Michael Makara is one of the leading pre-visualization artists in Hollywood today. As a pre-viz supervisor, Mike has collaborated with a number of A-list directors in creating stunning sequences in an array of studio blockbusters and commercials over the past decade; most recently in PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES and TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON.
Hailing from Alexandria, Virginia where his artist mother and photographer father taught him the inner workings of a camera at age four. As a prodigious pre-teen, Mike used that same camera to create a visual accompaniment to the Alexandria Symphony's "Moussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition". The Washington Post described his piece as "touching and evocative" while touting the overall performance as "…not the first 'slides to music' presentation that this reviewer has seen, but certainly one of the best."
Mike continued engaging his passion for image capture and at sixteen had one of his photographs hanging in the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington DC. By twenty-one, his animation thesis from Ringling School of Art and Design was selected to go on display at the international exhibition on computer graphics, SIGGRAPH, garnering much praise and attention. Soon the attention led to a formal job offer as a character animator for the visual effects company, Cinesite, in Los Angeles. On one of the first films he worked on, Mike got a lucky break when given the opportunity to review a very difficult sequence that had been passed around senior animators for months. Realizing the problem was in the editing, not the animation, Mike proposed a reedit, and ultimately his suggestion made the final cut, prompting a VFX supervisor to ask him, "How would you like to come up with good ideas to shoot, rather than figure out how to fix bad ones?"
From that moment on, Mike worked closely with top directors to design and construct sequences for many of the most visually thrilling movies of today, ranging from big-budget franchises like THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA and MISSION IMPOSSIBLE III, to such avant-garde faire as AEON FLUX and CITY OF EMBER. Often his sequences called upon his directorial eye long before cameras ever rolled. His technical expertise and innovative visual instincts have earned him an esteemed reputation handling the adrenalin-fueled, effects-driven genres of racing, action, fantasy, sci-fi and 3D-Animation.
A car enthusiast, Mike spent a weekend doing camera tests with his passion car, a Dodge Viper, which resulted in a widely circulated video that has amassed much acclaim for its inventive shots of the speeding car captured in slow motion. His video eventually caught the eye of Dodge where it enjoyed a place on their SRT Facebook page, as well as Jalponik, and several other automotive magazines.
Today, Mike lives and works in Los Angeles where his eye for action allowed him to direct second unit on the racing thriller, BORN TO RACE where he learned how to shoot automotive stunts including jumping a car over 160'. Not complacent with only shooting action, Mike brought home an award for his first music video directorial debut from The LA Film Festival for his video CAN'T SAY NO by Rebel House Radio where his interest in scuba diving allowed him to bring some of the shoot underwater, a skill he acquired while filming great white sharks off the coast of Guadalupe Island. Mike was also a regular at Paul Curry’s Acting Workshop with the aim of learning the craft of acting to better communicate his vision to performers he works with. Dedication to learning the craft from "both sides of the camera" resulted in Mike eventually teaching classes at the very same acting workshop.