Once upon a time I was scared of pursuing my dream. Like most people I just wanted to survive, get by and live a decent life so my family and friends didn’t need to worry about me. I thought asking for help was rude and shameful. I’ve always been independent and self-reliant but nothing can prepare you for the oblivious state of mind of being a frog in a boiling pot of water. My life was lacking creativity and I wanted my soul back. I needed to build something to make me feel whole again. A nine to five is a privilege but if you're not doing something you love you're not living.
One day I scripted a faux radio station and hired an actress to do voice over work as the DJ. Mixing the songs, writing the DJ’s dialogue, creating the station art work and having the pleasure and honour to collaborate with a talented voice over actor was a thrill. Building all these layers from one single vision I had provided me with so much joy that I didn’t care if it meant nothing, in fact it didn’t even cross my mind. I was having fun. Working on something I cared about filled me with enough dopamine to last me months. I was happy and hungry for more.
So I started creating. First, a simple script about transitioning to adulthood. That story turned into Phoenix Muse and it’s the reason why I started my production company: Neon Slate. Neon Slate is a reflection and symbol of the genres I love (Film Noir, Horror, Dark Comedies, Spaghetti Westerns, Art House, Cyberpunk, Neo-Noir, etc.) and the film movements that inspire me on a technical level (German Expressionism, Surrealist, Classic Hollywood, New Hollywood, Underground, Giallo, Exploitation etc.) I want this love and influence to be the foundation for future projects and the conduit to connect me with talented individuals who share the same cinematic convictions and passions. My main priority is Phoenix Muse, but I want to make Neon Slate a home for more content and creations like short films, small business ads, music videos and web series. Visions are worth fighting for, so let’s work together.
Humble beginnings and nostalgic fondness. Understanding where you came from is the best way to understand who you are. Your values, codes and progress to evolve. Here is some of my early work that explains my artistic motives, intentions and style.
A university project. The goal was to achieve a visual sense of transformation that could not go longer than ninety seconds. Never seeing eye to eye with my professor I chose to entertain myself and tell the story of an individual who may or may not suffer from schizophrenia. The complexity of their life or projected madness. The dark psychological foundation was a great way to implement classic horror techniques and build suspense.
The Last House on Redgrave
Three witches manipulate the mind of a serial killer to help them restore their business and save their sister from a gang. All goes well until the serial killer wakes up with amnesia and must discover who he really is. A backyard film with a complex plot made by high schoolers. The Last House on Redgrave takes direct influence from 1970s exploitation horror, as seen in the grind house style trailer. As much as I took influence with that era in film me and my friends were also mimicking the creativity of those low budget films since we too were forced to be creative out of necessity.
"The screen is a magic medium. It has such power that it can retain interest as it conveys emotions and moods that no other art form can hope to tackle.
- Stanley Kubrick -