Maxin: Was this the plan the whole time?
Michael: *Laughs* I played the long game. Sometimes it feels like too long.
Maxin: But you had to trust the process.
Michael: Most definitely. The vision of doing it this way just wouldn't fade, so I stuck with it.
Maxin: Just so we're all clear, what exactly is "this way"?
Michael: My vision has always been to release my first feature film in this fashion. Movies are made everyday, it's how you market and distribute them is what makes the difference.
Maxin: What are some moments that have happened on your professional journey that made you feel you had arrived?
Michael: Ummm...Off the top of my head. When we packed the theater when premiering the film in Charlotte to set the tone for NBA All Star Week. That was a moment I had to take in. Having a driver come pick me up from my hotel in Montreal for the International Premiere of my first film was special. They then took all of the filmmakers to the House of Jazz after hours to just hang out, eat and drink. It was special being around different filmmakers from all over the world. It was life changing.
Maxin: Sounds like a cool vibe.
Michael: Yeah, I love Montreal. They really support the arts there. The two times I've been there have changed me in so many ways for the better. I'm planning to go back September 2019. I've got to visit Stogies again and take my brother to the casino.
Maxin: Stogies is the spot right?
Michael: I went there during my first visit to Montreal. The vibe was just what I needed at the time. I was out of the country for the first time with my very first film that I'd just made in film school. I had a good cigar and a nice drink dressed like the black James Bond. *Laughs* I didn't take it for granted that I was there, so I lived a little to celebrate the moment.
Maxin: And then you hit the casino?
Michael: You know it, straight from the lounge.
Maxin: What's your game?
Michael: Black Jack
Maxin: You the type to split tens or face cards?
Michael: *Laughs* I know it's like an unwritten rule, but I've done it before depending on how the momentum is swinging. I remember another player was pissed this one time, actually that was Montreal. *Laughs* I remember leaving the table looking him in his face saying "jokers try and tell you how to play your hand". And the Black James Bond left the table. *Laughs*
Maxin: What are some other moments?
Michael: My first time in Martha's Vineyard.
Maxin: Oh yes, it's a whole vibe out there.
Michael: Completely. The journey itself adds to the mystique of it. I flew from Charlotte to Boston. Then took the "Peter Pan" bus from Boston airport two hours to the ferry. Then I got on the ferry that would take the forty five minutes and that's when my life changed. While on the ferry looking out on the water I had possibly the most serene experience ever. The sound of the waves, the way the seagulls seemed to be suspended in the air as they were hovering over the water. The heat from the sun mixed with the cool air off the water providing the perfect breeze. I was just thinking how I was having the world premiere for my film in Martha's Vineyard during the same time the Obamas were vacationing there. It was a very spiritual and emotional moment.
Maxin: As it should've been. That's why they say enjoy the journey.
Michael: That's exactly what I took from it. Because everyone on the island will say to you, "the journey was worth it for the ferry ride in alone".
Maxin: Wow. So, "Behind The Experience"?
Michael: Yeah we put in work on that one.
Maxin: What's the premise?
Michael: Well, it's a DocuSeries. I wanted to bring people in closer to what went into the making of #aSocialLoveAffair. I go more in depth about the journey of making the film and my journey as a filmmaker to this point. The entire first season is in the can. We shot in Charlotte, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles.
Maxin: Next Level Shit.
Maxin: Can we lock in a Release date?
Michael: We're working around the clock for an August release. You guys will be the first to know. *Laughs*
Maxin: Sounds good.
Interview by Maxin Rose