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Michael Marantz | SHOOT New Directors Showcase Event
Michael Marantz

The Conditioned

Michael Marantz

1) How did you get into directing?
I just wanted to make films that made people feel strong emotions and would tell stories that impacted peoples lives in a positive way. I felt that I could do that, and so I went off and just began to make it happen. I didn’t think I was a director when I started several years ago, but eventually one of my wonderful friends, Daniel Mercadante, told me that is exactly what I doing, and so all of a sudden, I became a director.

2) What is your most recent project?
A short narrative film called The Cycle is my latest project. It’s a film about a NYPD officer wrongfully shoots a kid and is cleared of any wrongdoing. While seeking redemption, he is forced to confront the personal and societal burden of his actions. He must choose to either continue the cycle of violence, or end it. We are currently organizing a tour that includes a panel discussion and screening of the film to inspire positive dialogue between communities and police. It is premiering at the Palm Springs International Short Fest this June.

3) What is the best part of being a director?
Constantly having the opportunity to work with incredibly talented people who are masters of their craft and letting them do what they do best. There is nothing more rewarding as a director to have a vision and see it made better by the incredible people who support and make that vision come to life. The most amazing discovery I have made as a director is that if you enable these talented collaborators to do what they do best you will gain insight you never expected and at the same time made the work stronger and unquestionably better then you ever could have.

4) What is the worst part of being a director?
The schedule of production and travel is extremely demanding and difficult. I am constantly missing the love of my life, Isabelle, when I am on the road. It is always such a fracture to life when you leave from home and it is hard to keep routines. It is so difficult to maintain a life with work, but it is so very important to do so. You have to make time for it, without life, why live?

5) What is your current career focus: commercials & branded content, TV, movies? Do you plan to specialize in a particular genre—comedy, drama, visual effects, etc.?
Currently I am focusing my professional career in commercials, however I have always enjoyed and will continue to enjoy creating branded content. For my passion work, I want to continue to tell powerful stories that inspire people in whatever form that takes. I’d like to continue to develop my narrative chops following The Cycle and potentially work on a feature documentary as well.

7) Who is your favorite director and why?
I wouldn’t say I have only one favorite director, I have many. Some of the biggest influences in my life have been Christopher Nolan and P.T. Anderson. They are able to create such magnificent stories that integrate music so well. Also the cinematic qualities of the images these two directors shoot for are truly magnificent.

8) What is your favorite movie? Your favorite commercial or branded content?
There Will Be Blood. Between the acting, the cinematography and of course the epic story arc of the film, it’s just the full package in a film. It’s everything that I value in a truly great film.

9) Tell us about your background (i.e. where did you grow up? Past jobs?)
When I was 20 years old and a senior at Emerson College I got diagnosed with cancer. It was a treatable form of cancer but it was an incredible challenge nonetheless. This experience was one of the greatest evolutions in my life. It taught me so much and made me into the person that I am today. While it was so difficult at the time, I look back at it now with nothing but gratitude and appreciation for the growing it allowed me to have.


Edward Grann
Executive Producer