Career and philosophy
I got my first job out of art school at a computer animation company in Iowa. We started out making courtroom demonstrations, but soon we were creating content for the Discovery Channel and National Geographic. That company transitioned into game development, but my devotion to film endured. So years later I wrote, directed and, of course, provided the visual effects for The Nest. Since then I have been called upon to deliver vfx for various independent films and music videos.
These days there is a lot of passionate backlash against CGI. Much of it is valid, if somewhat misdirected. Usually the real issue is how the technology is used, whether it be a case of over dependence or poor execution. In other words, if it detracts from the story, it's no good. If it serves the story and serves it well, it's every bit as valid as the original 1933 King Kong puppet.
But I have always admired the great effects efforts of the golden era when everything had to be shot in miniature or on an animation stand. I love the look of that work, warts and all. Many things just look better when they are gathered from nature. I still remember the art director from NatGeo showing me how to make a great star field. You soak a toothbrush with ink, hold it over the paper and scrape it with your thumb. Scan and invert it in Photoshop. The result is a random distribution you could never get by deliberately painting each star. So I often shoot and include practical elements like smoke and water. They help to keep things feeling natural in the composite.
I live and work in Austin, Texas.