MICHAEL GRADY

 

Born: 1970, Rockwall, Texas, USA.

Education: Texas Christian University [TCU] [1987-92]; Film Production Program, New York University [NYU] [1993]; Film Program, USC; Film Program, CalArts; American Film Institute [graduated in 1994].

Career: 'When he arrived at TCU in 1987, Grady took business and philosophy classes, eventually earning a bachelor's of business administration in marketing. It wasn't until his senior year, when he took an intro to film class, that he realized he wanted to be one of those people - the ones who make the movies. "I was into short-form media at first," Grady says. "Things like introductions to sporting events. I thought I would do commercials." Grady's senior year proved to be a turning point. The film class and an internship at J. Mitchell Johnson Productions in Fort Worth formed a foundation. Grady built on that base by doing some legwork. "I hustled for some entry-level jobs and made a few short films around Fort Worth." Grady then headed to the University of North Texas to earn a master's degree [all but thesis], then was off to New York University [NYU], where he took 18 hours of production classes and a cinematography class. His first exposure to the glitz and glamour of Los Angeles was a cross-country trip from Texas to California. "I knew no one in California and had only visited for one day prior to moving there for school at the American Film Institute [AFI] in 1993," he says. Grady's break into showbiz moved at the same pace as his trip from Texas to California. "It was a slow climb. I worked on crews and hustled and shot many shorts, music videos and small movies through the years. I was doing darker, smaller material," Grady says. "Dark and depressing. Nobody wants to pay to be depressed. For me, the challenge was going from doing dark, noir films to something different. 'Easy A' [2009] was a light and fun experience with a bunch of young, lead actors. It is not always that way." He generally seeks work near Manhattan Beach, Calif., where he lives with wife Erin Gordon-Grady, who is an early childhood program consultant for various clients in California, and their sons Ethan, 9, and Owen, 3. But when he can't, he occasionally packs up the family and takes them with him. He and Gordon-Grady sometimes talk about moving back to Texas, where they still have family and maintain strong roots. For now, they have to settle for small reminders of home. "My son is the only kid that will have a TCU jersey at Manhattan Beach Elementary School," he notes. Eventually he hopes to tick another genre off his movie bucket list - a Western. He figures for that one, they’ll come home to Texas.' [Brian Hudgins in The TCU Magazine, Fall 2011.]

Ph commercials. Ph music videos, e.g. 'Someday' [a: Flipsyde; d: James Cox].


'Hotel for Dogs' [2007]: DI Colorist Siggy Ferstl of Company 3 recently performed final color grading for 'Hotel for Dogs', the new comedy adventure from Nickelodeon Movies and DreamWorks Pictures. Ferstl collaborated with Director of Photography Michael Grady in developing a unique look to enhance the fun and charm of the tale of two kids who transform an abandoned hotel into a magical home for canines.

Ferstl was involved in the project from its earliest stages. His initial role was to supervise dailies processing and the application of a first pass color grade. That gave the film's production team a remarkably close representation of how the film would ultimately look.

'Dailies can strongly influence how people view the film, so it is important to lock in a look early on,' Ferstl observes. 'It is also helpful to me to be involved in shaping the look, even before it goes to editorial, because it results in better consistency and it lets me know what's in store.'

The film was shot entirely on 35mm film. Final grading was performed in a DI theatre equipped with the latest version of Da Vinci's Resolve color grading system. Having worked through the dailies together, Ferstl and Grady were able to proceed through the final grading process with relative ease as many of the creative decisions had already been made.

The look developed by Grady and Ferstl is designed to both complement the story and distinguish 'Hotel for Dogs' from other family films. 'Michael lit it with a lot of highlights and gold gels, so it is very, very vibrant,' notes Ferstl. 'He wanted it to be bright and colorful but to avoid the overly flat look that a lot of kids movies have today. He wanted to make sure the images had some nice contrast.'

Part of the challenge for Ferstl and Grady was dealing with the film's large and varied cast of four-legged stars. 'We wanted to be able to see the expressions on the dogs' faces and that was sometimes difficult as a few of the dogs were black,' Ferstl recalls. 'We spent a lot of time bringing out the details in their eyes.'

The film's hero dog, Friday, is white and so presented a challenge of the opposite extreme. 'He was very difficult to light, especially when he was standing next to a black dog,' Ferstl says. 'We often had to isolate and grade him separately to make him look great.' [From the digitalcontentproducer.com website.]


 

 FILMS

1995

Baby Fat [Tamara Hernandez] c; short/8m; shot (on Saturday) in one weekend with 'The Slap' (on Sunday)

1995

The Slap [Tamara Hernandez] c; short/6m; see above

1996

Inside Out [Jason Gould] c; short/27m; addph; ph: Sharon Meir; also seg of 'Boys Life 3' (2000)

1996

Men Cry Bullets [Tamara Hernandez] c

1996

The Last Man [Harry Ralston] c; 2uc: Jaime Reynoso

1997

Scrap [Aubrey Boytos] c

1997

Diamonds from the Bantus [Raymond Polydoor] 16mm/c; 2uc: Jaime Reynoso; released in 2002

1998

Atomic Tabasco [James Cox] c; short/14m; prod NYU

1998

Only Once [Rocco Devilliers] c; short/56m

1998

The Last Late Night [Scott Barlow] c

1999

Beyond the Mat/Beyond the Mat: Unrated Director's Cut [Barry W. Blaustein] dv/c; doc/98m & 108m (2000); addph: Joan Churchill (Philadelphia), Robert Bennett (Los Angeles) & Joe Carmino Maxwell (Amarillo)

1999

Little Girl [Juliette Garrison] 16mm/b&w; 2uc: Dale Obert

1999

Along the Way/The Haven [Andrew Bowen] c; released in 2007

1999

The Boss [Louis Lombardi] c

2000

My First Name Spelled Backwards [Juliette Garrison] 16mm/b&w-c; cph: Dale Obert

2001

The Jolly Man [Jason Barnett] c

2002

One, Two, Three... [Miguel Rueda] c; short/23m; also seg of Showtime-tv '4th Annual Showtime Latino Filmmaker Showcase' (2003; 7 seg/150m)

2002

Wonderland [James Cox] c; 2uc: Patrick Rousseau

2003

Around the Bend [Jordan Roberts] c; 2uc: Philip C. Pfeiffer

2004

Neverwas [Joshua Michael Stern] s35/c; 2uc: Gregory Middleton

2005

Bug [William Friedkin] c; aph: Dylan Goss

 

With actress Sienna Miller - "Factory Girl"

 

2005

Factory Girl [George Hickenlooper (replaced Warren Beatty)] dv+s8+s16-to-35mm/b&w-c

2006

The Dead Girl [Karen Moncrieff] c

2007

Six Bullets from Now [Stephen T. Kay] pre-production; status unknown

2007

Hotel for Dogs [Thor Freudenthal] c; addph: David Stump; see above

2008

Notorious [George Tillman Jr.] s35/c; 2uc: Martin Linss & Joe Williams

2009

Easy A [Will Gluck] HD (Genesis)-to-35mm (+ D-Cinema)/c

2010

Faster [George Tillman Jr.] s35 (+ D-Cinema)/c; 2uc: Igor Meglic; aph: Dylan Goss

2010

Friends with Benefits [Will Gluck] HD (Sony F35)-to-35mm scope (+ D-Cinema)/c; aph: David B. Nowell & (New York) Brian Heller; ph end title seq: John Frost

2011

Gone [Heitor Dhalia] RED Epic-to-35mm scope (+ D-Cinema)/c; aph: Dylan Goss

2012

Stand Up Guys [Fisher Stevens] RED Epic-to-35mm scope (+ D-Cinema)/c

2013

Annie [Will Gluck] HD (Sony F55/p & F65/p)-to-35mm scope (+ D-Cinema)/c; 2uc (+ 2ud): David M. Dunlap; aph 2u: Dylan Goss; retelling of film (1981, John Huston; ph: Richard Moore)

 

 TELEVISION & INTERNET

1998

G vs E [ep #1 'Orange Volvo' dir by Jonas & Josh Pate + ep #2 & #4-11 dir by various] 22-part series, 1999-2000; 1st season, 1999 (11 ep); cph (#1): Bill Marley & Bill Butler; other ph (#3): Patrick Darrin

1999

good vs evil/G vs E (title #15, #18 & #22) [ep #12-22 dir by various] 2nd season, 2000 (11 ep); cph (#22): Bill Butler; ep #22 was originally intended as the pilot

2000

Dead Last [various] 13-part series, 2001; other ph (pilot): Peter Levy

2001

Maybe It's Me [various] 22-part series, 2001-02; 2uc: Patrick Rousseau

2002

Hack [ep #6 'Slippery Slope' dir by Robert Singer] 40-part series, 2002-04; 1st season (22 ep), 2002-03; other ph: Ken Kelsch (pilot), Adam Kane (3 ep), Sharone Meir (5 ep) & Craig DiBona (12 ep)

2003

One Tree Hill [pilot dir by Bryan Gordon] 187-part series, 2003-12; 1st season, 2003-04; other ph: Billy Dickson, Peter Kowalski & Stephen Thompson

2004

Jonny Zero [pilot dir by Mimi Leder] 8-part series/16mm, 2005; other ph: Craig DiBona (7 ep)

2004

The Dead Will Tell [Stephen Kay] tvm

2013

The Michael J. Fox Show [pilot dir by Will Gluck] 22-part (7 unaired) series/HD (Sony F65), 2013-14; other ph: John Inwood

2014

The Leftovers [ep #8 'Cairo' dir by Michelle MacLaren & #10 'The Prodigal Son Returns' dir by Mimi Leder] 28-part series/HD (ARRI ALEXA), 2014-17; 1st season, 2014 (10 ep); other ph: Michael Slovis (pilot; shot in 2013) & Todd McMullen (7 ep)

2016

Ozark [ep #5 'Ruling Days' & #6 'Book of Ruth' dir by Andrew Bernstein] series/HD (Panasonic VariCam 35), 2017-present; 1st season, 2017 (10 ep); other ph: Pepe Avila del Pino (#1-2) & Ben Kutchins (#3-4 & #7-10); for Netflix

 

 MISCELLANEOUS

1987

Two Moon Junction [Zalman King] co-grip; ph: Mark Plummer

1991

JFK [Oliver Stone] uncred co-prod asst; ph: Robert Richardson

1992

Freaked/Hideous Mutant Freekz [Tom Stern & Alex Winter] co-grip; ph: Jamie Thompson

1994

The Nature of the Beast/The Hatchet Man/Bad Company [Victor Salva] co-grip; ph: Levie Isaacks

1994

Victim of Desire/Implicated [Jim Wynorski] co-grip; ph: Carlos González

1994

Hellraiser: Bloodline [Kevin Yagher] best boy grip; ph: Gerry Lively

1995

No Way Back [Frank A. Cappello] best boy grip; ph: Richard Clabaugh

1995

Independence Day [Roland Emmerich] co-rigging grip; ph: Karl Walter Lindenlaub

1995

Magenta [Gregory C. Haynes] gaffer; ph: Mark Anthony Galluzzo

1996

The Ritual [Gore Verbinski; short] co-best boy electric; ph: Neil Shapiro

1996

Money Talks [Brett Ratner] co-best boy; ph: Russell Carpenter & Robert Primes