What were some of your favorite movies growing up and do they inspire your work today?
As kids, my sister and I watched The Wizard of Oz (1939) and The Parent Trap (1961) over and over again. Those were classically told stories with a sense of adventure and poignant themes around family that definitely speak to the themes I’ve been interested in exploring in the films I’ve had a chance to work on. The other films we watched over and over again, which gave me a taste for large-scale, Hollywood, action-adventure films were the Indiana Jones trilogy. We literally couldn’t watch them enough times. I love stories that send characters on fantastic quests. It was really fun being able to tell Kathleen Kennedy how much I loved those films, and hearing some of the fun stories she recalled from being on set as a producer.
Where did you grow up? Could you share an interesting fact about your childhood?
I grew up in Altadena, California, which is a smaller town just north of Pasadena in Los Angeles. Growing up in L.A. in the 80s/90s was like growing up on a giant movie studio backlot. Movies and television shows were filmed everywhere, and quite a few in my neighborhood. The kids in my neighborhood and I used to sit across from the locations and watch the film crews while they filmed and moved equipment all day. Occasionally we’d snag an actor’s autograph and be thrilled.
Could you briefly describe a typical “day in the life” in your position?
A typical development day includes anywhere from two to three story meetings with my cohorts in feature development including Senior Vice President (SVP) of Development, Kiri Hart, VP Development, Stephen Feder, and my fellow Story Group members. I can often be found meeting with our SVP of Production, Jason McGatlin, so we can stay up to date on mutual development and production milestones for the films. And I always look forward to days when I have a general meeting with a filmmaker or screenwriter I’m excited about. Depending on where we are at in a film’s production cycle, the rest of the day might involve watching dailies or giving editorial notes, drafting story notes, reading writing samples, watching directing samples, and phone calls or video meetings with folks down in Los Angeles, London, or New York.