Like many people that live and work in the Houston area, I am a transplant. I grew up in North Louisiana, in the middle of the Kisatchie National Forest. Those gosh-darn pine trees were all around me. As a kid, we’d throw pine cones and poke each other with the pine needles. That was the extent of the fun though. You can’t climb them – they just go straight up. This was also the reason they were pitiful shade-makers. The sap dripped onto the top of my first car, and one big pine almost fell on our house during a bad storm. My step-grandpa would carve things out of pine to give as gifts, which, honestly, I rolled my eyes at as a teenager. When I moved away, those “good-for-nothin’” pine trees became a kind of symbol for the things I hated about living way out in the woods. Maybe they are good for burning and making paper, but that’s it. I ran away from the forest as fast as I could.
However, life has a funny way of bringing things full circle and teaching you lessons as an adult. (Wow, is that cliché or what?) Almost exactly one year before I shot my own first short film, suicide caused an emotional earthquake in my family. My step-mom, who had been married to my dad since I was a baby, decided to take her own life. I spent 9 days in a row glued to my dad’s side and with my two paternal brothers. It changed my life, in every sense of the term “change”. During the healing process, I started to appreciate the things that came from my step-mother that made me who I am. Those pine trees are right in the middle of it. I have a small heart-shaped wooden plaque she gave me when I was young, and when I ran across it while packing last year – it hit me.
My core, my heart is made of a material that is strong, but pliable. It is not stone, but it is not mush. I CAN withstand a lot, and I HAVE, but I have scars there as well. And that’s ok. I want Pine Heart Productions to be an extension of me, but an outlet for my colleagues as well. Don’t get me wrong, my products will not all be sappy, life-changing, dramatic, artsy movies and videos. Some of them will just be silly! HUMOR is a big part of who I am (I get that more from my mom’s side), and how I’ve gotten by for so long without going *completely* crazy. But, I hope to always remember where I came from and how my past will help me get to where I’m going. As for my audience, I hope that others just enjoy the ride and learn a little more about themselves in the process. At the least, I just want to make you smile and think about things a tiny bit differently.