I've always seen my life through the prism of story, an ever-growing collection of overlapping circles and rings of adventures each with its own characters, soundtrack, setting and plot. I think that's what attracted me to working in the world of documentary film. I feel at home here, it's my language and viewpoint. When I approach what goes on in the world in the context and perspective of "story" it all seems to make a bit more sense somehow.
Humans have always communicated and related to one another through story. And the very best ones are not made up.|
The first story in my life is set in the 50s in a rural and mountainous community in New Jersey where as a child I spent almost every possible waking moment outside exploring the surrounding acres of woods and streams. This bucolic life changed dramatically when I was eight years old and my father took a job in London.
Suddenly, we found ourselves living just off the King’s Road in Chelsea, in the heart of London's swinging pop scene during the 60s. I learned to live in a city, went to several different British schools and submitted my first poem for publication. (It was rejected.) I tried, but did poorly at ballet classes in Notting Hill and piano lessons with a concert pianist. But a passion was ignited at age ten with the birthday gift of my very first camera. I started photographing the world around me, both in London, and on our family travels to Africa and other countries.
I lived in both the US and the UK during the 70s. I graduated from ACS International in Knightsbridge in 1974 and spent two weeks traveling around Russia with classmates. I decapitated thousands of strawberries at the Wimbledon Tennis Tournament, worked as a dj for WGBC, spent a summer in Paris as au pair for the family of a Time magazine foreign correspondent, and then another summer working for a beach photographer before receiving my bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1978 from Gettysburg College.
For much of the 80s I made my career in the international furniture and fabrics industry, working with interior designers and architects all over the US and design colleagues in mills throughout Europe. I got married and had two beautiful babies, Zoë & Leif.
In the 90s, while raising my kids, I stumbled upon the world of documentary filmmaking and suddenly everything came together. At Journey Films, I learned art research, storyline development and production. We traveled and worked on location in Istanbul, Italy, Germany and London. Working for Journey gave me the a chance to take part in the exploration of thought-provoking topics through the medium of film – mind candy that included the interplay between creativity & spirituality; art, architecture & religion; and the lives and philosophies of Thomas Jefferson, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Madeleine L'Engle, St Francis of Assisi and Desmond Tutu. It was during this decade that I also got unmarried.
But, as always, where one story ends, another begins....
In 00 I began working for myself. In 2005, the kids & I left the suburbs of Washington DC and moved to Asheville, a small town in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, where I now work as a writer, photographer, and broadcast consultant in the world of documentary film and public television – a happy combination of travel, photography and storytelling. In addition to my work for other producers and filmmakers, I am also writing a book, "The Red Moon Letters," a dual narrative, historical non-fiction set in Ethiopia.
And whether I am traveling or trying to gently encourage zen-like gardens on our mountainside perch, hiking or relaxing with my kids and dogs, I can often be found behind the lens of my Canon.