Rich was raised in an artistic family in New York, and his mother worked to nurture his innate creativity from an early age. When Rich was young, he was exposed to a wide variety of artistic mediums through the art classes his mother taught at area prisons – but these childhood field trips ended when one inmate used a paper cutter to make an art project out of another inmate’s hands. Later on, Rich spent his high school years participating in a work-study program within the art department of a Broadway set production shop. There he learned the tricks of carpentry, steelwork, sculpting, and more, helping to build sets for shows like Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and Titanic The Musical all before he could legally see an R-rated film.
Rich’s time in the art department helped him hone in on a desire to pursue creature effects, so he packed up and moved out to Los Angeles – only to arrive right as CG technology was phasing out hand-crafted practical effects. He rolled with the punches, landing a job at Walt Disney Imagineering and learning CG on the job. From there he moved to Pixel Liberation Front and used his combined art department and CG skills to learn previsualization, working on films such as Minority Report and Constantine. And then, Rich was bitten by the directing bug.
Since entering the directorial phase of his career, Rich has helmed award-winning music videos for artists such as Eminem and the Black Eyed Peas, visually-striking commercials for top brands from Hyundai to Carl’s Jr., and he recently made his TV debut with CBS’ Limitless. His diverse background and extensive technical knowledge put him at ease with projects of any size or style, and true to his roots, he often assists with building set pieces and completing visual effects. It’s safe to say that Rich has made his mother proud.