In grade six, classmate and friend Doug Weaver and I shot a LEGO-mation on 16mm film. We built the set from cardboard, LEGO lunar baseplates and a backlit starfield made from stretched, black plastic bags punched full of holes. Set to the music of Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust,” the film opened with a shuttle craft flying in from the upper-right corner of the screen, rotating to face the camera, and then setting down lightly on the landing pad. We used fishing line to puppeteer the shuttle and move LEGO buggies in real-time and frame-by-frame for the stop-action alien invasion. It was by no means an award winning production, nor worthy of acclaim beyond the classroom, but it set in motion a passion for telling story on film.
Since that first effort many years ago, I have worked extensively with my brother Jae, an award winning videographer and founder of the Almost Famous Film Festival. In light of how much pleasure I found in those interactions, I determined in 2011 it was time to give film making a solid go. I engaged in educational, sci-fi, and documentary, each granting me a different means of viewing the world.
When I am behind the camera, I have no choice but to shut up and listen. I ask questions only long enough to open the flood gate that awaits within. I have learned, through my work in film around the world, that everyone has a compelling story to share. It is not just the adventurers, the founders, the leaders, but also those who are living life day to day that have a story worth telling.
From a field beneath a dark sky in the Adirondacks to the West Bank of Palestine, from the robotics lab of NASA to the rural villages of Tanzania, there are stories to move us, to make us laugh, to cause us to cry.
As an aspiring film maker, I yearn to capture stories in order that we may all reflect upon our own lives in the words and images made available to us through this medium.