The ‘Essentials’ series was an idea conceived at the very beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. It was shot entirely on camera phones by the people in it. The cast were given weekly ‘homework’ assignments and they captured their changing lives through an unpredictable time. ‘Essentials’ is now an intriguing word. Its meaning changed throughout the year. Anya, one of the people in the series said, ‘Our jobs don’t make us essential, but it’s how we treat friends, family, and strangers that does.’ I think that is as good a definition of the series as can be made.
Todd grew up in Michigan, he studied advertising at College for Creative Studies and then film at Art Center College of Design. Along the way, he’s worked as a janitor, a roofer, treatment designer, production assistant, agency creative, agency producer, and on and on. Directing has brought him all over the world- from touring with bands to Vietnam to radioactive mines to a vacuum museum. In addition to commercials, Todd has done short documentaries and is in post-production on a feature.