Hey, I’m Drue.
I'm a freelance writer, director, and creative gun for hire.
I've been writing and directing film and video content my entire life, so here's a long story, semi-short:
I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and lived in 10 homes before 10 years old. I wasn't good at school because family finances kept us moving around a lot. A poor kid with ADHD, dyslexia, loving parents but no stability, I sought refuge in creative writing, film and television. I got the ‘film bug’ at age 9 when I stole my mother’s Hi-8 Video Camera and made my very first film. It was a stop-motion movie using my action figures and a miniature set that I built from cardboard boxes and legos. Basically, I was “Andy” from TOY STORY.
I grew up in a new wave of independent filmmaking. The advent of tape, digital cameras, pro-sumer editing software made making movies accessible and possible. I developed mad skills with iMovie on my Mom's candy shelled iMac -- which I stole too. The kid who once had a 1.6 GPA and struggled to graduate high school soon graduated with a 3.6. What happened? The idea of making movies changed my life. It got me focused. I realized that to be a good filmmaker I needed to become a good student. And so I hustled.
I chased my passion from high school to Los Angeles, where I put myself through college 3 times, just because I obsessed with filmmaking, writing, television and everything in between.
I started at Cal State Long Beach where I learned the discipline of shooting on motion picture film, sometimes twice a week. I continued to UCLA, where I honed my love for screenwriting. I even got a cool award for my very first feature screenplay - an animated family musical. I did this to quench my love for Pixar, Disney, Nickelodeon and well... musicals. Then finally, I went to USC, the school of my dreams, where I received my MFA for writing/directing and doing a bunch of other cool stuff, like co-directing James Franco's feature film DON QUIXOTE. I always insisted on calling James "James-y." I'm not sure if he liked it, but I did. And I like him. He's honestly brilliant.
You might be able to tell I’m a sassy dude but let me tell you what I’m not: I’m not the Director that just directs visuals. I direct stories for the screen, actors, and meaningful messages. I know, sounds silly right? Well I feel like the state of industry is saying that cool images, computer graphics, and 4D spectacles are more important than character, storytelling and theme. They're not. I don't own a director's chair nor have I ever sat in one on set. First off, they're not comfortable and they're bad for your back. Secondly, when I’m on set I’m always standing. I took this ritual from director Robert Butler, who even at age 84 sat only once after 18 hours straight on a set I worked on with him. Baller.
When I write or direct, I'm about the work. I'm about real, motivated characters and performances (a la Jeremy Kagan, DGA). I'm about the essence of the story (a la Helaine Head, DGA). I'm about the hustle, a la Jay-Z. (HOV!)
I say this because what drives me is my love for characters, stories, and human experiences that are relatable to our lives and relationships. Characters that must face realistic, relatable flaws in order to achive their dreams. And above all, stories that say something. I deeply care about what our words and motion pictures say and how they make us feel. More than that, I believe cinema can change the world. I know this, because it changed my life.
My diverse writing and films reflects that, and they always say something personal and meaningful. Whether film, video, commercial, documentary, music video, branded content, copy, blogging or ghosting - no matter what the project is, it needs to matter to me and to others, because everything in life matters. Especially what we do as storytellers.
My style in directing comes from my background in directing dramatic improv (See Derek Cianfrance/Blue Valentine) documentary-realism, and my love for story and character arc. I take from the many secrets, training and philosophies that I learned while working at Apple. Trust me... they got their own kool aid. My writing extends from screenplays, to short stories, essays, blogs, tweets, copy, ghostwriting, consulting and a novella to be released in 2017.
I've been been lucky enough to have written, directed, shot or produced over 80 films and videos by now. I've had a few awards, article publishings, a lot of funding, and a ton of festival nods for my writing and directing. My branded video content for Apple has been viewed on millions of Apple devices around the world, in-stores and throughout the Apple website.
I approach every project with a child's wonder and a hungry man's belly. And I'm always hungry. I work hard, play hard, and people have fun with me. Creating strong collaborations is something that's made me successful in my life.
Now... I say all of this, and candidly so, because you should know what to expect. You should know what I'm going to bring to the table. It's too easy to hide behind 3rd person bios, egos, images, reels, laurels, resumes, selfies or cool instagram accounts (but mine's dope.) I tell you who I am, what I believe, and what I'm going to do - because I'm doing it, and I take pride in that. "We're doing it!", is something I'm often quoted yelling and smiling aloud on set. I want to work with movers and shakers, and I want to change the world with cinema and storytelling. Because we can.
I'm currently writing like a mad man - on spec and for various projects. I'm directing commercials and music videos for Swanky Flicks and Replay Collective.
In 2016 I finished directing and co-writing a television pilot for Dany Garcia/The Rock's SEVEN BUCKS PRODUCTIONS and two episodes for another independent television series called "WORDS & ACTIONS". We hope to secure an online distribution deal.
My film THE LOVE EFFECT is touring festivals around the world and recently won the Grand Jury Prize and Best Director at the Santa Monica International Film Festival - including 3 other nominations and a Best Original Screenplay Award at the Malibu International Film Festival. What started as a short film quickly turned into a social awareness movement on depression, suicide and love. With over 1 million views, shares and digital interactions, we raised over $50,000, started an organization, created mental health partnerships worldwide, and now, developed an interactive presentation designed to inspire and promote positive discussion for schools and adults. We even partnered with MENTAL HEALTH AMERICA, the oldest and largest organization in the country and were keynote speakers for their 2016 Annual Conference on “Media, Messaging and Mental Health.”
I'm currently in development to direct an original feature film screenplay that I wrote. You'll be hearing more about that soon. I'm constantly on the hunt for great clients and artists to create cinematic content with and I'm incessantly writing and consulting on various projects.
So... that long semi-short story basically sums up like this: I steal cameras, shoot without permits, write like a madman, love living life and share what I learn about it. I believe cinema can change the world, because it certainly changed my life. I'm a pretty lucky guy to do what I love and above all:
I believe in the power of words, motion pictures, and love. I'm a writer, director, a filmmaker with an attitude, and I'm gonna change the world.
"Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle."
-- Abraham Lincoln
Me. Laughing on set. Standard.
"You have sensitivity and passion and drive. Don't write for an audience. Write for you. All filmmakers do it. Just let it come out. Just write."
-- My Dad
My dad around 18.
He was my enemy growing up. Then my best friend when I grew up. Yet despite every up and down -- he supported me. Always. I lost him in my twenties. Now I share him everyway I can.
I believe in the power of words, motion pictures and love. I'm a writer, director, a filmmaker with an attitude, and I'm gonna change the world.