Although I am a professional video producer, this site focuses on my personal work. Click the dropdown menu under "Film" above for pages devoted to specific projects.
I started making movies the same year I began learning to play guitar, 1988. One of my attempts was a "re-make" of the Ritchie Valens biopic La Bamba. Against my better judgment, you can see that adaptation over on the Dreaming Out Loud Records Vimeo page. I had a moldy VHS scare a few years ago that got me preserving a bunch of my early efforts there, and I've been thinking a lot about the constants of music and filmmaking in my life as vehicles for self-expression, self-knowledge, and social connection.
Over the last 20-some years, I've fallen into the habit of producing personal documentaries centering around the creative adventures of myself and my childhood friends. Early on, I was finishing making-of films started by other people profiling these independent art projects (Inertia: Remaking THE CROW). Other times, the documentation was planned from the outset and vital to the facilitation of the very undertaking chronicled by the cameras my pals and I turned on ourselves (Steve: Finding Rhythm). In 2017, I put together a documentary I knew no one but myself and a couple of the guys involved might ever see—just because I was so intrigued by the idea that a friend of mine had filmed a week-long tour with his band a decade before and never once looked at the footage (NJs and The Jeff 2008 Tour Documentary).
These ventures are sometimes vain, self-aggrandizing, and esoteric. They can also be critical, self-deprecating, revealing, and universal. I’m starting to see these stories as more than just those of myself and my friends. More and more, I'm realizing there are tons of creative people like us all over the world toiling in obscurity. They work long hours at their jobs and also make time for their art. These are folks who stay up late and get up early to tell their stories—and those of their friends and family—stealing the hours from comfort to create what they see, hear, and feel in their hearts.
I'm currently working on a trio of films that lean into this larger narrative.
WORKS IN PROGRESS
Family Album [Documentary]
The above image is from my summer 2022 whirlwind trip to Ohio to capture long, life-spanning interviews with my dad, brother, and uncle about our connection to (and through) music. So many links and shared themes came up in the 5.5 hour Zoom interview in the spring about the FAMILY ALBUM record we'd just released to streaming in May. That audio interview unexpectedly turned into the first season of my DREAMING OUT LOUD podcast, and I knew I needed to capture these stories in more detail. I'll be developing the documentary at a Maine Media Workshops + College Master Class in September.
Something To Me [Documentary]
Exploring the role of creativity in the life of a midwestern, 40-year-old professor of law. I've known Sean Kammer for 30 years now. He and I have been collaborating on creative projects for nearly that long as well. In the fall of 2019, I was so taken with the songs he was working on for his then-immanent album, Possible Bird, that I proposed a film project about it. On a Friday after work in September, I took a carload of gear from my production job in Minneapolis to his house in South Dakota, arriving around 11 pm. We filmed all day and evening on Saturday, a little Sunday morning, and I was back home in Minnesota by 5 pm Sunday. Anchored by an engaged on-camera conversation between the two of us in his basement home studio, and bolstered by archival footage from our decades of collaboration, this film examines the role of creativity for one who has not made a career in the arts—including the conflict between Sean's commitment to his music and his reluctance to share it.
(Furious Light Documentary)
Not sure what it will be ultimately be titled. In 2015, I started working on a documentary about the album I put out that year called The Furious Light. That project has grown in scope and complexity (and I've been sidetracked by a few things), but I'm pretty jazzed about how it's coming out and plan to enter it into as many film festivals as I can--something I haven't done since 2002.