Credo: Story & Community

Let's face it. America loves stuff. Gadgets. Toys. Bling. Video Cameras. And, yes, it's fun, but no, it's not really that important. What is important ultimately is story and community.


I'm drawn to stories that feel like something that could be part of my life or the life of folks I know or can imagine knowing. Robbing banks, for example, hasn't been a part of my life. The way we connect and fail to connect is endlessly engaging and important.

My own films deal with subjects that resonate for me in this way. Teenagers misunderstood by their peers or their family or their friends. A young couple coping with the realities of living together. A woman and her family dealing with dementia and death of an elderly parent. Crushing rejection meets blind ambition. The rush of love, intimacy and sorrow in a young woman's life.

Films by other filmmakers that I've worked on share many of the same feelings. A zombie film that is really about an older sister trying to protect her younger sister. A faith-based film about a cop dealing with the disconnect between policing and his compassion. A black man recovering from alienation and mistrust of his kin. A husband who cannot let go of the death of his daughter, even though it means losing his wife.


My film work has been greatly enriched by the people I've worked with or worked for or just run into and, in every case, learned from. As a former teacher, I'm always delighted to explain, to point someone to the resource they need, to give feedback. Yes, the internet has everything, right? Sometimes doing lunch is more productive.

Many of us in the local film world are sometimes a bit reluctant to reach out. After all, we are all supposed to be David Fincher or Ava DuVernay instantly, right? Well, maybe not. A little help, some sharing of experience, a cup of coffee - all good.

I love to share successes, failures, lessons from making my film, your film, their film. If you're ready to overcome your reluctance to reach out, I'm here.

What does it really mean to say that I'm a "filmmaker?"

First, I am a screenwriter. I care about writing because no film is better than its script. This is why I help moderate a screenwriting group. Screenwriting is a unique, arcane practice and getting informed feedback requires a community.

Second, being a "filmmaker" at the low end of the indie scale means that I'm generally also the producer of my films. I support my filmmaking habit with commercial video projects and I work within my own resources as much as possible. And it means I try hard not to waste anybody's time on set.

Third, I love working with actors. Acting is a great mystery in my experience, a skill that I can intellectually understand, but in reality I find magically inexplicable. Directing therefore is always a learning experience, always a journey.

Fourth, I love the photographic image. I taught photography and I worked for years with a 4x5 View Camera (look it up) mastering the art of the silver print.

Community underlies most of this. I am always interested in meeting other filmmakers in the Triangle. I am always willing to read a script, give production advice, connect two people who might work together and come on set to shoot your film or help wrangle the schedule.