Directing Lil’ Roja N the Hood on location in Norwalk, CA.
In my work I attempt to combine drama with a fantastical experience. I tend to direct and write material in the Fantasy, Horror, Thriller, and Young Adult genres and sub-genres. I feel theses branches of cinema provide the perfect avenue to experiment with aesthetics and storytelling. They not only offer good old fashion escapism, but more importantly profound insights into our own human psychology, everyday fears, and moral belief systems. I also think that on some level theses genres (and in particular the horror genre) help us to develop coping skills with dangerous situations in a similar way that fairytales did in past eras.
Much of my directorial work has been focused on reimagining fairy tales through a modern lens. Through fairytales we gain a moral education. We learn that struggle and suffering in life is unavoidable because evil is as omnipresent as good. We also learn there is always hope in even the most dire of circumstances. It is this element that first drew me to these stories. Often set in the world of adolescent girls my fairytale adaptions examine social issues such as self-harm, anorexia, drug addiction, mental illness, gang violence, and sexual assault. These themes are important to me as I struggled with my own conflicts during my adolescent years.
I hope in some way my films can open a dialogue to discuss these important subjects, especially among girls and young women. It is so important that young women aspiring to be filmmakers and artists feel empowered to add their voices to the world because contributing stories from the female perspective make the world a richer and more authentic place to live.