Origin Story: If you look closely at a map and draw a line from Tennessee to Georgia, back to Tennessee, then back to Georgia again, then up to Baltimore, then all the way up to Boston, and finally back down to Georgia, it makes the shape, believe it or not, of nothing the least bit recognizable or extraordinary. BUT it does begin to tell my story somewhat—that of a slack-jawed hillbilly who made his way up the east coast and back down again, chasing after a very smart gal who’s waaaay out of his league all the while getting into mildly interesting adventures along the way—stories that range from swimming in asbestos as a construction gopher, playing trombone in a wedding band, teaching improv to kids with special needs, and eventually writing commercials for one of the longest-running TV campaigns in history. But none of that tops the time I got stung on the tongue by a yellow jacket—which, by the way, is why you should always look before every single bite when eating an apple. Sadly though, I'm terrible at telling these stories around a campfire, which is why I'm a writer instead. Besides, who really wants to go camping with me, anyway?
Pipeline Accolades: Script Pipeline Screenwriting Finalist (Happy Little Trees)
- Nicholl Fellowship QUARTERFINALIST (Plaster Man)
- Atlanta Film Festival Perfect Pitch Contest WINNER (Plaster Man)
- Southeastern Media Award FINALIST (Pushin’ Up Daisies)
- Discover Film Awards BEST LOW-BUDGET FILM (Wait For Laugh)
- Berkshire International Film Festival Next Great Filmmaker Award FINALIST (Wait For Laugh)
- Palm Springs ShortFest, HollyShorts, Toronto Shorts, THAT Film Festival, et al OFFICIAL SELECTION (Wait For Laugh)
- Atlanta Film Festival, DragonCon, Fantaspoa (Brazil), Olamot.con (Tel Aviv), SoCal Film Festival OFFICIAL SELECTION (Pushin’ Up Daisies)
- Cannes Lions SILVER, BRONZE (Monster.com Radio)
- London Film International Awards SILVER, BRONZE (Monster.com Radio)
- D&AD WOOD PENCIL (Hardee’s Brand Book), Hatch Awards GOLD, SILVER, BRONZE (Progressive, Monster.com, et al)
- Dollywood Single-Day Tomahawk-Throwing CHAMPION (my arm)
On Being an Artist: "If I could stand on a chair and hang myself without missing my next meal, I would." - Nicolae Tonitsa
One could argue that we’ve over-romanticized the artist for a few centuries now, and if the new content explosion has taught us anything it’s that your plumber is probably way better at entertaining the masses than you are. Why? Because he has 2 million followers for his “great pipes” all-acapella plumbing tutorials, and you’re still torturing yourself over which brand of toothpaste your main character “probably” uses. Once you accept that you’re not so special and that your “art” is a job, one that you chose, and one that you should theoretically enjoy, then you can stop fussing and just pick a damn toothpaste already. That’s when things start to get done.
Fueled by: There is nothing more motivating than just observing human beings in the wild. Every day I see baffling little human absurdities that make me cock my head sideways and think, “Am I the only one seeing this?” There’s always an immediate compulsion to translate such moments to the screen tout suite. It’s a coping mechanism, really. I mean, how else do you make sense of the woman at the coffee shop who just “handed” me the piece of paper I dropped by trapping it with her stiletto heel then sliding it icily back over to my table without ever once looking up from her phone?
Currently: I pay my bar tab working as an advertising creative. I’ve written well over fifty TV commercials for Progressive insurance—Flo, Dr. Rick, Motaur, etc.—as well as many other household brands. You’ve probably skipped my work at least once.
Someday: I hope to be a full-fledged writer/director of culture-searing comedies that aim to combine the best elements of Jacques Tati, Ricky Gervais, Robert Altman, Mel Brooks, Mike Judge, Elaine May, Preston Sturges, and the everyday life of Bill Murray. I at least want to write just one line of dialogue in my life that is so magically and inexplicably perfect that it buries itself like a brain worm deep into our collective psyche to the point that future generations quote it so freely they don’t even know where it came from.
All right, let’s just be honest: I want to write Groundhog Day.
The whole movie. Word for word. Everyday. For the rest of my life.
Can I do that?
*Feature Photo: Patrick Franklin