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April 2013
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About Michael

My first great FADE IN: In Washington, D.C., one of three Army brats who traveled in Europe and some of the States from a very young age. A long and professionally diverse life and career have resulted in my working in a variety of roles, including janitor, fast-food worker, stadium peanut vendor, movie theater cashier and occasional projectionist, copy editor, reporter, music-magazine associate editor, marketing writer, Web site producer and editor at The New York Times.

A graduate of the University of Colorado with a degree in journalism, I was a reporter, editor and critic at several high-profile news sources, including The Times, The Oakland Tribune and the San Francisco Chronicle; an adjunct professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism; and a copy editor at an early iteration of Wired News. My reporting, reviews, essays and criticism on books, politics, film, television, media and other topics have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, PopMatters, Entertainment Weekly, Medium, and other publications.

I'm a long-time fan and student of the movies, television and our visual culture. My love affair with the visual medium began at age 11, as a precocious kid watching the TV Movies of the Week. Sometime after that I went to see "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" and (between bouts of laughter) was mesmerized by how that crazy story went together. how the disparate strands of a madcap ensemble train wreck coalesced into a movie.

A few years later, I saw "Fail-Safe " and lay in dread at night, waiting for the end of the world by atomic fireball. I saw "Sounder" and discovered the power of the small-scale historical drama. Then I witnessed "2001: A Space Odyssey" in Cinerama, at a theater in Denver. Nothing, on the screen or in the world, looked the same to me after that. My perception of the narrative architecture of movies changed from then on. That film revealed to me what was truly possible in the medium with the right mind and the right vision: Anything.

I wrote my first screenplay at 19 (the horror). But a passion that might be a profession has to start somewhere. From that humble beginning, I've moved on to expanding my knowledge base about modern film: consuming the work of Godard, Truffaut, Lumet, Kubrick, Coppola, Scorsese, Spikes Jonze and Lee, DuVernay, Coogler, McQueen; reading screenplays, and trying to grasp the complexities of the form. Professionally, I moved into various journalistic roles at the San Francisco Chronicle and The New York Times, and roles as movies editor for BET Weekend Magazine; indie theater marketing director; senior web editor for Current TV; and a reporter and news editor for . And I kept writing movies, a slave to the keyboard and the vision that only I could make out at a distance.

It's been a turbulent and productive five-plus years in L.A. Amid some of the chaotic events in the life of the city and the country, I've finished a WWII drama; and three pilots for three series, including one set in Seattle, my former hometown.

But "former" necessarily means "rear-view mirror." That was then, for now. Now I live in Los Angeles. Change is good.

Credits

  • Prove Me Innocent

    Prove Me Innocent (2015)
    Film (short) Detective

  • Pacing Eyes

    Pacing Eyes (2015)
    Film (short) Mr. Watts

  • A Change Is Gonna Come

    A Change Is Gonna Come (2015)
    Film (short) Producer

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