Q & A
Who or what got you interested in filmmaking?
My passion for filmmaking first emerged in a media class in high school – where we were able to produce a short film in any genre. At that time we were shooting on VHS and doing tape to tape edits. I was immediately hooked but at that time, didn’t think it was possible to make a living in film.
At what point did you realize it was possible to make a living in film?
While in my third year of film school, I realized I wasn’t getting what I needed out of the program and decided to also shoot a film a day project. While on this project, I had the opportunity to work with a filmmaker based out of the UK who was shooting a documentary in the US. I took the opportunity to ask many questions and act as a sponge and through the experience and advice, I realized that it was actually possible to make a living doing what you love.
How old are you now?
I was born July 21st, 1985.
What type of films did you start with?
I started shooting personal passion projects and then transitioned into working with corporate entities to do short form commercial projects.
What type of films do you shoot now?
Currently I shoot virtually all genres of films – with my passion working in teams of under 15.
Do you travel for work?
I travel frequently for work – about 50% of the time.
Where have you been on assignment?
I’ve had the opportunity to work in a variety of locations. I’ve traveled extensively through Canada – from Nova Scotia to Vancouver Island. I’ve travelled to over 30 states and have also worked in Cuba, Jamaica, Chile and Argentina.
What has been your most exciting assignment?
I would say to this point that the most interesting assignment was out east. I was hired to tell the story of a fisherman in eastern Canada and what made this project unique was in how we connected with the main character. Not only did I connect on a personal level with him, his story will most definitely stick with me for the rest of my life.
Where can I read about your travels and assignments?
The best place to read about these adventures is on this website.
Have you ever had a near-death experience?
I would say that I was most challenged on my most recent shoot in Patagonia, which required us to ride horses for three days just to reach our subject. After falling off and injuring my ribs on the second day, I was unsure if I would be able to make it through the rest of the trip.
Where do you want to go on assignment and have not been yet?
I am excited to work in rural regions of China. I have always been fascinated with this culture and hope to explore it very soon.
Where can I find you on the web via social media?
What other types of films have you shot?
I have shot a variety of projects from commercial TVC’s to comedy and narrative feature films. My favourite by far are the character driven / inspired documentaries featuring real life characters from around the world.
What is your favourite thing to shoot?
My favourite subjects to shoot are characters in unique environments with stories to share. Whether they are young or old, the key is that I am able to help them share their story.
Do you do anything else for a living?
Absolutely not. I have a passion in a lot of other areas but filmmaking is what I connect with most. For anyone thinking of entering this field, just know that if you don’t live and breathe it, you won’t make it. There is no such thing as 9-5pm.
Do you ever teach workshops?
I do teach workshops and cater on a per-workshop basis. For more information, please us my contact page.
Are you married or do you have a family?
I am soon to be engaged and excited to start a new chapter in my life.
Do you have a favourite food / drink?
Pizza and beer — or a really good steak (medium rare).
Do you have a favourite quote?
“Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.” ― Malcolm Gladwell,
THE BUSINESS OF FILM
What is a general salary for a filmmaker in your specific field?
That is a really tough question. Salaries are completely dependant on how you market yourself and what you feel you are worth. Don’t get into filmmaking because you are looking to be rich. Filmmaking can be very expensive and the payout can be relatively minimal. If you want to make money, don’t become an artist. In time, if you are talented, motivated and a good person, you might be able to make a living doing it.
How do you price your work?
Pricing your work is a process you need to adapt with time. Determine market value and use that as a starting point. If you are finding your work isn’t selling, either adjust what you are selling or adjust your price. I am continually updating our rate card and testing with clients to see how they react.
Do you work for yourself?
My assignment based work is done so independently and all my commercial work is done through Cinescapes Collective.
Do you have any employees?
Cinescapes currently operates with a collective based model. Our teams vary with every production based on the needs of the given project.
How do I start my own career in film?
Get out there and collaborate as often as possible. I have found that the best way to carve out a path is through passion projects.
How did you gain the most exposure business-wise early in your career?
When I started out my biggest project exposure-wise was my film a day project. In 2010, I shot a film a day for a year.
How do you market yourself?
In the past, social media has been a great way to get yourself out there. However, what I find most beneficial is continually producing quality work. Word of mouth is by far the best way to build your market.
Do you have an agent?
Currently I do not have an agent. However, all stock footage requests are managed through Film Supply.
Does your business function mostly through sales of stock or advertising and editorial assignments?
Most of my work is from commercial / corporate clients as well as freelance / contract based work.
FILMMAKING GEAR & TECH
What was your first camera?
My first camera was the Pentax K1000. It was an absolute workhorse and is still working great to this day.
What type of camera do you use now?
My go-to cameras today are the Sony FS7 and the Nikon D810’s.
What type of lenses do you have and prefer to use?
My go-to lenses right now is the Nikon prime kit. Although they are not my favourite lenses in the world, they work great for me right now.
Do you use solar equipment to charge gear and if so what brand?
Finding ways to charge gear in the field is imperative. My go-to system right now is the Goal Zero Yeti 400 and Nomad 20 panels.
What brand of camera bags do you use?
Currently I rely on Pelican cases, North Face duffels, and FSTOP backpacks and ICU’s.
What brand of continuous lights do you use for video?
My favourite continuous lighting solution are the Zylight F8’s.
What brand of tripods / stands / camera mounts, etc. do you use?
My go-to tripods are the Manfrotto 536’s and I use C-stands for my light stands.