This episode of InConversation features Michael Lavelle ISC, a graduate of the National Film School of Ireland and an award-winning writer, director and cinematographer. He won the World Cinematography Award for Documentary at Sundance 2010 for His and Hers, his debut feature documentary as a DOP. The Sundance jurors singled out the cinematography “for its Vermeer like qualities and formal restraint in conveying the power of ordinary emotional lives”.
He was also the DOP on the multi-award winning short film Undressing My Mother, which screened at Cannes, was highly commended at Sundance and went on to win the European Academy Award for Best Short Film in 2005. Patrick’s Day, his first dramatic feature as DOP, received its world premiere at SXSW2014. The film went on to win Best Feature at Galway Film Fleadh and Best Film at Woodstock Film Festival where Michael was also awarded the prestigious Haskell Wexler Award for Best Cinematography. In granting the award Wexler, two-time Oscar award-winning DOP (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf) noted:”This award is based on what I consider true cinematography, not just on the traditional dexterity. He has that. Michael Lavelle’s work on Patrick’s Day shows a profound understanding of the story and his ability to employ DOP skills such as framing, lighting and camera movement is subtle in unselfconscious ways to subliminally involve the viewer…I give this award enthusiastically to an exceptional, talented filmmaker, Michael Lavelle.” – Haskell Wexler A.S.C.
In 2015, Michael was nominated for an IFTA for Best Cinematography for his work on the film. From the Dark, his second dramatic feature as DOP and producer, was selected in competition at Fantastic Fest 2014 and Siches 2015. He recently completed principal photography as cinematographer on The Truth Commissioner and the Little Grey Fergie feature trilogy. He has just completed principal photography his eighth feature film as a DOP, the urban crime drama Cardboard Gangsters and has worked as 2nd Unit Cinematographer on 6 additional features.
He has recently been invited to become a full member of the Irish Society of Cinematographers.
Michael also works extensively as a writer/director. He wrote and directed the highly acclaimed short film Out of the Blue, described as boasting “excellent performances, vivid production design and an economy of story-telling that mark the director as a talent to look out for in the future”. The film won the Audience Award for Best Short Film at Cork Film Festival, Best Short at London Independent Film Festival, Best Short Comedy at Toronto Independent Film Festival and the Golden Djed at Luxor Film Festival.
In 2011 he was nominated for the Berlinale Today Award for Mummy’s Little Helper, which he wrote and directed. In 2012, he wrote and directed the short film Cluck, which was nominated for an IFTA.
His debut feature screenplay 6 Hours won the Irish Playwrights & Screenwriters Guild Award for Screenwriting at the National Film School where he did an MA in Screenwriting. The film is in development with Samson Films. Michael is attached to direct. In 2012 he attended the Binger Director’s Film Lab with the project. He was also selected for Guiding Lights, the UK film industry’s most prestigious mentoring program, and was mentored by Lone Scherfig (‘An Education’).
To view samples of Michael’s work please visit:
You can download / listen to Part II here