After starting his career by making youtube videos, the young Michael Murphy is making moves in the mainstream entertainment industry. Actor, film director, writer and producer, he does it all. From playing in DIRTY 30, to completing his latest project, “MAXINE THE HERO,” Michael’s passion for his work just keeps growing. Having known at age six that he wanted to become a director, he turned his childhood dream into a reality and is already on the road to success. 

Interview by Alexandra Bonnet

1. You started your career by making videos on Youtube for over 1.5 million viewers: tell me more about that experience and how it made you feel. Did you expect such a good response from the audience?
I can’t really pin point a specific feeling that i’ve gotten from all this because it has been quite the rollercoaster. I truly never thought that I would be in this position. I remember getting very excited the day I hit 1000 subscribers, hoping that maybe one day I would get to 2000. But 1 million? No way. I didn’t know what to expect when I first started. I saw what other YouTubers were doing and experiencing and I thought maybe one day I could make it happen for myself. And for some very lucky reason I connected with a whole lot of people who felt I was enough fun to spend 10 minutes watching once a week.

2. What are your thoughts on the influence of social media today and how technology has made it accessible for creators to reach such a large audience?
I think that the growth of the internet has been one of the best things to happen to humanity and the arts thus far. From a creator’s point of view, it has really opened the gates to all people, allowing anyone to create and find an audience of their own. There are times that I wish I could time travel back to the 60s and 70s and try being a director the same way Spielberg and Scorsese did it, but I think in that case it would be an entirely different experience. With the technology we have now, giving us 24 hour access to everything and anything – it has literally put us all in the palms of each other’s hands. But with great power comes great responsibility, and there are a whole lot of irresponsible people out there, gaining audiences using the wrong tactics. So, i’d say, as my final answer that it is: a wonderful thing yet a dangerous thing.

3. If you could pick a favorite video you made, which one would it be and why? 
This is a tough one, i’d have to say as of right now, it would have to be “ANDY” or the “SHORT FILM ABOUT ANXIETY.” I think I prefer these videos just because they are the ones I can watch back and still be proud of the work I did. I am truly my hardest critique, so it is rare that I feel this way about something I worked on.

4. From creating content online, you changed paths into film directing. What inspired you to become a film director? Do you prefer any genre in particular?
From the time I was a little boy (age 6) I had wanted to be a director. I became obsessed with watching behind the scenes videos of movies I’ve loved and from then on it I never stopped talking about it. The online content creation kinda just became my outlet. When I as 14 I had to start doing SOMETHING with the ideas in my head and start learning somehow – and so youtube became the place where I could organize all of my work. Somewhere that I could upload it and receive REAL feedback. As of right now my favorite genres to work on are ADVENTURE COMEDIES, DRAMAS, and SCI-FI!

5. Can you tell us of future projects you are looking into directing? 
As of right now “MAXINE THE HERO” has just been complete. It has officially been entered into festivals which means it will be released much later this year – it is truly my favorite that i’ve made so far. In addition to that, I have been directing live action anime shorts with RE:ANIME PRODUCTIONS, and as of the current moment I am finishing the edits on “TOKYO GHOUL” and “NARUTO: KAKASHI vs OBITO”. Most recently, I have started preproduction on “WILLY’S ROCK” – a sci-fi set in the 70s and other than that –  I’m looking out for my first feature film, WHENEVER THAT MAY BE, and I am very excited about the stuff I have rolling out over the next few months!

6. You play in front of the camera and direct behind it: has being an actor help you become a better director?
All things that I have done acting wise has immensely improved my insights as a director. You gather a better understanding of not only what an actor is experiencing while working on set, but also how to convey specific movements & motifs that you may want an actor to achieve in a character.

7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I have no idea. To be honest, I am terrified of the future. BUT IN A DREAM WORLD, I would love to be directing my 2nd or 3rd feature film and maybe executive producing a show of some sort. I’ve got big dreams, especially so young. I just hope that I get to continue doing what I love forever.

8. If you were to reboot a movie, what will it be? 
I say this all the time, but I would KILL to direct the live action Treasure Planet (just because it is the first movie I ever saw in theaters as a kid). But I would also love to reboot Back to the Future or if I could, make just one last Pirates of the Caribbean movie, just as good as the first two. Just because those were the movies that were my main inspiration as a kid.

9. If you were to direct a movie around it being titled BELLO, what would it be?
I think it would be a film about a young boy named Bello who goes missing, in his small town, without a trace. And because the police can’t seem to solve the case themselves, his 3 best friends band together to take matters into their own hands… but that is when they discover that he might have been abducted by aliens…


Photography ARTHUR GALVAO  @artgphoto

Stylist NAZ @stylebynaz

Grooming NICOLE WALMSLEY @nicolewalmsley

MICHAEL MURPHY @itsmikeymurphy

Production Maison Privée x BELLO Media Group

About The Author

Stephane Marquet
Creative Director

First of all, excuse my French! … I was born in the South of France. Lived in Paris for 10 years and travelled the world until I moved to Los Angeles in 2008, because obviously recession was a great time to move to a new country! I also arrived around Halloween and was greeted at the Social Security offices by a nurse who directed to the window Number 6 so a witch could hand me my social security number. Welcome to America. I am a painter, a photographer and the creative director of BELLO mag.

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