Michael Heagle has been making movies since the fifth grade, back when you did it with Super8 that you had processed at KMart and projected on a bedsheet. He harkens from Mukwonago, Wisconsin, and attended the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, from which he holds a BFA in Film. While there, he shot a film with his buddy Mark Borchardt (AMERICAN MOVIE) called TOGA PARTY MASSACRE. Upon graduating, Michael tried his hand at a number of self-funded, independent projects, in which he filled the roles, variously, of screenwriter, director, production designer, editor, and visual effects supervisor. He also holds a Masters Degree in Animation and Visual Effects from Academy of Art University in San Francisco.
Michael’s film work includes writing and directing the 16mm cult-movie feature GO TO HELL (released by Troma in 2003), and the zero-budget sci fi western PLANETFALL. He supervised the production of an ambitious student-made feature film called TERROR REPORT, shot in fourteen days as part of a summer workshop class. As a performer Michael has been seen in the Minneapolis-based live series ATOMIC SHOCK THEATER and is co-creator of the puppet monster sitcom series TRANSYLVANIA TELEVISION.
As a visual effects artist, he has contributed to music videos by Rob Thomas, Afghan Whigs, and Hastings 3000. He also contributed shots to the Dark Dunes Productions feature film Yamasong: March of the Hollows, produced by Heather Henson and Toby Froud (daughter of Jim Henson and son of Brian Froud respectively). In 2016 he served as Animatics Editor on the Amazon Studios production of the animated series Danger and Eggs.
Recent Projects / Blu-Ray Special Features
Influences and Motivations
"As a child growing up in the 1970’s I was immersed in the classics: Sesame Street, Syd and Marty Krofft, Ray Harryhausen pictures, Warner Brothers cartoons and Scooby Doo. Like many, Star Wars had a profound effect and prompted me to start drawing comics and making my own films in Super 8. Inspired by the model work and animation of King Kong and Golden Voyage of Sinbad, I made a lot of miniatures and attempted ambitious short films loaded with special effects copped from the pages of Super8 Filmmaker magazine. My parents had the tendency to take me to films far above my age bracket, thus the permanent damage done by Jaws, Stripes, Outland, and other seminal films."
"I performed in theater in high school while continuing to make films and music, moving to VHS and SVHS and producing increasingly elaborate fantasy and horror pictures with friends and family. I attended the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and started my degree in Film in the late 1980s, steeped in what was then an incredible horror boom, and influenced by the work of John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Don Coscarelli, and David Cronenberg."
"I abhor waste and choose to work quickly and efficiently. Where some directors are camera-oriented, I consider myself actor-oriented — my goal is to bring out the performances and let them tell the story. I long for the days of lower budgets, when edgy and original stories could be told and not market-tested within an inch of their lives. As founder of Carschool Film-O-Rama, I have produced filmed entertainment with everything from people to pixels, from pro-wrestlers to puppets. I am inspired by drive-in cinema and low-budget filmmaking heroes of the past to create entertainment properties just outside the mainstream."