Michael Knowles is the Writer/Director of a new short film that is currently making the rounds at major festivals across the country. Tribeca, Jackson Hole, San Francisco, Black Bear to name a few. And he keeps getting accepted into new festivals it seems every week. This is no surprise. “Nick and Stacey” is the best short film I have seen all year.
Nick and Stacey is part of a feature called Room 314. A hotel room (shot at a Fairfield Inn in New Jersey) is host to several deeply personal and intense stories. All in the same room. One room sharing all of these stories.
Shot on a Panasonic DVX100a and edited with Final Cut Pro, Michael has an innate sensibility to “know” where the camera needs to BE. He shoots in a very fluid, voyeuristic style perfect for his hotel room series of shorts.
A little about Michael; you may know him from HBO’s sex and the city, or NBC’s Law and Order. Admittedly, he has had a really good last couple of years.
But it didn’t start out that way. I asked this Second Degree Black Belt how he got his start.
“Nick and Stacey” is the best short film I have seen all year." - Corey Boutilier of independentfilm.com
“I had a big part in a community theater play. A friend of mine was represented by a big name agency and forwarded my headshot on to them. They had a meeting with me a few days later. The agency sent me out on a couple of auditions and I thought, wow, this could really change my life.
At 21, I didn’t get those parts and I realized at the time how difficult real professional acting was and if I wanted to make my living doing this, I had better learn. I said ‘I have to study. This is a real craft.’ I didn’t hear back from the agency. In my youth, I was too focused on results and fame.”
Michael went on to study. He even spent 4 1/2 years studying with Tom Noonan and is now an instructor himself. I think that taking an acting class with Michael would be extremely meaningful; especially when you consider the way his class is designed. The 7-week class is constructed just like being in a film. You audition, rehearse, shoot your scene, and screen it to an audience. The idea is very innovative.
Michael shared his thoughts about acting with me.
“Acting is pretend. Just simplify it. Keep it real, because you will never express yourself honestly if you are worried about what other people think.”
Michael has spent the last year and a half just focused on getting his movie out. It would not surprise me if "Room 314" were turned into a television series. It would not surprise me at all.
You can learn more about Michael at his website http://www.michaelknowles.com/ His acting school http://www.theactingprocess.com/ Classes begin Sept. 18th, 2005.