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My Top Five Films of 2017

2017 was a great year! I shot some films that I'm really proud of, each one helping me hone my craft as a director. Here are the highlights: No 5. Shot on location in Milan and Monterosa Ski Area, Italy. We filmed with #Colmar, a famous Italian skiwear brand, as they design and produce a collection using the worlds first bio-based sustainable fabric. No ski film would be complete without a trip to the mountains to test-drive the gear! It was great to direct DP @julienrodrigues as we snowboarded down the mountain with a movi. Also shoutout to my LONG SUFFERING producer @jgaynes. Too fun!

No 4. The Chance of Two Lifetimes. Want to watch a two-minute film that will make you smile? Look no further than this amazing tale of Bob, a Vietnam veteran and Son Vo, a Blues singer who spent his life believing himself an orphan, who both received an ancestry.com DNA kit for Christmas from their wives. Spoiler alert — they find each other! Shot for #IBM. DP @patrick_jones No 3. Remember that pesky 2010 volcano eruption in Iceland that disrupted everyones travel plans? IBM’s official title for the film series is ‘The Ripple Effect’ but I call it “The Ripple Effect … or how DP @tyhaft and I managed to shoot on a volcano, up a glacier, on a fishing boat in the Atlantic, inside a cargo airplane, a freezing fish processing plant, a volcano monitoring center, and a dangerous warehouse, in three days.” Also remind me to tell you about the one hour early morning interview I did — on the side of a freezing cold glacier — where the sound guy forgot to press record. LOL.

No 2. A Good Heart. DP @patrick_jones and I traveled to Italy to film a grueling five-hour heart surgery, for a story about Tommaso, a little boy who had a hole in his heart and was saved by an incredible Cardiologist using imaging technology, rather than open heart surgery.

No 1. Ariel’s Story. DP @davidvollrath and I ventured to rural Kentucky to follow three wonderful sisters who teach themselves the ukulele in order to connect to their Hawaiian roots. After an intense two-week learning period, they perform in front of 400 kids at the local school. The encore? Inspired by their story, Ariel’s employer, IHG, donated ukuleles and guitars to the underfunded school – enough for the whole music class. Music really does have the power to change lives. Thanks to everyone involved!