John's favorite documentary is 4 LITTLE GIRLS, Spike Lee's exploration of the notorious racial terrorist bombing of an African American church during the Civil Rights Movement.
John lived in a small town and had never left upstate New York. He had a close knit group of friends he’d grown up with and everybody knew everybody, even from most surrounding towns. But when he was 13 years old, his dad lost his job. To find work, it was time to move south to the booming Bible Belt. This was 1993.
John moved with his parents to Raleigh, North Carolina, a rapidly growing city and the capitol of NC. The kid hadn’t even ever heard a southern accent. “I was lost. I knew no one and I couldn’t understand the people who were kind enough to speak to me,” he said about the time. “I was pretty – what’s the opposite of wordly? Unwordly?”
It was then that he discovered Blockbuster Video. “I’d watch ten, maybe more movies every weekend… whenever I wasn’t in school, really,” he remembers. “As I was slowly beginning to understand the Carolina drawl, I was watching everything I could – indie films, Hollywood blockbusters, documentaries – everything. The movies were my only friends… for longer than I care to admit.”
An undisclosed amount of time later, John did learn to understand the accent and make some incredible friends.
But the love of movies, and TV, and everything else motion picture never left him. He wanted to create, to tell stories.
“It was love – still is.”
John went to film school at New York University’s prestigious Tisch School Of The Arts. Then he moved to Los Angeles and got involved in the making of all things that move.
He has since produced a half dozen feature films, two narrative and four documentaries, which have played at festivals like Tribeca, Palm Beach, and SXSW. The films have won various awards (he doesn’t like to brag, but rather credit “the whole team” on each film) and have seen various forms of distribution in the rapidly changing film market.
John also spends time applying his longtime passion for story to the work he does at AboutFace Media. “I tend to be the guy who works to structure a series of our documentary videos for a client – to work with our team to come up with a really compelling broader story to tell than say just a one-off episode. So it’s fun – you’re always creating and telling stories.”
Just like little movie-watching 13 year old John always wanted to do.