"Filmmaking is a chance to live many life times."  Robert Altman

 

When I was six, my dad owned a restaurant in Miles City, Montana. His bartender told me the story of his life. How he was abandoned as a baby in a cabbage patch where visiting Martians adopted him and raised him on the red planet. He gave me a little  figure of his adoptive father with green skin, an enlarged cranium and pointed ears.  His Martian parents even visited Dad's restaurant one night just because they missed their son so much.  I wasn't there, but my parents were. And they told me all about it.

 

It would be a few years before I began to suspect they were lying. But by that time it became all about the story.  The speculative possibilities of that fiction have stayed with me to this day. Not just that story, but many many others. Stories of my family, of other cultures and countries. Fiction and non-fiction. I lost the little Martian figure long ago, but when I recently found it on ebay, I bought it. It's a sin to lose the important stories in your life.

 

From a very young age, I wanted to tell stories in the best way I could. As a young teenager in Las Vegas, Nevada, I studied Cartooning by mail with the Art Instruction Schools of Minneapolis - the same school where PEANUTS creator Charles Schultz used to teach. I wanted to draw and write comic books. But it was as an Art major in college that I made my first film - a minute long animation  shot from over 500 of my own drawings.

 

From there I moved to live action film and film classes where I discovered a love for editing. I was accepted into the Master of Fine Arts program in Screen-writing at UCLA where I won the Jack Nicholson and the Larry Thor awards and got my first agent.

 

In my last quarter at UCLA, I joined I.A.T.S.E. Local 700, the Motion Picture Editors Guild. I took a staff apprentice editor position at Paramount Studios and from there moved on to different studios and different movies. Warner Brothers and Universal. Pee Wee's Big Adventure and The Color Purple. To name a couple.

 

With marriage and children, I found other opportunities in other locations. I made educational films and documentaries while living in Utah and New Mexico. After a number of years I returned to Los Angeles where I have been editing and directing independent feature films.

 

In the course of my career, I have told many stories. I have more to tell.

 

 

 

 

FILMOGRAPHY

BIO

Feature Films

 

CHIHUAHUA THE MOVIE - director, co-writer, editor

LA HACIENDA - co-writer, editor, second unit director

RESPECT - editor

THE BATTLE; CINCO DE MAYO - editor

PADRINO II - co-editor

WAILER II - editor

LEAN LIKE A GANGSTER (PRICE OF THE AMERICAN DREAM II

- director, co-writer, editor

NOSTALGIA - editor

RETURN WITH HONOR - director

TRUE MEN - editor

COSMIC RADIO - co-editor

MEXICAN-AMERICAN - editor

THE CURSE OF EL CHARRO - editor

EAST L.A. KING - editor, second unit director

DRONE VIRUS - editor

MASKED AND ANONYMOUS - editor

RIVALS - editor

CLUBHOUSE DETECTIVES - editor

MOUNTAIN OF THE LORD - editor

THE LEGEND OF WOLF MOUNTAIN - editor

REUBEN AND ED - first assistant editor

SHIPWRECKED - assistant editor

BACK TO THE FUTURE II - coordinator, foreign post production

WITCHING OF BEN WAGNER - supervising editor

PHANTOM OF THE OPERA - assistant editor

NO MAN'S LAND - assistant editor

MIDNIGHT RUN - first assistant editor

L.B.J. - assistant editor

SURRENDER - first assistant editor

POLTERGEIST II - assistant editor

COLOR PURPLE - assistant editor

PEE WEE'S BIG ADVENTURE - assistant editor

WITNESS - apprentice editor

FALLING IN LOVE - apprentice editor

BEST DEFENSE - apprentice editor

FOOTLOOSE - apprentice editor

GET CRAZY - apprentice editor

DIVINE MADNESS - post production assistant

 

 

Short Films

 

HALVOR'S RADIO - director, writer, editor, actor

WOMAN AT THE WELL - director, editor

BALLERINA - co-director, co-writer

HELPS FOR UNDERSTANDING THE BOOK OF REVELATIONS - director, co-writer

THE SOWER - director

THE JAR - director

ABRAHAMIC COVENANT - director, co-writer

THE GARDENER - director

PIANO RECITAL - director

FOR THIS CHILD I PRAYED - director, co-writer

POOCHINSKI - assistant editor

 

 

 

DOCUMENTARIES

 

BOCCANEGRA W. PLACIDO DOMINGO - co-editor

JULY MOON - editor, co-producer, co-writer

FORGOTTEN CHINA - editor

SAN JUAN/ ST. JOHNS - director, producer, writer, co-editor

FAMILY TIMES (6 short documentaries, TV) - director, writer, editor

FACULTY DEVELOPMENT, WHO NEEDS IT - director, editor

ASSESSING STUDENT LEARNING - director, writer, editor

ENABLING TEACHING ASSISTANTS - director, writer, editor

ENGAGING STUDENTS IN THE LARGE CLASS - director, writer, editor

TOWARDS AN ETHICAL LEARNING COMMUNITY - director, writer, editor

CHURCH IN ACTION/ THE WALLS COME DOWN - director, writer, editor

TAKE WILLY WITH YA/ THE RIDIN' GREENOUGHS - director, producer, writer, editor, score

 

     Copyright 2017 Michael Amundsen - All background photos taken by Michael Amundsen - All rights reserved