I grew up in a tiny town outside of Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was my mother and her brother, Jimmy, that introduced me to classic Hollywood. Whenever he would visit from their hometown (Memphis, Tennessee) he would usually bring a collection of videotapes that he had made (mix tape-style) from films played on Public Television and anywhere else that would broadcast old films. So, at an early age, I was introduced to Errol Flynn and Douglas Fairbanks (Jr. and Sr.) among other swashing bucklers; Bogart and Bacall; Fred MacMurray ("Murder He Says" is a personal favorite); Nick and Nora Charles; and Charlie Chan. Being from the South, they both drilled the importance of "Gone With the Wind" into my head at the beginning. I knew the big screen was the best way to see a film when I went with my mom to see a restored version of that film in the 80s. It was my mom that actually took me out of school early one day in 1981 to see "Raiders of the Lost Ark" - which had a PROFOUND impact on my life. After the film she told me that there had been little short films just like "Raiders" that played when she was a little girl - which, of course, set me off on a mad search to find any and all inspirations for Indiana Jones. Which led me to a discovery of the Republic serials, the silent films of Chaplin, Keaton, and Lloyd. And to the 1943 film "China" with Alan Ladd. And to Charlton Heston in "Secret of the Incas" (1954). And on and on. And today, even though my favorite filmmakers are Spielberg, Lucas, Nolan, Scorcese, and others, I know that they are only as successful as they are because of the cinematic giants that came before.