Filmmaker

Last Revised August 2014



Other pages in the film section:

Introduction, movies, and resume

My movies:

Anti-Amendment (Pro-Equality) PSA
Paperclip
The Vacationers
Harry Putter and the Chamber Pot of Secrets
Harry Putter and the Sorcerer's Phone

Filmmaking + me

I have worked in almost every department on movie sets, and found my passion in producing and assistant directing. In addition to working on sets, in 2012 I started Samaritan Casting, a casting and extras casting company serving Minnesota. I sold the company to my good friend and mentor John Hawkins in 2014.

My movie-making career started my senior year of high school (2003 - 2004) when I acted in, and later helped edit, monthly comedic videos for the school-wide assemblies. Despite my love for the art, I never suspected this hobby would continue after graduation.

In spring of my senior year, I acted in my school's theatrical production of The Music Man. Coincidentally, a local community theatre was also producing the musical at the same time, and even more coincidentally, one of my teachers was starring in their production. My friend and theatre mentor Peter Jerde and I went to watch, and afterward we met Matthew Feeney, a local actor and comedian. At the time, Matthew was producing his own sketch comedy TV show, The WaZoo! Show, and he invited me to attend one of their script reading sessions. Thus began my early stages of networking in independent film.

2004 - 2009

That summer, Matthew helped produce a low budget independent feature film called Stealing Summer, and through his connection I got involved as an associate producer ("low budget" in this case means low entry fee), an actor, and production assistant. When we saw the premiere that December, my name ended up being in the credits more than Matthew's!

Acting for Marvin vs Roxy, a WaZoo sketch

A year later I worked for Matthew in extras casting for Fall Into Me, a larger small-budget indie feature. Being on set gave me great chances to network, and it was through one of these connections that I found my way onto the extras casting team for A Prairie Home Companion when it shot that July.

Harry Putter and the Sorcerer's Phone

In summer 2006, after many months of preparation, Matthew produced and I directed my own 14-minute short film, Harry Putter and the Sorcerer's Phone. This was followed by the 31-minute sequel, Harry Putter and the Chamber Pot of Secrets, in summer 2007 (though, due to my school workload it took two years of post-production before it was finished).

Post-Harry Putter

Since Putter, I've been privileged to work on sets as a producer, line producer, assistant director, casting director, extras casting director, wrangler, grip/gaffer, script supervisor, media manager, art department, stand-in, and PA – just about everything except hair/makeup and wardrobe.

Cast and Director of Harry Putter 1

Part of why I love making movies is the chance to give back to the filmmaking community: years ago someone gave me my first chance to work on a movie set, and now I have a chance to give those same opportunities back to newcomer actors and crew.

I also see working on set as a ministerial opportunity. I don't care about "converting" anyone, that's not me. When I say "ministry" I mean being there to listen, to be a shoulder to cry on when one of my cast or crew is having an awful day. And that does happen. People appreciate being listened to.

Lastly, I love working on sets because, in many cases, the cast and crew become like family. Several of my life-long friendships have come from the people I worked with on Putter.

A word about Matthew.

Many people in the Minnesota filmmaking community know that my friend Matthew plead guilty in 2013 to sexually abusing two minors that he knew through his work as a casting director. Because of this crime, and his prior convictions from two decades ago, Matthew is currently serving a 9-year prison term. Given this, you may wonder why I still choose to mention him and speak well of him above. The answer is two-fold. First, and most simply, Matthew is the reason that I ever had the opportunity to become involved in "real" filmmaking - he is part of my story, and to dis-include mention of his name would make my narrative incomplete. Second, he is my friend. Matthew made some incredibly poor choices that crossed both legal and moral boundaries, and affected not only his own life, but many other people's as well. For this he is serving his time in our legal system. I, however (apparently unlike so many others), am not a fair-weather friend. Even as my heart hurts for the victims, for Matthew, and his family, I will not abandon my friend, because what kind of person would that make me? I feel deeply sorry for the many, many people in this community who do not have friends who will stick by them in their own times of need.

My Movies

Click on any title to watch the movie, see cast and crew, and read more about the production.

Anti-Amendment (Pro-Equality) PSA

Anti-Amendment (Pro-Equality) PSA - Vote NO

• 1.5 minutes
• Shot in 1 day in May 2012
• I support GLBT marriage equality

Minnesotans voted in November 2012 on a constitutional amendment trying to prevent marriage equality. On religious and personal moral grounds, I strongly opposed this anti-family, anti-marriage amendment, so when my friend Maggie approached me with a script for a "vote no" PSA, I immediately agreed to produce it. We shot for one day in May 2012, and this is what we made.

  Watch it

Paperclip

Paperclip

• 30 minutes
• Shot over 8 days in October and November 2011
• Still in post-production

Paperclip follows high school sleuth Jesse as she investigates several recent disappearances in her school. Not all is as it seems.

  See pictures from set
  Read more

The Vacationers

The Vacationers

• 20 minutes
• Shot over 3 days in Spring 2011

The Vacationers is a darker version of It's a Wonderful Life. For me, the take-away message is a reminder that "to the world you may be one person, but to one person, you may be the world."

  Watch it and see pictures from set

Harry Putter and the Chamber Pot of Secrets

Harry Putter and the Chamber Pot of Secrets

• 31 minutes
• Shot over 9 days from June 17 to July 3, 2007
• Premiered August 21, 2009

My second movie, Harry Putter and the Chamber Pot of Secrets was the sequel to my original Harry Putter and the Sorcerer's Phone, and over twice as long. This movie also featured dozens of special effects shots: magic wands, moving drawings on whiteboards, flu powder, and more.

  Watch it and see pictures from set

Harry Putter and the Sorcerer's Phone

Harry Putter and the Sorcerer's Phone

• 14 minutes
• Shot over 9 days from June 25 to August 26, 2006
• Premiered May 4, 2007

My first movie. Harry Putter was born from one too many "did you know you look just like Harry Potter?" jokes. Yes, it's true, in my younger years I bore a striking resemblance to Daniel Radcliffe, so much so that, one day working in retail, a small child approached and asked for my autograph. After a simlar quip at a WaZoo! Show script reading in summer 2004, I started scratching down ideas for a parody, the story of the "real boy", Harry Putter, upon whom JK Rowling based her famous books. Two years and countless drafts later, we were shooting.

  Watch it and see pictures from set

My Resumé


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