The journey began with an old friend, a great friend, from school. As kids we would dream up ambitious ideas and do our best to film them in the forest during the summer. In a blink of an eye he was studying film at university and I was training to become an actor.
He later asked me to play a role in his major and it was there I met Harrison and Mark. It was films like THE GOONIES early on, and DONNIE DARKO later, that began to shape my love of film. They were fantastical stories rooted in a world I recognised and I wanted in. I quickly learned that acting was a socially acceptable way to keep playing in these worlds through adulthood.
At drama school I was lucky enough to work with a remarkable improvisation teacher. Creating something from nothing was in his bones. He understood the raw ingredients of storytelling. If I’m honest, I wasn’t sure how critical his teachings were to my training at the time, and yet his mantras are the ones I keep returning to.
I later learned that Mark and Harrison had formed Dollhouse Pictures and had independently funded and produced WEAVERFISH. I was absolutely knocked out by what they had accomplished. I believed that if ‘my people’ were to meld with ‘their people’ we could make something really interesting. I proposed a collaboration - monthly workshops to develop ideas for film through improvisation - this became Sandbox.