What was the initial spark that led to the creation of Green Frog Café?

The initial spark for Green Frog Cafe came from my desire to tell the story of the relationship between Jack and Steven.  About how Jack served as a mentor and father figure for Steven, who got him out of troublesome situations and taught him about life.  It addresses the difficulty of coming to grips with losing such an important person.

Which director’s work do you admire the most and why?


I admire the movies of Jim Jarmusch, Peter Bogdanovich, the Coen Brothers and Richard Linklater.  All tell deeply personal stories with interesting characters who have a particular problem to overcome or a battle to fight.

What books or movies had the biggest impact on you growing up?


I admire writers such as Larry McMurtry, Harper Lee and Horton Foote and movies adapted from those writers.  Their stories involve characters slightly outside the mainstream and often fighting against some form of social injustice.

Tell us about your filmmaking journey.


I started my career as an attorney, representing unionized employees.  I came to filmmaking a little later in life.  I was always drawn to the stories of my clients and storytelling in general.  I began producing and directing documentaries on a variety of subjects, many touching on issues of social justice.  I began to work in the art department and to do more assistant directing work on music videos, commercials and short films as well as writing for short films.

What’s your process for working with actors to develop their characters?


My process for working with actors as they develop their characters is to insure they have a clear understanding of the story being told.  They really have to understand what motivates their character, their obstacles and what their character wants to achieve.  I really think a character’s actions are best understood as a manifestation of what they believe and hold dear.

What are some unexpected joys you’ve found in your filmmaking journey?


I’ve been fortunate to work on many projects with the same cast and crew and have made a number of good friends through film work.  By doing documentary films on topics that interest me, I’ve learned a lot about a wide variety of topics.

What advice would you give to someone starting in filmmaking?


“Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”  Filmmaking is a frustrating and difficult way to earn a living.  The effort one has to put into being a filmmaker is tremendous.  Many good film projects are started and never finished.  Often times, terrible films manage to get released.  But when the cast and crew come together to create something funny, moving or informative, it all seems worth it.