First thing's first:

I don’t like to boast, but I have been known to write and direct films and documentaries…  I’ve even won some awards long the way; you can view a selection of my films in their entirety in the viewing room, or obtain more info about them in the filmography section.

You can also  scroll over and on to the next video in the box above, where you’ll find my commercial reel, filled with commercials, social media campaigns and marketing videos.

More about... me.

Since you’re here now…. How about a heart-to-heart.

You know… My grandma passed away, just recently. The significant role she played in my life cannot be overstated: I spent the first 5 years of my existence living with her, thinking she was my mom. 

You see, my mom and dad were busy working demanding jobs as recent immigrants to Canada, and didn’t have the time nor the resources to properly take care of me – so they flew me off to the “homeland,” where I could be afforded the luxury of having access to the space and care that would enable me to sprout as a young human being – under the watchful eye and graceful care of grandma.  This isn’t a story that’s unique to me mind you: there are probably hundreds of thousands of second gen. immigrants who’ve experienced this in one way or another. (Do I see a documentary film in there somewhere?)

Scene from “Dr. Zack” – 2010

So moving along… We’d spend a majority of our time together, telling each other stories: and boy could she tell a story.

Her tales fed my imagination, her vivid descriptions of magical worlds with colorful and unique characters (actually, now that I look back, she was merely describing Germany through the lens of a “Gastarbeiter” to me, but did I tell you she could tell a good story?) fueled my curiosity.

So quite naturally, I picked up and began telling some stories of my own.

One day, I sat her down (on that sofa they brought back with them when returning from Germany – again another story – to introduce her to my friends. Some spoke Japanese (I would, of course, translate for her), some Spanish, some gibberish.

They all had a story however, filled with obstacles they overcame and difficulties they had to endure. They all won in the end however: they were good (how else could they be my friends), and the good guys would win.  And even if they were merely a figment of my imagination: to me, they were as real as night and day. 

Scene from “Gematria” – 2014

 

Ever since, stories have helped fuel my enthusiasm for life, replenish my inquisitive nature, and satisfy an innate desire to keep occupied by working on something interesting, exciting, challenging, rewarding,…

 

 

So here's my dad's favorite question: what in the world do I really do?

So when people ask me what i do… I tell them I tell stories…

Stories that interest me, inspire me, call out to me and beg to be told… Regardless of the format or medium: if they trigger or move me, I tell them.

Fresh out the oven: the Open Heritage documentary series

Taken during the shoot at Sargfabrik, Vienna - 2019

I spent the better half of 2019 traversing across Europe, visiting unique sites and initiatives utilizing urban spaces to transform communities, foster exchange and promote inclusiveness. These documentaries are a result of my visits. Created for the Open Heritage project, in collaboration with Eutropian and XsentrikArts, each highlights a unique case and site. This was a pleasure to create, I’m now working on an in-depth feature documentary film on the same subject.

Without further ado:

Here they are… the result of a full year’s work.

The Begegnungsorte Series

This one’s also a work in progress. We (as in XsentrikArts, or to be more precise, as in me and Bahanur Nasya) completed 6 films highlighting unique community initiatives and public spaces in Vienna. We’ve even created a website for the project: check it out here.

Partial funding by the Federal Chancellery of Austria allowed us to initiate this project in collaboration with XsentrikArts. We spent a considerable amount of time on location, researching the unique locations recommended to us by our curators, and documenting aspects that made them case studies. We’re hoping the work can promote the discourse on public spaces and community initiatives. Check out the documentaries in full, below.

Wait, there's more.

I dabble in and manage numerous projects at once: being preoccupied with so many undertakings at once isn’t easy, but it fits my ADD and allows me to create while holding onto my enthusiasm and keeping my concentration. Jumping between projects is actually even more productive for me.

So below are posts of the stories I’ve somehow begun telling, or have released out there into the world already.

And you betcha: I’m always up to MORE.

Getting started is the hard part…

Daddy’s Arbitrage: currently in post-production. Or… kinda.

On the treadmill, the first 10-15 minutes are always the most difficult for me. I keep asking myself if I really have what it takes to see it through; the pain in my joints are amplified and I am forced to push myself through. But once I’m able to overcome the initial hurdle, I know I’m more than capable of running faster and longer than I have before. That’s probably because I’ve managed to reach a point where the end is near-and if I can see that goalpost, I can score damn it. It should come as no surprise than that I’m a late bloomer and have always struggled with “beginning” stuff; there are so many unknowns that my mind classifies as obstacles and responds to by going into fear or flight mode…

When it comes to post-production, there’s the viewing, edit list creation, editing and re-editing to infinity, color correction, sound mix, efx, sound track development… Not to mention the poster design and other promotional materials that are needed for when the film is complete. And each step of the way, you’re constantly reminded of what you DIDN’T do, what is lacking, what you need to make up for and what you messed up, not what you accomplished. Editing is honest, it holds no secrets. And the process is grueling: it takes painstaking work and determination to see it through.

Johhny Vivash plays james, a greedy property developer, and Tamalynne Grant is Melissa, a tech. expert capable of more than meets the eye.

And afterwards comes the film festival applications, which I don’t even want to think about at the moment. The process of creating press kits, posters, trailers and applying to hundreds of festivals, with an acceptance rate of 20 to 1 (if you’re lucky!) And why am I writing about all this now? Well, Daddy’s arbitrage was shot in September and I still haven’t begun the editing process- And there’s so much to do! So I need to get this off my chest now, and jump-start the process. I need to dive deep and keep on swimming… I need to… well, you get the point. Part of the delay had to do with (of course) all the other projects I needed to complete before the year was over, but fact is: I’m also… kinda… scared. Scared to see my failures, my inability to create what i had envisioned…

Dennis Kozeluh in the role of Frank, Melissa’s odd and mysterious father,

But it’s alright. I go through the same process every film. So here’s to me getting my …ish together and beginning to edit this film. Because just like on the treadmill, once I clear the initial obstacles, I know I’ll be soaring high. I hope. No, seriously. I promise to begin editing… soon.

Social impact projects

Not going to beat around the bush here: adjusting to life in Europe was no walk in the park. I had assumed things would be easier with my experience in the Canadian broadcast industry, but I soon came to realize that: a) the market was changing globally, with the advent of technology previously unavailable; and b) my experience and talents that didn’t exactly translate into the demands of the smaller sized and already overstaffed local film and TV industry scene here in Vienna. So I threw myself into more meaningful projects and realized most organizations face challenges in telling their stories to a wider audience.
Thankfully, I’ve been working steadily with projects and initiatives that create social value through impactful inclusion projects ever since, and I’ve managed to create a vast range of campaigns and projects. Just check out the “social impact projects” page to view some of the amazing collaborations I’ve been blessed to be a part of!