My Life: A Very Brief History

To get an accurate picture of someone, it helps to understand where one comes from and the journey taken to get to the present. In my case, my early career in New York remains highly influential in my practices today.

1962... Birth, Heritage

I was born in Queens, New York City, the oldest of four children, and lived there until I was ten years old. We then moved to Huntington, Long Island--the suburbs. My mother is Italian American with a big family from Sicily and the Bronx; my father an only child with some German heritage, was born in Queens. He was an amateur photographer and avid maker of home movies, and I inherited his love of cameras.

1972... The Suburbs, Cameras & College

We were a normal, American family, with your typical amounts of love and dysfunction. I played in the streets constantly, tormented my younger brother, got picked on by neighborhood bullies, tried and failed to be cool, delivered newspapers, worked as a busboy, graduated high school and discovered a new life at the New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury, Long Island. I was a waiter in fine Long Island restaurants, paying my way through college. At first I wanted a career as a professional DJ (and was one in college), but I then moved to television production, yet eventually found my passion in film. I worked hard to make three 16mm films, won a couple of awards, got my B.F.A and immediately jumped into the film business.

1987... Freelance Film Career in New York City

I landed my first job as a camera production assistant on the feature film, Rocket Gibraltar which was being shot the very summer after I got my degree. The Director of Photography was Jost Vacano. I trained under him and his crack German assistants. The cast included Burt Lancaster (his last film), Kevin Spacey, and many other soon to be famous actors. Soon after, I got my first apartment in NYC and worked as a freelance camera assistant in the film business and also worked a great deal on video crews doing camera, lighting and sound. During that time I shot independent music videos, documentaries, news segments and more. I was one of two founders of Public Information Network (PIN) TV, a public access TV show on Manhattan Neighborhood Network. This weekly half-hour show, documented political events and protests throughout NYC.

1995... Midwest, Masters Degree, Broadcasting & Digital Editing

For personal reasons I moved to southern Illinois (yes, strange but can be explained). I entered Southern Illinois University as a graduate student and teaching assistant in Telecommunications, receiving my M.A. in 1998. I did a lot of writing, shooting, directing and editing, and the world wastransitioning from linear to non-linear editing. After having edited numerous videos on tape, my thesis film became my first on a digital editing system. Hundreds more would follow. I was a Broadcast field cameraman for programs on WSIU TV, a PBS affiliate, first as a graduate assistant and later as a job.

1999... University Job, More Independent Work, Marriage, Family

I began the Video Producer/Instructional Technology Specialist job at SIU I still have today. Primarily, I make instructional and promotional videos throughout the university. I introduced and manage Lecture Capture systems for hundreds of courses. I help manage courses in our D2L/Brightspace CMS. Over these years I've continued doing freelance videos and photography as reasonably possible, including in New York and elsewhere. I also got married and three daughters followed. The job at SIU provides benefits, stability, and the small city environment that made it a great place to raise a family. As the family is transitioning towards adult life, I am freer to do what I truly love--making videos beyond the scope of the university and this small city.

2018... Doing What I Love, at a Higher Level in a New Setting

After making hundreds of videos, taking tens of thousands of photographs, teaching courses, building and maintaining websites, picking up freelance gigs, directing and acting in theater, working with educational technology, helping raise young children and much more, I am primed and ready to apply my significant skills and talents elsewhere.