The Young Director adjusts his brother’s blocking.
My biography follows the time-tested narrative: there and back again. I spent my childhood years in the shadow of Mt. Baker, a volcano on the northern edge of Washington State. There were not as many Starbucks then, and the whole area felt infused with magic and mystery. It wasn’t long before I started to investigate how the films I loved actually got made. My dad taught me composition on his father’s 35mm SLR. I did school projects on special effects and foley art. When I wasn’t lost in the woods I was lost in a story. Then we moved to Iowa.
You only get one directorial debut, so you better wear cool sunglasses.
I was 12-years-old when we arrived at a parsonage in a cornfield. It was a 16-mile round trip to school, a 70-mile round-trip the nearest McDonalds, and very flat. But it was the perfect breeding ground for imagination, longing, and a collaborative work ethic. By the time I graduated from high school, I had made two feature films (no, they haven’t aged well), and a third by the time I graduated from college (slightly better). The Midwest taught me to notice what is present rather than what is not, especially the things that make people so wonderful, complex, and beautiful. I grew my freelance career in Chicago, Kansas City and then Des Moines. My filmmaking team became a standard bearer for Des Moines’ ongoing cultural renaissance. It was a very exciting time, with doors opening to national work, produced locally.
Image does not reflect current beard length.
I’ve called the Pacific Northwest home again since 2016 and love being in the shadow of Mr. Baker once again. I try to always keep one eye looking for magic and mystery, and the other looking for the right people and resources to transmit them to the world. For the past three years, my primary focus has been a feature-length documentary which is now entering the final phase of post-production. Every few years or so a film changes my life. From Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain, Jeff Nichols Take Shelter, Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life, Joe Talbot’s The Last Black Man In San Francisco. I believe in the power of story… to transport, to transform, to heal. Every story, whether it is large or small, scripted or documentary, has the ability to do that in a small way. If you have a story to tell, I’d be honored to walk with you as we bring it to life. -pdhb