Michael Merrill – Biography
As a writer, producer, director and author, Michael Merrill has made a life commitment to bringing quality films based on real-life situations to moviegoers and readers. Merrill was born and raised on the Westside of Chicago, Illinois. He has been writing for 20 years and has three full-length screenplays completed and three short films directed. The shorts include “Twisted”; “On the Wrong Path” and “A Shot Away” were all successful.
Merrill’s love for telling stories and bringing them to life started while he was in college at Southern Illinois University, where he pursued a degree in radio, television and film. Ironically, Merrill learned the foundation of movie making while working for the campus television station as a camera operator. Later, he transferred to Western Illinois University and studied broadcast communications. After college, Merrill landed a job at American Airlines, where he has worked for 25 years. While working and still reaching for his film career, Merrill picked up a pencil and paper and began writing stories, embarking on his journey to becoming the captivating, intriguing writer he is today. He took two classes at U.C.L.A.’s extension program. He also attended a wonderful two-day film class that really taught him a lot about the business and was the inspiration for his continuance of his pursuing his dreams. “I always was a visual person,” says Merrill. “I wanted people to see my characters the way I saw them visually”.
Merrill began his professional career writing and producing music videos before becoming a movie director and producer. His videos for the rap group “The Slick Boys”; a trio of undercover police officers who perform positive rap songs, and “Do or Die”; a local rap group, along with other local groups in the Chicago appeared on local and national stations including MTV. N’Site Films was created in 1994 with the goals in sight to write, produce and direct feature films, music videos and T.V. shows.
2003 was a break out year for Merrill, as he wrote and directed the feature film, “Even Trade”. In 2005, he teamed up with writer, producer Amanda Dee and they formed That’s Common Production, which has already produced “Desire”, an African American soap opera. In 2008 investor John Bradshaw financed Merrill script “Caught in the Game”. It was shot in 2008 and is completed with distribution deal Universal VOD and the Dish network. “Caught in the Game” also won the top three awards at the San Diego black film festival in 2009 (Best Film) (Filmmaker Choice Award) and (Best Director) and was nominated for best film in Chicago’s Black harvest Film festival.
Michael is now in production as a director on the documentary “Bases Empty”.
That’s Common Productions and is in pre=production with there next two projects “For My Friend” and “Flight 409”
Today, Merrill resides in Valencia, California. He is currently shopping around for an agent and manager.
For My Friend Drama ⋄ Family True friendship doesn’t lie in color, religion or health as it takes the bond of two 10-year-old boys to show us that real friends stay to the end.
For My Friend Family LOG LINE: True friendship doesn’t lie in color, religion or health as it takes the bond of two 10-year-old boys to show us that real friends stay to the end.