Some films can change lives, and for Michael it was Japanese classic Seven Samurai. Watching it at the age of 17 suddenly made him realise he wanted to make his own film, and even though it took two decades to make that dream a reality his determination never wavered. ‘I don’t know if it was blind confidence or naivety, I just knew it was going to happen at some point,’ he says.
Michael wanted to find a story with the depth and richness to keep him fascinated for years and in the end it was Michael’s childhood home of Jersey that inspired his first feature. Growing up in the 1980s, he had nightmares about the Beast of Jersey, a serial rapist who terrorised the island during the ‘60s. Michael’s film Beast explores the idea of horrific crimes set against a fairytale backdrop and was shot on the island. After such a long wait, Michael says the experience of making the film was more exhausting and exhilarating than he could have ever imagined. He notes how strange it was to be the only crew member on the project who had never made a film before!
Michael is looking forward to making more films and using the Breakthrough Brits scheme to learn from other directors.