I am a native of the State of Maine in the US. Changing the world one production at a time is my motto and how I choose which films to bring to life. Entertaining has been my passion since I was a teenager making short films wowing and exciting family and friends.
I got my baptism by fire into the entertainment world by landing my first job and first exposure by being a craft services assistant on the Disney film “Flubber” with Robin Williams. I was also an extra in the movie. After taking a 12-year detour, I returned to filmmaking in 2010 when I got introduced to Phoenix’s independent filmmaking community, starting my production company Thrive Productions that year as well.
I have a passion and a gift for telling stories through a visual medium and positively impacting my audience by getting them to think and challenging their beliefs while entertaining them, which fuels my passion.
My last short, “Loving Martin,” did well in 2019 at the festival circuit, and I wanted to do another LGBT short film. I worked with Brett Bays, producer, and cinematographer, looking for a short script to produce and direct. We sent out requests for short LGBT scripts; however, we were not blown away by any of them. Brett then commented that after reading our friend Melissa Martin’s script, he was spoiled, and none of the ones we received were at that level. Melissa is a straight cis woman, and we were unsure how she would feel about writing an LGBT movie. She agreed. Now we needed a story. We were throwing around ideas, and Melissa said, “Why don’t we do all three. A lesbian who’s broke, living with her ex, and wanting to be a drag king.” Thus “Kings & Queens” was born.
I am part of the LGBT community and had some experience with the drag community; however, since this was about a drag king, we wanted to make sure we were as authentic as possible. We enlisted the help of Netta Vs Sir Nate, a Phoenix drag king. She worked with Melissa on the struggles of being a drag king and what it is like figuring out you want to be one.
During production, I continued to call upon the drag community in Portland, ME (where we filmed) to be as authentic as possible. The local king and queens we cast in the film assisted us with that authenticity for the film. We also received a ton of support from the last gay bar, Blackstones” in Portland and their manager Carl Currie.
I always say and believe; filmmaking is a collaborative team effort. Everyone involved puts a little piece of themselves into the film. Ultimately it is the director’s vision; however, my vision is constantly impacted by the input and suggestions of all the cast and crew. They assist me in making a better film that way.
The most common reaction is, “I want to see more!”, “What happens next?”, “You left me hanging!” We created a short film that still allows the audience to connect with the characters and have a vested interest in their lives, so they end up wanting to know more about what happens.
People like the story and the message it delivers about being true to who you are. We have been well received in our festival run so far that just started last month. We look forward to hearing more of our audiences’ reactions and comments.
I have a few projects in development. One is a documentary about the drag community and its history in Maine. I want to capture all the stories and history of drag in Maine before losing them to time. We are also developing a gay thriller/suspense mini-series inspired by a true story. There are a few other script ideas we are floating around as well.
We look forward to continuing to bring productions to the world that inspire, challenge, and entertain.