When I graduated from Rutgers I had a vague plan to study for a masters in history at the University of Minnesota once I’d established residency out there. I enrolled in one class and read one book by Max Weber when my part-time job at a facility for the mentally ill offered me a promotion to the day shift. Cinema became my friend by offering me a refuge from my grinding work schedule as a case manager. It sustained me during years of monitoring pills and catching up on meaningless monthly progress reports. I once got disciplined for taking a minivan full of schizophrenics to see Ken Loach’s Ladybird Ladybird.
Then a friend persuaded me to write reviews for a weekly paper, my first ever job in film. To distinguish us from our competition, I staked out a beat as the guy who would cover whatever locally made films there were. “Why are the scripts always so bad?” I kept asking, and the filmmakers gave it right back to me: “If it’s so easy to write a good script, you wri
te one.” I directed some shorts, then music videos, and finally, against the advice of my friends, quit my job and wrote and directed a feature called New World Symphony that had an undistinguished festival lifespan, but still holds up.
In the years since New World Symphony, I got some production experience in L.A. and relocated to New York, where I’ve been developing feaure-length stories. Most recently I formed a partnership with a director named Soham Mehta, whose short film Fatakra is a must-see, and am co-writing a drama for him to direct in Houston. The rest of the story I’ll keep in the present tense, during which I get up and write every day. I live near Green-Wood Cemetery with my wife Aimee, three domestic cats, and an extended family of wild ones, who let me sit and think in their garden whenever I need to.