IN THE BEGINNING / Justin grew up in Tranquility, New Jersey, a small Norman Rockwell-esque town nestled amidst the vast farmlands of northwest New Jersey. An early obsession with his imagination quickly spawned a deep interest in the arts. His insatiable appetite for bringing ideas to life lead him down an infinite path of creative exploration, mainly through drawing, playing music and making videos. Justin often found inspiration in the world around him, contributing to his infatuation with unique characters and bold performances.
ADVERTISING / In 1997 Justin graduated from Miami University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with concentrations in design and illustration. Upon graduation, Justin pursued an opportunity to learn filmmaking through making commercials. After starting as an intern, he spent two years at Leo Burnett (Chicago) as a writer/art director, before joining nearby rival, DDB (Chicago). While Justin's intent was to learn about filmmaking, his career in advertising climbed to unimaginable heights when he hit on a string of popular campaigns, the biggest one being the iconic Budweiser “Whassup?!” campaign, which won the Cannes Grand Prix and later securing him a place in the CLIO HALL OF FAME. Soon after, Justin tapped into his hometown roots by creating Budweiser’s Emmy-nominated, Jersey Guys’ “Ayadoin’?” campaign.
In only 3 years, Justin had amassed every creative award in the industry, both in the U.S. and Internationally. In 2001, at the height of his career, Justin abruptly left “agency life” and moved to Los Angeles to pursue his dream of being a film director.
DIRECTING / In 2003, Justin broke onto the scene when he wrote, directed and edited a SPEC REEL that became one of the internet’s first and biggest viral sensations, drawing over 22 million hits within the first 4 months with traffic that constantly crashed the production company's website. This was before sharing sites like FACEBOOK or YOUTUBE even existed. Immediately, Justin’s work became an instant hit with people in the film industry and beyond. In fact, his NUTRIGRAIN "Feel Great" attracted a cult like following world wide and could be found as the topic of many chat rooms and at the center of many fan parodies; like one made entirely from stop-motion Legos.
After a big showing at Saatchi & Saatchi's prestigious New Director's Showcase, Justin was soon recognized as one of the top new directing talents in the world. In 2006, Justin signed on with Anonymous Content where he refined a signature comedic storytelling style, blending bold performances and well defined characters with a sweeping visual style.
SHORT FILM / In 2011 Justin wrote and directed the short film, "Zoltan, the Hungarian Gangster of Love", a surreal, music fueled, cinematic tale that features a day in the life of the local Don Juan of a remote Hungarian village. The 16mm black and white Hungarian language film was a finalist at London's Raindance Festival for best International Short and went on to win several American Film festivals, qualifying it for the 2013 Academy Awards.
FEATURE FILMS / In 2014, Justin finished his first feature film, A Many Splintered Thing (Playing It Cool) starring Chris Evans, Michelle Monaghan, Topher Grace, Aubrey Plaza Phillip Baker Hall and Luke Wilson. It was released in theaters in May of 2015.
Justin is also presently casting for his new off-beat Indy film CONVENTION, starring Ben Kingsley, with Rushmore’s Paul Schiff producing.
Justin and his wife Barbara have recently moved to Budapest, Hungary where they live with their two children, Lola and Leonardo.