The son of two sailors, conceived in Rio, sort of present at my parents wedding in New Orleans and eventually born in the small town of Vardø in the far north east corner of Norway, one could argue that I had traveled more than most even before being born. My continued travels eventually brought me to Santa Barbara, California, where I graduated with honors from the film department at Brooks Institute of Photography.
After graduation I made my move to New York, landing a job with fashion photographer Arthur Elgort where I spent 7 years working as a cinematographer, editor and producer. I shot fashion / beauty commercials all around the world, as well as two critically acclaimed documentaries, Texas Tenor – The Illionois Jacquet Story and Colorado Cowboy – The Bruce Ford Story, which won me the best cinematography prize at the Sundance Film Festival.
After leaving Elgort’s Studio, I spent a year as a freelance cinematographer, taking home an Emmy for my work alongside 12 fellow Norwegian cinematographers on “16 Days of Glory” the official Olympic film for the Lillehammer Winter Olympics and eventually co-founding Nonstop Pictures and beginning my career as a commercial director.
With Nonstop I built a solid base of fashion/beauty clients, including, Camay, L’Oreal, Aveda, Oil Olay, Oil of Ulay, Mod’s Hair, Salon Selectives, Chapstick, Blistex, JC Penney, Kohl’s and Maybelline. Macy’s was a regular client for years, until I was approached by Target, marking the beginning of a 12 year relationship, and one of the more remarkable transformations in US retail history, winning us several awards in the retail category.
My client base grew outside the fashion / beauty category to include Hilton Hotels, Reebok, Quaker, Folgers, Bausch & Lomb, Florida Citrus, Hellmann’s, Xperio and Shark.
In addition to shooting and directing commercials, I am currently exploring longer format, docu-style TV shows with a focus on people, travel, culture and food, leading me to create Ben & Phil’s Taste for Life, an entertaining TV show teaser aimed at bridging the gap between what we consume and where it comes from, along with some good laughs, great characters and delicious cooking.
I also completed a poignant promo for Give a Kid a Dream, a fantastic program helping at-risk-youth turn their life around through the sport of boxing.
I live in New York City with my girlfriend, my son and two stepchildren.