Yo, what's up?
If I haven't already thanked you for coming by: thank you! It means a lot. Here is some information about me:
I went to undergrad at Cornell University where I converted freshman year from a major in Government, to one in Theater Arts. Film was not (and is not as far as I know) its own major at Cornell's School of Arts & Sciences and so the major was TA with a concentration in Film. It was a relatively small program there that spread the cirriculum between film production and film analysis. I loved the film production and hated the film analysis. Our class (Class of '97!!) was probably one of the last ones to not use digital at all- we were shooting on 16mm reversal and splicing on flatbed editors. My first film was about a helium balloon that became self-aware and strangled people as it searched for its creator. My second film film was an ode to Hong Kong action flicks whose production was nearly shut down permanently when the campus police confiscated my japanese import replica Glock 9 handguns after I failed to report my film shoot causing nearby construction workers to panic at the sight of several armed Korean guys running around college town. In my senior year, I asked my film analysis professor (who was also my advisor) how I should go about finding work in film. He looked at me blankly and said, "This is a liberal arts education here. This isn't a trade school where we teach you that." (That's a 100% true story...from an Ivy League school professor!! - mc).
Through a friend of my girlfriend's parents, I found my first job in New York City as a production assistant on a music video for a catchy dance song that I couldn't get out of my head the whole summer. It was a grueling 15 hour shoot that started at 5pm and ended at 7am the next morning. It was filmed in an abandoned warehouse somewhere in Brooklyn or Queens in the middle of summer and the lights were so hot that the entire crew stripped down nearly naked in a futile attempt to be a bit cooler. I made good friends with the 1st assistant director and the production coordinator, and stuck with them for the next 8 months working on music videos and commercials. I worked on a commercial for Chef Boy-R-Dee, and music videos for Blues Traveller and Jay-Z. Jay-Z's "Streets is Watching" movie video was probably the worst experience of life as a PA which involved me basically showing up at the apartment of the producer and refusing to leave until I got paid. PA work can be real rough and you need to be able to deal with a lot of instability and be constantly on the lookout for more work. By the February after graduating from college, I was threw in the towel and got a fulltime job at an advertising agency (Grey Advertising).
The bubble was growing and the internet was hotttt!!! I started to learn web design and web programming on my own and managed to pickup enough clients to do it full time. I quit the ad agency and worked independently for a year before rejoining corporate america- this time it was a financial trading company whose e-commerce department was about to explode. There I learned more about web programming and application and ultimately became a tech lead there before leaving once again to be freelance.
MBA, Movies, and MTV
As a freelance web developer, I also enrolled in business school at Rutgers University and paid my way through their part-time program. The freedom to work my own hours for clients worked well with the evening classes and study commitments. I turned 29 during my final year of business school and the film bug came back with an awful vengeance. I vowed to make a film after I graduated. I wrote a the script for Deployment Strategy in my final semester and started pre-production after graduating that summer. The film started shooting in December of 2005 and wrapped in the first week of 2006 - a little over a month before my 31st birthday and two weeks before starting my new full time job at MTV Networks' Nickelodeon as a web developer.
Deployment Strategy was in post-production for a year and completely wrapped in the summer of 2007. It toured the festival circuit for about a year and was picked up by distributor IndiePix in the spring of 2008.
Read the film synopsis and director's statement here.