DIRECTOR’S REEL

MICHAEL JOHN WARREN
D.G.A. Director
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about michael

Michael John Warren is a multi-Emmy-nominated writer, director, showrunner, and executive producer known for highly stylized yet story-centered films and docuseries. His uniquely deep skill set has spawned a prolific and influential career that seamlessly moves from intimate, single-camera documentaries to large-scale event films, often focusing on music, sports, Broadway, true crime, and live events.

After experiencing Warren's recent work, Tony, Grammy, and Olivier Award-winning writer Steven Sater praised the director, stating, "Michael John Warren is a master storyteller!"

Warren's latest series, LOLLA: THE STORY OF LOLLAPALOOZA, was selected to open the 2024 Sundance Film Festival. After making its world premiere to a sold-out crowd and rave reviews, the series became one of the most talked-about projects at the prestigious festival. Paramount and Viacom will release the highly anticipated series globally in May 2024.

In a statement, Warren shared, "As a young, wide-eyed teenager from Suburbia, U.S.A, I was fortunate to attend the first-ever Lollapalooza tour. It was a transformative experience that shattered my perceptions and broadened my horizons. To be entrusted with telling the true story of the most influential musical festival of all time is my profound honor."

In 2022, Warren directed the critically acclaimed feature SPRING AWAKENING: THOSE YOU'VE KNOWN for HBO. Using a 2021 reunion concert as a jumping-off point, the film explores the Broadway hit's improbable rise to sweep the 2007 Tony's and the emotional intersection of the show's controversial themes with the budding cast's personal lives. Widely praised, Variety hailed the film as "an unflinching look at the reality of tackling such heavy material at a young age." ABC Radio exhaulted the film, calling it "masterful." And on Rotten Tomatoes, the film boasts a "100%" on the ever-fickle Tomatometer.

Warren made his directorial debut with what many consider the greatest hip-hop film of all time—Jay-Z's FADE TO BLACK (2004). Since then, he has gone on to profile many of the biggest names in the music industry with DRAKE: BETTER THAN GOOD ENOUGH (2010), NICKI MINAJ: MY TIME NOW (2010), NICKI MINAJ: MY TIME AGAIN (2015), and Vh1's HEAVY: THE STORY OF METAL (2006). He currently has multiple music-related projects in development.

In collaboration with Radical Media, Warren made history by filming many iconic Broadway shows. In 2008, he captured the first-ever full-show, multi-camera performance in a Broadway theater with RENT: FILMED LIVE ON BROADWAY. The remarkable achievement was so successful that DreamWorks soon followed suit, and Warren helmed SHREK THE MUSICAL: LIVE ON BROADWAY (2013). In 2015, Warren was invited to film selections from the Tony Award-Winning musical HAMILTON just days before it opened on Broadway. This noteworthy work was heavily featured in Great Performances: Hamilton's America on PBS, 60 Minutes, The 2016 Tony Awards broadcast on CBS, and many other outlets. Warren's, OH HELLO ON BROADWAY starring Nick Kroll and John Mulaney, premiered on Netflix in June 2017 to rave reviews--The New York Times called the show "stupendously entertaining."

Warren was the Showrunner for Amazon Prime's true-crime series FREE MEEK (2019). The explosive series investigates systemic corruption and racism in the Philadelphia Police Department and the Pennsylvania Judicial System, unearthing new facts that ultimately led to Meek Mill's release and the dismissal of the charges that kept him entangled in the system for twelve years. The dynamic series was nominated for the NAACP Image Award.

Warren's work extends into the sports world as well. In 2007, he directed the award-winning KOBE MENTU—a Nike docuseries in Mandarin starring Kobe Bryant, and seen by tens of millions across China. He was a major creative force behind the controversial hit series FRIDAY NIGHT TYKES (2014), which made a significant impact by revealing the shocking intensity of youth football in Texas. In 2016, Warren directed the spine-tingling Netflix series about professional bull riding called FEARLESS. The cinematic series was nominated for 3 Emmys, including Warren's second nomination for "Outstanding Long Form Editing." In 2018, Warren showran and directed the IDA-nominated basketball documentary series BEST SHOT (Executive Produced by Lebron James), which premiered on YouTube Premium and ESPN.

In early May 2024, Warren completed his latest sports-related work with a film he calls "a genre-bending documentary thriller." Details about the movie, which he wrote, directed, and executive produced, are expected very soon.

Warren also directed the Eleven Madison Park episode of the Netflix series 7 DAYS OUT (2018). The film focused on the "#1 restaurant in the world" as it underwent a gut renovation and raced against the clock to reclaim its culinary glory despite harrowing conditions.

Warren has directed all over the world, including Africa, Asia, The Caribbean, Australia, Europe, South America, North America and beyond. He has collaborated with most of the leading companies in the industry, including Netflix, HBO, Max, Amazon Prime Video, ABC, CBS, PBS, ESPN, YouTube, AMC, MTV, Vh1, Esquire Network, USA Network, BET, Sony, Paramount, Viacom, DreamWorks, Universal, Warner Bros, Skydance, Picture Start, Boardwalk Pictures, FunMeter, RadicalMedia, Bron Studios, Vox Media, IPC, 441 Productions, 25/7 Productions, C3, Heineken, Nike, Reebok, Wyden+Kennedy, and BBDO.

He's a proud member of the Director's Guild of America and is represented by WME.

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