Kids from my neighborhood didn't grow up to be directors.
That is just how things were.
I remember hearing my cousin, when we were seven or eight, tell my uncle that he wanted to be a garbage man when he grew up. When my uncle asked him why, he said, “Well… then I can be in the union.” That's how kids in my neighborhood grew up thinking.
I grew up in Chicago, during a time when street gangs would fight over girls, basketball courts, drugs and parking spaces (parking spaces were incredibly important in the winter.)
Back then, you didn’t tell people you want to go to film school, and you certainly didn't try to do it. You picked sensible occupations, and you just hoped to get a job where you could help pay the rent.
I spent my entire life with this desire to be a filmmaker gnawing at me. To create. To write. To change how we perceive the world. To change how people think of each other.
It was filmmakers like Spielberg, Scorsese, Coppola, Lucas, Capra, Marshall, and Howard who had the courage to shape the way we look at this world, and mold the world of cinema.
They were unafraid, vulnerable, intelligent, and collaborative in their process. They created a blue print for young filmmakers to follow. And they created films that changed the world.
It was while I was deployed to Afghanistan, covering my head from another rocket attack, when I decided enough was enough -- I was going to pursue this life-long dream to become a filmmaker.
From then on I threw myself into learning, and spent all of my time developing my craft of directing -- using the four tools that directors long before me have used: hard work, creativity, perseverance, and education.
I mean, if I can survive two wars, how bad can Hollywood be? (she said as she smiled... knowingly.)
Writer | Director | Lover of Dogs