I'm a small-town Hawaii filmmaker.
Born and raised on west O'ahu, Hawaii, I am an islander at heart and a curious traveler in spirit. I left home to attend Portland State University, worked hard and became a first-generation college graduate when I obtained a B.A. degree in Psychology and Minor in Japanese.
After graduating university, I spent the next 8 and a half years working in Japan. I like to refer to my journey thus far as the 'Pacific Trifecta' because living in each of these places has attributed to my growth, success and happiness.
I didn't always get paid to make videos.
For a long while I entertained the idea of becoming an ESL (English as a Second Language) educator abroad. But then on a snowy day in the countryside of Japan, I got my first micro four thirds mirrorless digital camera. I got bit by the cinema bug and never looked back.
As a filmmaker, I am deeply curious about three things: people, purpose, passion.
Volunteering in clean up efforts 6 weeks after the 2011 Great Eastern Japan Earthquake made me realize the power of media, specifically - motion picture, first-person narrative, and sound. I turned my 5 day volunteer trip into a series of mini documentaries to share with my students and co-workers at the board of education. In the following months I was asked to present this mini series to various audiences at multiple schools and organizations across the prefecture. I had discovered first-hand the universal power of storytelling.
You know what makes me smile? Watching my baby daughter stumble her way across the living room floor. It's a delicate crawl meets yoga pose slash drunken monkey kung-fu style, and boy does she make it work!
She's the only one on Earth with that specific style.
Seeing someone grow, learn, fall, hurt, cry and become a different person - to transform - that's what life is all about. That's what makes a great story. If I can convey these kinds of moments in my work, then I've done my job.