Don played the lead in a community theatre production of Oliver! at the tender age of 13 and never looked back. He shot his first film on Super 8, worked with black and white video in the early 70’s, and by high school was working at the local cable television station as a cameraman and editor.
Don studied Art and Design at Red Deer College and went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Film Production from Ryerson University in Toronto. He was active in the Toronto film community and fulfilled a childhood dream by working for the National Film Board of Canada before coming to teach at Red Deer College.
A true Renaissance man, Don is an experienced cinematographer, stage lighting designer, sound designer and engineer, screenwriter, film, and music producer, film editor and composer. At one point he co-owned a jingle company that employed k.d. lang as the featured vocalist. He has produced and engineered folk, jazz, and classical recordings including a Juno Award-winner, completed dozens of stage lighting and sound designs, and worked on over a thousand stage productions with performers ranging from Liona Boyd to Bruce Cockburn to Mr. Dressup. Past lighting designs include Cabaret, Broadway Babies, Footloose, South Pacific, Crazy for You, Amadeus, Fiddler on the Roof, The Taming of the Shrew, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Comedy of Errors, and The Grapes of Wrath. Most recently, Don completed the lighting design for Ignition Theatre’s production of Deathtrap.
As a filmmaker, Don wrote, produced, and directed The One and The Other, a half hour drama shot on location near Georgian Bay, Ontario, and was the cinematographer of Shadow on a Wall, a mock documentary which won the Silver Hugo Award at the Chicago International Film Festival, and which was invited to the Montreal World Film Festival and broadcast nationally on CBC television. He also shot a music video for the independent band U.I.C. that was aired across Canada on the pioneering ‘80’s CITY-TV program “The New Music” hosted by a long-haired J.D. Roberts (yes, CNN’s John Roberts).
Don co-wrote and was director of photography of the critically acclaimed feature film Naked Frailties, directed by Larry Reese. Naked Frailties was nominated for five Alberta Motion Picture Industry Awards and a British Columbia Leo award and has been distributed worldwide in addition to Canadian broadcasts on Showcase, Bravo, SCN, CLT and ACCESS networks. It was also featured on an episode of Movies West, Fil Fraser’s ongoing television series about prominent Alberta films. In 1999, Don, Larry, and fellow collaborator Harley Hay received the Red Deer Mayor’s Recognition Award in the Fine and Performing Arts. The trio also produced the television special Pizney’s Occupation in partnership with Global Television. The next year, Don shot They’re Here…!, a short comedy written and directed by filmmaker Ron Schuster. In 2005, Don received two Alberta Motion Picture Industry Award nominations as best cinematographer and best editor for To the Victor, another feature he co-produced with director Larry Reese (who was nominated as best director). Don also composed the musical score for the film. Most recently, Don was director of photography for the feature film Untitled, a romantic comedy about a struggling writer written and directed by Matt Grue.
Don is currently Head of Production for the Motion Picture Arts program at Red Deer College and lives on a half-acre of forest smack-dab in the middle of Red Deer with Alison and their two children, William and Christopher.
Some of his work as Producer/ DOP/ Colourist.
Until the end (2018) Road Game Road Game (2016) Year After Year Year After Year (2016) Reaction Time Reaction Time (2015) Oliver Oliver (2014) Let Go Let Go (2014) Under the Acorn Tree Under the Acorn Tree (2012) The Long Road The Long Road (2012) Case Study of Zacheriah Case Study of Zacheriah (2011) Tumaini Tumaini (2010) My Hubby Raj My Hubby Raj (2008) First in Line First in Line (2006) Naked Frailties Naked Frailties (1998)