing the actors and discovering how the scene moves is my favorite part. The rehearsal process, no matter how brief is the first glimpse at the story coming to life. Sometimes this moment changes everything you have prepped for but having done my homework I am secure enough to try something new and veer of in another direction if that is what the scene is calling for.
Production is not easy, the days are long and physically demanding and there is no clocking out. Each time you direct a project it becomes a part of your life. You live with the story and try to make it the best you can within the confines of the schedule you are given. Disappointment is frequent but you must persist consistently to complete your project. I will continue to pursue my goal of directing episodic television and I hope participating in this fellowship will be a part of my story.