I am a commercial director, producer and multi-media artist.
I am also a 5th generation Californian. My great-great-great—grandfather worked for the Transcontinental Railroad buying up land for the Union Pacific. I have a portrait of him in front of a steam engine, looking like a true western badass or as a ruthless asshole depending on which side of history you are looking at. His wife left him a few years later and started painting California wild flowers in one of the first houses in Laguna Beach. The house still exists and Google street view tells me it’s become a frat house for surfers.
On my moms side, my great-grandfather quit his job at a Texas sewage plant in the 1910’s, packed his family in a car he built himself and drove across the southwest to Anza Borrego Desert. At the time the government was giving land grants to anyone who could find water as a way to populate border towns. His daughter, my grandmother, was named LaRita. Her mom thought it sounded French. A few sicks of dynamite later, LaRita went on to be a weightlifter on Muscle Beach in Venice, dated Mr. Universe, and met my grandfather at a military ball at the San Diego YMCA. LaRita went on to travel through the Middle East in the 1960’s while stationed on a military base in Turkey. My blonde mom was actually kidnapped from the base by a few local teens. Lucky she was exchange for a roll of aluminum foil, and I’d like to think that role of aluminum is exactly why you are reading this today.
Storytelling connects generations. In this world of digital storytelling, I am borderline-obsessed with story as a tool to transcend borders, genders, languages and religions. Film breeds empathy in an era where we desperately need it.
I graduated from University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts with a B.A. in Film Production. My career began at The Kennedy / Marshall Company, continuing on to Paul Thomas Anderson’s feature film The Master , MGM Studios, Health Ledger’s THE MASSES and Radical Media.
In 2014, I founded my company BLKFLM as a way to tell impact driven stories for my generation. Since it’s founding, I’ve had the honor to work with Al Gore, The United Nations, The World Bank, teen activist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, the youth behind the headlines in the Ukrainian Revolution and scores of everyday heroes whose voices matter most.
Media creates culture and can transform our world. A good story makes your feel like you are not alone, like you can do anything or be anyone. Sometimes stories even inspire you to pick up that phone to tell someone "I love you.”
For me, filmmaking is as close I can come to flying.
I hope to work with you soon.