Don first moved to Telluride in 1978 and became a Flying Epoxy Sister. He then moved to LA, inspired by the films at the Telluride Film Festival and the Second City Theater in Chicago while growing up. He received his SAG card as Surfer #2 in the 1984 film, “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and began working behind the camera that same year joining the DGA and directing Music Videos, Commercials, Documentaries and Narrative Shorts. He is the lead actor and Executive Producer of “The Landing”, a feature film releasing in theaters nationwide this month, and on Netflix, Amazon Prime and Netflix in October.
We asked Don to answer a few questions:
It is so hard to name a favorite, so here are a few;
Fiction; The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart / The Hawkline Monster: A Gothic Western by Richard Brautigan
Non-Fiction; The Night Country by Loren Eiseley
Poetry - The Complete Works of Edgar Allen Poe
Summer - Riding on my fathers horse, Silver Loon.
Winter - The first time I went skiing at Wilmot mountain Wisconsin. Difficult to call it an actual mountain now…
Cold - Anywhere skiing.
Hot - Anywhere kiteboarding
Warm - Cruising on my Onewheel Skateboard...
1958 Porsche 550 Spyder.
"People ask what are my intentions with my films — my aims. It is a difficult and dangerous question, and I usually give an evasive answer: I try to tell the truth about the human condition, the truth as I see it. This answer seems to satisfy everyone, but it is not quite correct. I prefer to describe what I would like my aim to be. There is an old story of how the cathedral of Chartres was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. Then thousands of people came from all points of the compass, like a giant procession of ants, and together they began to rebuild the cathedral on its old site. They worked until the building was completed — master builders, artists, laborers, clowns, noblemen, priests, burghers. But they all remained anonymous, and no one knows to this day who built the cathedral of Chartres.
Regardless of my own beliefs and my own doubts, which are unimportant in this connection, it is my opinion that art lost its basic creative drive the moment it was separated from worship. It severed an umbilical cord and now lives its own sterile life, generating and degenerating itself. In former days the artist remained unknown and his work was to the glory of God. He lived and died without being more or less important than other artisans; 'eternal values,' 'immortality' and 'masterpiece' were terms not applicable in his case. The ability to create was a gift. In such a world flourished invulnerable assurance and natural humility. Today the individual has become the highest form and the greatest bane of artistic creation.
The smallest wound or pain of the ego is examined under a microscope as if it were of eternal importance. The artist considers his isolation, his subjectivity, his individualism almost holy. Thus we finally gather in one large pen, where we stand and bleat about our loneliness without listening to each other and without realizing that we are smothering each other to death. The individualists stare into each other's eyes and yet deny the existence of each other.
We walk in circles, so limited by our own anxieties that we can no longer distinguish between true and false, between the gangster's whim and the purest ideal. Thus if I am asked what I would like the general purpose of my films to be, I would reply that I want to be one of the artists in the cathedral on the great plain. I want to make a dragon's head, an angel, a devil — or perhaps a saint — out of stone. It does not matter which; it is the sense of satisfaction that counts.
Regardless of whether I believe or not, whether I am a Christian or not, I would play my part in the collective building of the cathedral”.
Ingmar Bergman 1918 - 2007
Memory on set
Watching Penny Allens’ performance as Mrs. White in my film “A Visit from the Sargent Major with Unintended Consequences”. Staggering. I wish I had shot the rehearsal, and from then on, I always have if possible.
Watching Snoop Dogg crush after getting my entire crew baked while directing him in a music video, then demanding 50k in cash when we rapped. Classic rap video move.
How 'bout a Sanskrit Proverb as a motto?
Look to this day,
For it is life,
The very life of life.
In its brief course lies all
The realities and verities of existence,
The bliss of growth,
The splendor of action,
The glory of power—
For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision.
But today, well lived,
Makes every yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore, to this day.
Hypnotic power over hiccups.
Best Advice: given/received
Show up on time.
Show up on time.
I don't know the question, but sex is definitely the answer.
Chinna and the Fruity Loopers - Documentary Feature
RockStars - Reality TV Series
FUNK is a Four Letter WORD - Documentary Feature
Mary Celeste Move - SciFi Feature
Caribe - Feature