for cable TV networks,
film & media distributors
for corporations, museums,
arts institutions, & non-profits
(espresso, 10-oz cup)
My expertise covers writing, directing, story producing, and editing. This may seem like a lot of hats, but I see these four areas as interrelated, like four spokes on a wheel. And with each of them, the story engine is always turning, no matter which spoke it is.
I often work as a story producer in TV & Documentary, for streaming/cable network programming, plus concepts and pitches for shows in development. When I’m not story producing, I’m helping agencies, businesses, arts institutions, museums and non-profits realize their core stories — with video concept development, script and treatment writing, and soup to nuts video production & post.
I really enjoy interviewing — especially a long-form exploration of a deep topic. I’ve interviewed hundreds of people, from famous authors and musicians, to CEOs of global corporations, to a US Air Force four-star General. On the healthcare side, I’ve talked with physicians, nurses, patients, clinical researchers and hospital administrators on subjects ranging from trauma surgery to teen health.
Editing is my other passion — it’s my firm belief that stories really come together in the edit. It’s a bit like music that way… it’s all about finding the right notes in the right moment.
In any phase, story and emotion come first, and honing them is a real craft. (If you haven’t guessed already, I’m a big fan of Walter Murch.)
You don’t necessarily need a script or actorsto tell a compelling tale.
Finding a person at a key moment in his life, and rendering
the truth as you see it… that’s the truest form of drama.— D.A. Pennebaker
As a writer and story producer, it’s all about the scene beats, and keeping an audience engaged. I also watch all the footage — everything. Because I learned long ago that’s often where the gems are found.
As a director, early on I developed an interviewing approach emphasizing the dynamics of an ordinary conversation. I’m a big proponent of active listening when interviewing. The goal is to get deeply lost in a subject, so the subject forgets the camera entirely. This goes for the famous and not-so-famous.
As an editor, I think about story of course, and I also think a lot about rhythm (being a musician also helps). As Walter Murch notes, “There’s an in-built relationship between the story itself, and how to tell a story, and the rhythm in which you tell it. And editing is certainly 70% about rhythm.”