Our Visual Team
Michael Rogers, Filmmaker, Director, Producer, In True Fashion Documentary Film Advisor & Mentor
“The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.”
Born into the Los Angeles entertainment industry’s fertile cauldron, Michael consistently brings fresh execution to often complex concepts.
Rooted in a diverse background, he was fortunate to have absorbed formative inspiration from one of entertainment’s revolutionary eras – the classic films, music, and literature of the ’60’s and ’70’s.
A University Of California, Santa Cruz graduate, Michael synergized his childhood passions of making guerilla-style Super-8 short films while transcending into the poetry of artists like The Temptations, e.e. cummings, Sly And The Family Stone, Gonzo Hunter Thompson, War, Brian Eno, Peter Gabriel, Ravi Shankar, Todd Rundgren, Zeppelin, Santana, and literary “Romantics” – Shelly, Keats, Wordsworth, Whitman, Edgar Allen Poe, Rimbaud, and William Blake.
Michael is now an entrusted research and development executive with two watershed multi-million dollar global movents:
1) inspiring our planet’s precious children to spearhead campaign strategy and message-financing development for pioneer policy and holistic, organic “permaculture” herbologist and sustainability farming icons working to decrease commercially-engineered, genetically modified organisms (GMO) in our planet’s core commercial food systems.
2) a synergy consultant and Development Director for an internationally-renowned alternative academia Ph. D. to connect the currently disperate fields dots of corporate CEO performance management efficiency and youth-inspired entreprenurial endeavors.
After graduating U.C.S.C., he spent 4 months in Rio, Amazon, and Pantanal, Brazil intending to study the spiritual resilience of the indiginous Xingu tribes, as discerned and compared to their adolescent counterparts in the Bronx, NY, only to have the study tabled due to political and cultural conflict between the Xingu and Euro-Portuguese interlopers who encroached on soverign Xingu land to turn rain forest territory into residencial and cattle settlements.
While navigating the fine line between lucidity and insanity as a counselor in Psychiatric hospitals, Michael was invited by Boston and New York bands to be their personal manager.
In 1999, Michael was recruited as Director of Marketing to ply his online marketing expertise and strategic product/service partnerships for music sites such as artistdirect.com (co-founders of LOLLAPALOOZA and COACHELLA) and e3records.com (owned by Evan Evans, son of iconic jazz legend, Bill Evans).
This adventure evolved into film music supervision (for Award-winning filmmaker Gurinder Chadha’s (BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM) WHAT’S COOKING? (Sundance 2000 Opening Gala selection) and crime thriller, TEN TIL NOON, among others.
Michael’s industry network referred him to develop production knowledge for various television shows (Dick Clark’s ROCKIN’ NEW YEARS EVE, AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS, ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS, Dick Clark’s BLOOPERS, TNT’s SCREEN ACTOR’S GUILD AWARDS for Jeff Margolis Productions, NBC’s YOU ASKED FOR IT, and was a national casting producer for AMERICAN IDOL precursor, YOUR BIG BREAK.
Next, Michael served as Production Coordinator for independent features, HEART OF STONE and CONNECTING DOTS and produced TEN TIL NOON, starring Morgan Freeman’s son, Alphonso.
The award-winning (2012 Phoenix Film Festival Best Documentary; 2012 Toronto ReelheART Film Festival Best Editing/Animation) feature documentary, WE RUN SH*T was Michael’s directoral debut. He now develops HOW ENRON LEARNED TO LOVE OCCUPY WALL STREET with fellow Executive Producer Liam McDermott, as well as VET DEBT, on the spiritual, emotional, psychological challenges U.S. Vets face as they transition back to homeland soil.
Michael is presently producing the reality series, THE VELVET ROPES: MAC ATTACK, which witnesses the eccentric octane-hammered, character-driven aspirations, vision, challenges (personal and professional), triumphs, and disasters of Hollywood, Cali-based, iconic events producer, Mac Africa and her gnarly core-crew of insider nightlife promoters as they clash and collaborate to pull off nightly hat-tricks, as well as several reality series, including inspiring fitness/wellness pioneer Papa Joe Aviance (joejoenow.com; joewalking.com) and STREET OUTLAWS, on classic car restoration artists who challenge other restorers to speed contests throughout the U.S.
In 2005, Michael founded Orchestwrx Media, which produces webisodic/vlog online video marketing content for industry clients, music videos, and direct/produce documentary feature films.
In early 2011, he was invited to serve as Film, Video, and Marketing/Advertising Chair on the 2012 Jamaica Slam poetry event Advisory Board, anointed “the super bowl of slam poetry” and featuring 1,200 of the world’s elite slam spitters on a cruise ship from Miami to Jamaica.
Michael is currently writing his book, CAREFREE, NOT CARELESS on themes of ease and joy rather than forced or “automaton” action in life, alternative education, and love.
Michael’s passion is to inspire and execute unique creative-outlet and entreprenurial platforms for children and adolescents to express their vision-voices as well as gain resource support and access to starting and running their own product and service companies.
Lydia and Shane Hurlbut, Founders of Hurlbut Visuals, In True Fashion Film Equipment Sponsor
Hurlbut Visuals was created by Lydia and Shane Hurlbut, ASC to educate and inspire one filmmaker at a time. It began as a way for Shane to share his many years of experience as a filmmaker, his pioneering spirit with new cutting-edge technologies and practical product knowledge on both commercial and feature films. Through the creation of original content, Shane and the Elite Team test new products and experiment with innovative techniques, which they share with the Hurlbut Visuals readership in blog entries in a way that is both engaging and informative. The goal is to ignite the passion, creative ideas and dreams of the bloggers with more efficient, environmentally and economically responsible technology.
From the first blog entry in 2009, Shane, Lydia and the Elite Team began a dialogue with their audience that continues to this day. Initially through emails and then through blog comments, the conversation has expanded to include people from as far away as Iceland and spanning to Europe, Central America and South Africa. The Hurlbut Visuals audience is made up of a myriad of people from around the globe who have a thirst for knowledge and information related to filmmaking. For those where film school is not available, Hurlbut Visuals has become the go to resource with the latest technology and proven techniques flowing freely to all who seek it.
Hurlbut Visuals has a new, boutique production arm that currently generates short and documentary style pieces. We have successfully funded and produced the critically acclaimed short “The Last 3 Minutes” for Canon, USA. It was selected by two Academy Award consideration festivals: LA Short Fest and St. Louis International Film Festival. It won the Golden Ticket (Best-in-the-fest) award in the SoCal Film Festival. Po Chan was nominated for Best Director in the SoCal Film Festival. The Vimeo Festival nominated it for Best Short Film. Officially selected screenings were done at the Vimeo Festival, Ojai Film Festival and Emmentaler Filmtage in Switzerland.
Shane Hurlbut, ASC has the innate gifts of trailblazing and pioneering. As a result, we have created a time efficient system for HDLSR cameras based on the design and ease of shooting with the ultimate capture medium: film. The Master Cinema Series is a method for rigging that is intuitive for both cinematographers and independent filmmakers to help deliver a project on time and on budget.
The HurlBlog is the educational focus where Shane Hurlbut, ASC and guest bloggers share their practical knowledge and personally answer every question. The B&H Educational Series for Cinema is where Shane Hurlbut goes into specifics about shooting with HDSLRs. The Hurlblog Interview Series gives a personal glimpse into the companies whose gear we trust. Hurlbut Visuals HDSLR Bootcamp is a high-end master class (link it here) offered annually giving both small group instruction and practical shooting experience using a vast amount of gear. Upon completion of the course, there is certification by Shane Hurlbut, ASC. In the boutique HDSLR Cinema Rental Division hands-on learning happens everyday with gear checkout and rig building.
James Kicklighter, Founder of JamesWorks Entertainment, In True Fashion Videographer & Editor
Spending the first eighteen years of his life in Bellville, Georgia, population 123, James Kicklighter has become a multi-award winning writer/director whose work has been recognized by leading film publications around the world, including The Hollywood Reporter, The Times of India, Fotogramas and FilmInk Australia.
Ain’t it Cool News raved that his adaptation of Followed, based on the short story from Hugo Award winner Will McIntosh, “[is] directed with a delicate and gentle hand…the most unexpected horror surprise seen in quite a while.” In addition to scripted work, he has produced non-fiction work overseas. Film Threat said that his study abroad profile Di Passaggio “captures all the imperfections of group travel in a foreign country, boiled down to the authentically naive reactions…[and] innocent perceptions of the world.”
Just in time for his twenty-fifth birthday, he wrapped production on Desires of the Heart, an international crossover film from writer/producer/executive producer Solila Parida (Vishkanya). Dr. Kris Sharma (Val Lauren, The Last Knights, Interior. Leather Bar., Sal) is a psychiatrist from India practicing in Savannah, Georgia when he meets Madeline (Alicia Minshew, “All My Children”), a local artist with a mysterious past. As their relationship begins to blossom in America, Kris is summoned home by his brother (Gulshan Grover, I Am Kalam) to marry the woman chosen by his parents. But as he begins to make decisions about his future, he discovers centuries old secrets that may seal the fate of his destiny. Principal photography took place during Fall 2012 in Savannah and Bikaner, India.
He will next direct and co-write the biopic about legendary college football coach Erk Russell with producers Beau Turpin (Counterpunch) and Catherine Paura (?Joyful Noise?).
Outside of entertainment production, Kicklighter produced the “I AM NSLC” campaign for the National Student Leadership Conference, interviewing distinguished alumni employed by companies such as ABC News, Harvard University, and Gallup, Inc. He also works with In True Fashion, the non-profit side of JAMAH, whose leather handbags have been spotlighted by Vogue and carried by Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, and Jessica Alba. The Los Angeles-based program builds self-esteem and work ethic in low-income students.
Profiled in the National Edition of Examiner.com’s “Top CEO’s Under 25″ series, he was a screener for the 2009 International Documentary Association’s Distinguished Feature Award. He serves on the Advisory Board for the Department of Communication Arts at Georgia Southern University, his alma mater.