Bookpleasures.com welcomes as our guest today director/editor from Los Angeles, CA, Micah Levin. Micah attended Emerson College in Boston, and graduated in 2008 with a degree in Media Arts. He has directed and edited numerous award-winning films, commercials and music videos including the feature film Opus.
In 2006, Micah founded Movie Magic Media, a content creation company that specializes in creating and delivering content for modern distribution models. Clients include Warner Bros Music, Nissan, Capital One, Mercedes, Snapchat, Pantene, Herbal Essences, Taco Bell, Reebok, and Coca-Cola.
In 2014, Micah co-edited the network TV launch of Kid President and produced the original series From the Vault for SnapChat’s new Discover distribution platform.
This year, Micah’s sci-fi short film Grow premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival and was nominated for best narrative short.
Norm: Good day Micah and thanks for participating in our interview.
How did you become interested in directing and editing films? What was your training? How did you break into professional directing and editing?
Micah: When I was a young kid I loved performing magic for my friends and family. As I got older my passion for creating illusions and telling stories morphed into a love of film making. I would use my parents VHS camera to create video magic tricks and special effects with my friends. Together we would make short films after school and during the summers. In 2005, I attended Emerson College in Boston and got a degree in post-production. At school, I met many of the professionals I work with today and sharpened my technical editing skills. After college I started freelancing as an editor and started my own production company with a group of friends from high school and college.
Norm: What's your average working day like? Do you have any unusual habits/rituals?
Micah: Everyday is different for me. If we are on set shooting, we usually have an early call like 6 am. If I am working on edit with a director or client we will start editing in the afternoon. I typically like to do my editing work between the hours of 7pm-2am. During those hours I have very little distractions and I can focus on work better.
Norm: What exactly are the services offered by Movie Magic Media and what is a content creation company?
Micah: Our company provides anyone creating content with the tools and facilities to execute their vision. Typically that means working with a brand or agency to develop, produce, and finish high quality digital content for the web or TV. We have a studio space in the heart of Culver City with several production offices, edit bays, and a sound mixing suite.
Norm: Could you describe the process of creating and delivering content?
Micah: Everything begins with an idea. Sometimes a client comes to us with an idea, other times we help them develop it. Once there is a script or treatment, we create a production plan and find the most cost-effective way to shoot the concept. After the footage is captured we organize it, edit it together, and work with the client to make sure the final product fits with their brand.
Norm: How do you understand your work as an editor and director? What do you want to achieve with your directing and editing? What has been the best part about a director and editor?
Micah: I love telling stories and entertaining. The fact that I get to do both for a living as a director/ editor is a dream come true. I hope that my work will not only entertain but have a positive impact on the world.
Norm: What has been your most challenging experience to date?
Micah: I have participated in over 8 different 48 hour film competitions. Each one has been a monster of a challenge in many ways. We are given a prop, character, line of dialog and only 48 hours to make a completely 8 minute film. Imagine trying to write, cast, shoot, edit and do visual effects under such a short time restraint. It's very challenging, but also one of the most rewarding experiences I've had. Not only have I made tons of great films this way, but life long friends in the process.
Norm: What do you think are your strengths?
Micah: I'm a great team leader and problem solver. Those skills have helped tremendously when I am on set directing a crew of 50 people, or when i'm trying to piece together an edit in the cutting room. It's always a challenge to try and please everyone and still serve your own vision, but it's a challenge I love to take.
Norm: Can you tell our audience about Grow and the Tribeca Film Festival? What is this all about?
Micah: Grow is a sci-fi short film that I shot as a proof of concept for a larger feature film project. I took 5 pages from the script and put a talented production team together. We built a set in a warehouse in downtown LA and shot the film in a single day. After months of editing and special effects, we were accepted into the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. The festival was started in 2001 by Robert DeNiro and showcases the top features and short films from all over the world in lower Manhattan. It was an honor to have our world premiere at such an amazing venue. It was an experience I will never forget.
Norm: Where can our readers find our more about you?
Micah: They can visit my WEBSITE
Norm: What is next for Micah Levin?
Micah: I'm developing my short film into a TV series and finding new captivating projects to work on. Lots of commercials, web series, and branded content lined up for the next few months. Also we are creating tons of original comedy content at our new YouTube channel "MMMComedy"
Norm: Thanks once again and good luck with all of your future endeavors