I picked up a camera as a kid and never put it down. I first took aim at family and friends, shooting local music videos and creating short films with my brothers.
Filmmaking has always been my first love
Immediately after graduating from Full Sail University in 2005, my close friends, Mark Thalman, William Clevinger, and I raised the money to fund my feature film debut, Automaton Transfusion. We shot the film in nine days for under $15,000. It was insanely difficult but somehow we pulled it off. I then made the decision to travel to LA and finish post-production there. I stayed on friend’s couches and even lived in my car for the solid year it took us to finish the film.
In October 2007, Automaton Transfusion premiered at the ScreamFest Horror Film Festival at the legendary Mann's Chinese Theater. It was quickly purchased by Dimension Films and later released on their newest label, Dimension Extreme. The no-budget venture went on to become a cult phenomenon.
And I suddenly found myself at the center of a whirlwind.
I signed with Aperture’s Adam Goldworm as my manager and United Talent Agency’s Charles Ferraro as my agent. The team had me pitching on studio films that I could only dream of directing. It was glorious.
But glory usually fades
Over the next several years, I attached myself to several studio films, including MGM's remake of Motel Hell, Paramount Vantage's Ink and Paramount Pictures’s Area 52. I quickly learned the meaning of ‘development hell,’ because none of them ever got made. And I soon realized I had become just another name on the studio’s list of directors.
It was a wake up call.
So in 2011, I decided to return to my roots and work outside of the studio system when my friends Brad Miska and Zak Zeman offered me a low budget feature to direct called Under The Bed. The Amblin’-esque film was shot in fifteen days and featured stunning monster effects from makeup artist Vincent Guastini. And in the middle of shooting, producer Travis Stevens offered me another low budget feature. The only problem was that it needed to start shooting in a few weeks.
When it rains, it pours.
So immediately after wrapping Under The Bed, I boarded a plane for New York to shoot The Aggression Scale, a smart, contained thriller that unexpectedly combined Home Alone with Rambo. It was shot on a break-neck pace in twelve days.
Doing back-to-back films was exhausting. I spent the summer of 2011 editing both features at the same time. Completed first, The Aggression Scale was accepted into the South By Southwest Film Festival. It premiered in the spring of 2012 to critical acclaim, praised for its non-stop action and clever premise. It was purchased and released by Anchor Bay Films.
Under The Bed premiered at the 2012 Fantasia Film Festival and played in festivals around the world. It eventually landed with XLRATOR Media and was released in the spring of 2013.
I was starting to claw my way back into Hollywood. Producers were finally seeing I wasn't just a one trick pony. I could be given a limited budget, take on any genre, and deliver solid results.
In April of 2012 I began shooting the remake of Silent Night, Deadly Night starring Malcolm McDowell and Jaime King. I am a huge fan of the original 80's slasher classic and took this project very seriously. I was determined to give the fans something new, crazy, and defiantly bloody. Ultimately retitled Silent Night, the film was released by Anchor Bay in December 2012 and was surprisingly well received for a slasher remake.
By 2013 I started to venture into new territory. I was offered an underwater thriller called Submerged for producers Cassian Elwes, Brad Kaplan, and writer Scott Milam. The story centers around five teenagers and a driver who are trapped inside a limo that has sunk to the bottom of a canal. I began shooting in October of 2013. The film was finished in summer 2014 and is currently being sold.
After Submerged I set a new course and began focusing on the action genre. Although all my films have more action than horror, I wanted to make a picture that was action from start to finish and I got my chance.
In January 2015, Emmitt/Furla Films and Grindstone Entertainment offered me the film Extraction starring Bruce Willis, Kellan Lutz, and Gina Carano. A slam bam action flick which centers around a CIA agent (Lutz) who is on a mission to find his kidnapped father (Willis). The film was shot in February 2015 and releases December 2015.
After the success of Extraction EFO and Lionsgate brought me back for five features in 2016 thru 2017. Marauders starring Bruce Willis, Chris Meloni, Dave Bautista, and Adrian Grenier. The film hit theaters in October 2016 to very high praise. Next up was Arsenal starring Nicholas Cage, John Cusack, and Adrian Grenier. The film hit theaters in Jan 2017. Then it was the film First Kill starring Hayden Christensen and Bruce Willis. Finally I tackled a future prison in Escape Plan 2 starring Sylvester Stallone, Dave Bautista, Jaime King, and 50 Cent. EP2 did major box office numbers in China and other foreign territories before slamming into the United States in 2018.
Currently, I am in post production on the action film Live! starring Aaron Eckhart, Courtney Eaton, Ben Mckenzie, and Giancarlo Esposito. It is my biggest and most action packed film to date. I’m very excited for this one!