Storytelling as Director of Video & Production

With his love for film, a knack for creative storytelling, and the ability to evoke emotion in his audience, it’s clear that Michael was born to be the man behind the camera. Growing up in a home with one of Canada’s most prolific post-colonial writers (Rienzi Crusz), from a very young age, Michael was surrounded by creativity. From music, film, art, photography, to even famous literature, it was this atmosphere that helped shape Michael’s keen eye and intrigue for design and film.

As a very young child, Michael watched Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho for the first time. It left a lasting impression and is the moment when his love of the craft of moviemaking and photography first began. Ever since, he has closely followed and been influenced by directors such as Stanley Kubrick, Christopher Nolan and David Fincher. Michael’s style has been shaped by these masters of the big screen and the lessons he’s learned observing their films: Kubrick’s use of perspective, Nolan’s purist nature and Fincher’s fastidious technique of following his subject’s movements.

When Michael first joined the adHOME team, he took a three year journey, serving as Associate Creative Director, working with an incredible team of creatives and clients. During that journey, Michael rekindled his love for film and made the move to lead our video department.

As the Director of Video, he’s always on the go – scripting, storyboarding, shooting, editing, and directing. His work has offered him many wonderful opportunities such as working on voiceover work with the one and only Donald Sutherland for the University of Toronto.

Beyond the lens, Michael also leads the way in all things production, providing sage advice to our studio team and clients. Michael developed a wealth of production knowledge while working at a print shop where he gained invaluable insight into what is and isn’t possible in print, and how jobs are priced and produced from start to finish. He mastered the software, technical tools, and resources, meticulously paying attention to the fine details to ensure perfect execution. These skills have helped his career flourish and it’s why he’s such a valued and depended-upon resource at adHOME.

When he’s not directing on location or sitting in the editing bay, you’ll find him locked away in his soundproof home recording studio. This is where he goes at night to “get away from it all” and to find inspiration – once his kids are all asleep of course. Here, he experiments with his camera gear, watches movies, and keeps up to date on pop culture and his craft.

When speaking with Michael it becomes abundantly clear that his success comes from ensuring his creations leave the viewer feeling touched or affected. So much of that has to do with his emphasis on details. The little things that elevate. The things that many overlook are what actually add to the texture and quality of creative work. As a testament to this, one can’t help but notice when walking into Michael’s office his turntable proudly on display. Not just any turntable – his is an upright that changes the vinyl experience into something “unique and eye-catching,” as he describes it. And why vinyl over CDs? Again – it’s all in the details. He likes how it picks up all the little extra sounds in the recording process and just adds a little something. There’s a warmth and character. Once more, a master of the details.

Quick Q’s:

    • Favourite movie/director: Movie – The Shining. Directors – Kubrick, Nolan and Fincher.
    • Netflix or Cable?: Netflix in general for access to so much content but I miss the commercials.
    • Print or Digital?: Print because of the feel and the tactile nature of it.
    • Who would play you in a film?: Jeffrey Wright from Westworld.
    • What helps you wake up in the morning?: My kids screaming at the top of their lungs.
    • Favourite home-cooked meal?: Steak