Heston is an award-winning, Montréal-based writer & director of narrative and commercial video. A trained artist with a background in animation, he is possessed of a strong image-making sense for visual storytelling. He is also an avid reader, which he credits as the foundation of his writing ability. Heston brings a wealth of passion and professional experience to every project. See biography below for more.
Film & Video Production
Music videos; short narrative films; corporate and event video; and commercials large and small: Heston has served in many roles, both on set and off. This has earned him a comprehensive understanding of the entire filmmaking process.
- 1st Assistant Director
- 3rd Assistant Director
- Production Manager
- Production Assistant
- Unit Manager
- Production Assistant
- Acting Coach
- Swing (ass't grip/gaff)
- VFX Supervisor
- Assistant Editor
In addition to his production experience, Heston has supervised commercial production from the client side of the table, as an agency copywriter. This provides valuable insight into client-vendor relations.
In a prior life Heston worked as a visual effects artist on Hollywood feature films. He started out as a concept/storyboard artist, meandered through compositing and matte painting, dabbled in 3D CGI, dove deep into FX and simulations (picking up Houdini's VEX scripting language), and wrapped up as a VFX Supervisor. You can view his old demo reel here.
Over his ten-year career in VFX, Heston garnered such credits as:
- CG Supervisor on Dallas Buyer's Club (2013)
- Senior Compositor on Arrival (2016)
- VFX Supervisor on Amours D'occasion (2020)
- Digital Matte Painter on Young Victoria (2009)
This experience (and related skillsets) provide Heston with a unique perspective as a director: Shots, sequences, and entire projects can be designed in ways which minimize costs in post and maximize production value. Heston knows all the tricks.
Born to a multi-cultural Toronto family, young Heston demonstrated a manipulative attitude towards crayons, covering every drawing pad in reach with graphic imagery of dinosaurs. This predilection would land him at a prestigious arts academy at age twelve, where things only got worse. The juvenile also developed a premature taste for computers, dabbling in Borland C++ on his father’s 386, though he preferred Doom.
After quitting a Bachelor of Economics, Heston moved to Montréal where these two aptitudes - art and computers - would lead to his first job as a digital visual effects artist. Over the following decade, Heston would wander the wilderness of VFX, enriching the work of such Québec cinemeisters as Denis Villeneuve, Jean-Marc Vallée, and Xavier Dolan.
But the computer labs of post-prod were too far from the action. Heston wanted closer. Eschewing film school for a more hands-on education, he masqueraded as a P.A. and showed up to music video and commercial shoots. Like a spy behind enemy lines, Heston assisted every department in order to fully understand the process. This soon led to Production Management roles where he was confronted with the administrative and logistical side of production. Good thing he took all those economics and accounting classes back at Carleton! Undaunted, he pressed onward.
The transition to directing began in earnest in 2015 with two music videos for the popular Montréal band Half Moon Run. (There’s an interesting story there. Ask him about it.) As of this writing, Heston has directed three festival-recognized short films, close to twenty commercials for top-tier national brands, and has created episodic content for beloved I.P.s including Mattel's Barbie® and Nintendo's Pokémon®.
The Next Chapter(s)
Heston is excited to continue pushing creative frontiers in commercial video.
But he also aspires to the silver-screen movies which inspired him as a child: epics rich with artistic craft and imagination. He hopes to bring his favourite (and IMO under-exploited) game and fiction I.P.s to life on the big screen, as well as introduce some of his own.
To this end, he is presently developing an original cyberpunk web-series. If you have any interest in contributing to a project of this genre, please reach out!
Filmography section coming soon.