I come from the most isolated city of the most isolated country in the world - Perth, Western Australia! To me, it's a magical place to make films and tell stories, with its huge diversity of landscapes, unique animals, and some of the oldest cultures in the world.
Since the age of ten, I wanted to make movies. I wanted to experience every facet of film, so I trained and gained experience in as many areas as I could - theatre acting, editing, musical composition, sound, directing and writing spanning over about 15 years, before I even attempted to make my first feature film. That was always the intention, but I knew it was a long way off, if I ever got there at all...
In the 90's, all I had at my disposal were friends that enjoyed acting, a school theatre we could use to perform, and a keyboard that I learnt to play and dreamt often about being Hans Zimmer, and of course pen and paper in which I could write stories like Roald Dahl. I watched every movie I could as a child and challenged myself to become as knowledgable as Tarantino. My father would come home with a huge esky full of movies from Jumbo video. It was enthralling. My favourite film at 10 was "Godfather" and "Psycho."
With an obsession for dramatic arts in high school, I devoted all my time into it, ignoring my other subjects in aid to top the drama course every year. I had a competitive spirit!
With the support of my drama teacher, he let us create a whole school production. It was my first opportunity to write and perform a large show to an audience. A little surprisingly, the audience fell into fits of laughter and we received a standing ovation. I knew since that dreamy night as a kid, all I ever wanted to do was create art in the form of entertainment and with a purpose to inspire.
After contracting deadly meningococcal at 18 and coming very close to death, I realised the fragility of life and the importance of truly reaching for your dreams. I decided to get out of my country town and move to the city.
After studying at WAAPA as well as some formal training at Stella Adler, I started my career as an actor, appearing in commercials and short films. I was living a double life -acting was one, and the other was playing music in different bands, creating music for films and commercials. For me, music is and will always be one of the most powerful forces in film. I was captivated by it's influence for as long as I can remember.
Furthering my creative impulses, I crafted an absurd comedy show for a local radio station. This lasted days, as our show was so bold, we had calls within seconds on air by people telling us to "get off."
I created my first the web series: "Search for the Deadliest Rokstaar." and then followed up with "What Women Want." Throughout these projects, I taught myself several technical roles such as sound editing and editing.
I began working professionally as a music video producer, and with my first music clip, won several awards for best director.
I furthered my career as a music video producer, and with my background in music, became quite successful, producing for dozens of local and international artists.
In 2010, I decided it would be useful to create a small independent media production house, where I could combine my skills and roles and work as a musical video producer, editor, sound designer and composer all in one. Our media house produced all kinds of media. We still produce media today.
Still not satisfied creatively, I decided I wanted to teach young performers about the craft of acting and writing. I crafted different theatre classes for young students and with them, started developing an original musical theatre show called "Lenny" - a Napoleon Dynamite cross Matilda-style Musical. I wrote the script and songs and with the students, we performed our first show. Pleased with our response, I decided to workshop a sequel to the show and wrote "Part 2" the following year. As our fan base began increasing, I decided to develop the show professionally, crafting a new version, where we combined original students with professional actors and in the winter of 2016, performed a season of "Lenny" at the Octagon Theatre. I took on the role of artistic director as well as musical director - a difficult feat.
As much as I cherished the time and golden years with the students, I had a burning desire to make a feature film. The Musical was incredible, but after shows are over and the lights go out, they are just a memory. I wanted to make a film that was in print forever. I was ready.
I made one more small project in preparation for a feature: I created an award-wining short horror drama film entitled "Widow," in which I was able to write, edit, score, produce and direct all on my own.
I began devoting all of my time into finding a feature - with the right story, characters and themes that inspired me. I wrote several screenplays before deciding upon "The Xrossing" as my first debut feature film.