Growing up in the East Village in the mid '90s to early 2010s, I was raised by a diverse community of artists, activists and mentors who gifted me with an array of perspectives, ways to celebrate life, dances, foods, styles of music, community events, and the verbalized and practiced encouragement to pursue artistic modes of expression.
I started learning how to make films at a free after school program in the basement of Middle Collegiate Church when I was eight years old using a DV Cam and iMovie 4. In middle school, I learned how to make clay and pencil animations, and began producing beats. At Art & Design HS, I studied oil painting, made my first flash animation (featured in my animation tab), and produced beats for and recorded rapper friends in my bedroom. In my senior year, I won an illustration competition and used that money to get a Canon T3i, two kit lenses and a tripod.
I first pursued engineering in college, as I was told life as an artist would be unrealistic financially. So I went to Purdue University and flunked out after one year due to poor grades, culture shock, and grappling with family matters. When I came home, I did construction work for a year and half and made free music videos for friends who would later become successful underground rappers MIKE and Ade Hakim aka 6press.
I was finally convinced to go back to school, but didn't know what to major in until I was presented with an amazing opportunity to attend an EU sponsored documentary workshop in Slovenia being directed by legendary hybrid-doc filmmaker Želimir Žilnik. Immediately afterwards, I pursued a degree in Documentary Film Production from Brooklyn College, and while there started my journey working in film. I now have six years professional experience as a producer, director, cinematographer, camera operator, location sound mixer/boom-op, gaffer, and video editor on documentaries, corporate content, commercials, artist profiles, and music videos.
Current Career Pursuit
I'm currently most passionate about having a role that connects artists and sees projects from start to finish. So if you're in need of a well-organized and resourceful producer or project manager who's been around the block many times and can anticipate the plethora of problems that typically arise in pre-production, production and post-production and offer solutions, who has been told by many he's great to work with, is a strong communicator, researcher and writer, and can make anything happen, please feel free to reach out to me with details about your project.
I'm helping produce and shoot a documentary about a '90s rap group from Newburgh, NY called Da Original Dark Side that was locally as big to Newburgh and the surrounding areas as the Wu-Tang Clan was to NYC during the same period. They even performed together along with Jay-Z, Biggie Smalls, Beyonce, and many other prominent artists from that time. The film will explore how the failures of Urban Renewal in the predominantly black neighborhoods of Newburgh led to mass displacement, the crack epidemic and a high growth in gang violence.
I'm also developing a documentary which will explore the familial roots of the United States' legal and social punishment systems through told histories of intergenerational trauma and how they've impacted people's views on good vs bad people and how to treat them. If you're working on a similar project and would like to combine efforts, or are interested in this topic and would like to be involved in some way, please feel free to contact me.