When did you get into filmmaking? 
Well…it’s a pretty convoluted story! Ever since I was a little kid, when I would do film series for my parents and their friends, I’ve loved film. At that time, I hosted and curated salon events, during which I’d deconstruct movies and discuss famous filmmakers. It wasn’t a big crowd, but they inspired me to keep it up. But after high school, I actually took a side route and got into golf. I turned pro shortly after high school, but after a little while I thought, “What the hell am I doing? Am I going to do this forever?” You know, I love golf, but realized I was a more talented storyteller. So I went back to college, quickly became a produced playwright, and eventually transferred to the dramatic writing program at Tisch. That’s where I learned to write screenplays, and reconnected with film. So golf to film…not a typical transition. At TEDxMileHigh you’ll be talking about pop-culture. What fascinates you about the subject?  (laughs) You know, pop-culture is a universal language; it brings people together. I’ve always been bothered that people love pop-culture, but dismiss it as trivial. It is a part of our history and we shouldn’t dismiss it – we should examine it. 200 years from now, people will be asking, “What was it like to be a Star Wars fan?” and “How did it feel to experience Gangnam Style when it came out?” I really do believe that we should work to preserve our popular arts because they are an important part of our history on earth. We can’t possibly preserve art at the rate we’re producing it. That’s the tragedy of art and life. Time destroys everything. That’s why I work to preserve pop-culture. You know, 50% of our film heritage produced before 1950 doesn’t exist anymore because it took decades for us to embrace film as a legitimate art form. Who is your hero? At the risk of sounding cheesy, my parents. They’ve wanted me to follow my own path and trusted me since the beginning. That takes a lot – to trust someone who is a 21-year old golf pro who wants to go back to school to be a playwright. But there was never a question. They loved me and trusted me. They wanted me to be happy and fulfilled. I think that it stems from my mom’s upbringing. Her parents forbid her from following her dreams of being a ballerina and she broke the cycle. I feel lucky, in that regard, to have parents who supported me every step of the way. In your opinion, what is the single greatest documentary? Whew. Big question. Very big question. I change my mind a lot about it, but I’d have to go with Warrendale. It’s a fly-on-the-wall doc about an experimental home for troubled youth in Canada. And it’s a powerhouse. I might change my mind later, but that’s an amazing film. Okay, fill-in-the-blank. If I wasn’t a filmmaker, I’d be… A golfer? (Laughs) What, in your opinion, is the greatest innovation currently happening in film?  Filmmaking is constantly advancing. I’m a story guy, a visual guy, and not really a tech geek. But I surround myself with those people, and I think that it’s important to know your strengths and weaknesses. I think the greatest boon is this wave of empowerment happening among the general public. With the advances in technology, people are able to make more with less. I think that it’s great because more people are able to express themselves through moving pictures. On the flipside, there’s so much of it now that it’s becoming challenging to find the true indie gems. It’s interesting because I like the idea of more people expressing themselves. That said, there is a danger of people not approaching film as a craft. Filmmaking and storytelling are crafts that need to be studied and honed — you really have to work at it constantly to become better. Why do you live in Colorado?
I love the West, and I always have. I was born and raised in Switzerland, but I also lived in San Diego, San Francisco, New York City, England, and Zimbabwe. After four years in NYC, I needed to go back West, but I didn’t know exactly where I would end up. I was talking to my mom one day about it, and she said, “Well, I met this really nice woman on a flight from New York to Nice from Denver.”  She connected me with her sons, who live in Denver, and one of them happened to be married to the editor of the Bloomsbury Review at the time. They connected me to the arts crowd in Denver, and I met a lot of writers and creatives in Denver, and was introduced to Mike Henry and Andrea Dupree at Lighthouse Writers Workshop. At the time, in 2000, they were just starting and needed someone to teach dramatic writing. The rest is history.   Filmmaker Alexandre Philippe will be speaking at TEDxMileHigh. Do you have your tickets yet?