director. dp. producer. editor
Raised in the Rocky Mountains and now residing in Missoula, Montana, my path to filmmaking is a unique mixture of the unexpected and the inevitable.
In 2001 my sister and I climbed Denali. At the time, I was a 20-year old physics major studying the stars. I also loved photography and capturing the visual story of my mountain adventures. On Denali I met Bill Hatcher, an accomplished outdoor photographer. As my sister and I paralleled Bill’s team up the mountain, he soon became my mentor. A year later I was headed to the Cordillera Blanca in Peru to mountaineer with my sister. That was when Bill put a video camera in my hands for the first time. Everything changed after that- I was hooked on storytelling and mesmerized by the power that filmmaking has in shaping our world. In 2003 I went to graduate school for documentary filmmaking at Montana State University. In 2007, I founded the production studio Sprout Films.
Over the previous ten years, the people who have trusted me with their stories have shaped me as a filmmaker. Working on a film with the Anis in Nepal (the goal of the project was to aid in preserving Tibetan Buddhism), I learned the true definition of compassion. Mark Stephan--a quadriplegic with whom I biked across the United States while filming his adventure--helped redefine my understanding of the word disability. A few years ago, I collaborated on a project engaging adolescents in Bhutan with the countries’ progressive approach to climate change. These young adults gave me hope for the future of our planet. Similarly, I was deeply inspired by the youth of Azerbaijan (for a project exploring the profound connection Azerbaijanis have to their music despite years of war and occupation). These young children moved me to tears with the passion they felt for their musical legacy.
All of the raw emotion and energy that I take in--from being behind the camera to all of my off-camera interactions—I channel into the project at hand. Filmmaking excites me, and being behind the camera calms me. I find bringing stories to life rewarding and fulfilling.