Born and raised in Ohio, at age 10 I realized I no longer wanted to be a magician and that I was a movie director. I’ve been making movies nonstop since.
I credit my mom’s support of my early dream and my dad’s constantly taking me to the movies at a very young age and throughout his life. His shelves were filled with books about movie directors, Orson Welles his favorite, and these tomes constantly drew me in.
I’m thankful that my dad didn’t shield me from movies that might have been deemed too frightening (or maybe it just didn’t occur to him, which is more likely). At 7, I was glued to the TV when he introduced me to Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, equal parts hilarious, frightening and exciting. Nothing scares the hell out of a 9 year old like Close Encounters of the Third Kind or – when you’re 10 – is as wonderfully incomprehensible as Blade Runner.
But probably the most impactful movie, in terms of sealing the deal on what I would become, happened in ’81. I was 10 and can’t think of a more perfect age to see it. My dad and I were standing in line at the Avon Lake cinema that summer, and I was pissed. I shook my head in angry disbelief and frustration, infuriated we weren’t going to see Superman II.
“Trust me, you’re going to like this,” said my dad.
And the rest is history.