I first cut my teeth in local news with CityTV in Toronto. I initially volunteered, spending months shadowing a cameraman, then eventually doing overnight shifts on weekends. It was an exhilerating and challenging job. You had to react to breaking news. That meant you had to quickly understand story details, know your gear, be able to troubleshoot any technical glitches and effectively navigate through Toronto's busy streets to make a deadline.
Eventually a full-time position opened up in an Ottawa sister station, The NewRO. It was the perfect environment for an emerging talent with a deep desire to get past that stage in their professional development. I threw myself into a variety of rolls whenever the opportunity arose. I was soon tasked with editing as well as studio camera, steadicam and operating the station’s live-remote microwave truck. A career highlight while there was a week of daily coverage of Pierre Trudeau’s funeral in Montreal.
In 2000, I moved back to Toronto to start a career as a steadicam/camera operator in narrative film. I joined the Cinematographers Guild and worked on a number of music videos and a few independent features and short films. It was a challenging time as the 9/11 terrorists attacks had cratered the Toronto industry overnight. To help fill in the gaps, I chased down life style shows that had become popular, especially following the Hollywood writers’ strike.
As the internet's bandwidth increased and new cine-style cameras, support and lighting started to flood the market in the late aughts, I reached out to private companies to produce, direct, shoot and edit creative corporate spots. The approach was to apply cinematic style to tell a company's story or promote its products.
These days I mostly work in documentaries and creative corporate. I enjoy the variety and balance, though I am particularly drawn to documentary. Crews are small and therefore nimble, the setups are quick and the relationship with the director is intimate, direct and highly collaborative. And it is here that I feel I have the greatest impact. With a combined background in film and newsgathering, I bring a cinematic eye and efficiency to every project. I am also highly attuned to a director’s needs because I’ve produced and directed a number of corporate spots and therefore know the challenges in getting a story off the ground and to completion.
As a freelancer, I've had the opportunity and privilege to work with many talented individuals and organizations, including CBC, BBC, CTV, TVO, Rogers and The National Film Board.