Michael Everett: A Journey Through Music to Film

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Michael Everett: A Journey Through Music to Film

Michael Everett is an award-winning filmmaker and multi-faceted artist who resides in Central California. In the world of filmmaking, Everett belongs to those who have the ability to tell stories with excellence no matter the challenges. Part of what elevates Everett’s filmmaking style is his ability to use unplanned circumstances, drawbacks and problems as opportunities. Hallmarks of Everett’s unique style include his deep audio background and how he balances business savvy with creativity, practicality, adaptability and improvisation to produce excellence in storytelling through film. 

Early Beginnings

Everett entered the arts through music, where elements of his innovative and effective filmmaking style emerged organically growing up in small-town in north Georgia. Everett lacked access to formal training. However, this did not inhibit skill development. Instead, he utilized his innate ability to pick up skills through observation and experimentation. For example, at age five he started to teach himself to play guitar through watching his brother and uncle play. Later, he became a gifted photographer by experimenting with shots and keeping track of camera settings. Study at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee added a music business degree, and honed key practical skills as a recording engineer and producer.

Everett at his recording studio

The Creation Lab: A Collaborative Vision

In 2005, Michael Everett along with Matt Swanson founded Creation Lab Pictures and Creation Lab Records which became the primary platforms for Everett’s creative work, including filmmaking. The breadth of Everett’s award-winning projects illustrates the caliber of his craft and his versatility as a producer and director. Over the past 30 years Everett has recorded, produced and mixed over 150 LPs (including several Gold and Billboard-charted records), directed music videos for CMT and GAC, and developed a string of multi-award-winning films, such asThe Irrigationist,” “The Race”, “The Narrow Path”, and most recentlyThe Katinas – Love God / Love People”  

The Katinas: Love God / Love People

Michael Everett’s latest film chronicles the journey of the American Samoan Christian music group, The Katinas. The family’s story unfolds brilliantly through Everett’s expert integration of individual interviews with the five brothers, alongside interviews with Christian music artists: Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, CeCe Winans and Toby Mac. The film tells a poignant true story of troubles, tragedy, faith, music, brotherhood and transformation to which viewers relate.

The Narrow Path screenshot

Unorthodox Filmmaker Methodology

It is Michael Everett’s unorthodox filmmaker methodology, deep audio background and strong personal values which are key to his reputation for excellence. Everett’s unique style of combining filmmaking by feel with business savvy elevates the end product.

For instance, Everett rarely uses storyboards.  Though Everett plans, he uses the constantly changing conditions which confront filmmakers opportunistically. If something unforeseen happens which is not desired, Everett flexes creatively, improvising to work productively with what is versus what is not. The result is often a better film, whether the improvisation was required for something new and advantageous, or what initially seemed problematic.

Additionally, Everett’s deep audio background causes an emphasis on sound quality which sets his films apart. Everett composes, arranges and produces the majority of music in his films. He invests the time to personally mix the sound on films he directs.

The Irragationist screenshot

A Preference for the “not easy”

Michael Everett thrives on challenges and is constantly learning. His preferred projects are not the easy ones. This is when the creative juices flow hottest.  His unconventional reliance on intuition, adaptability and improvisation, make him somewhat of a renegade…and successful. 

Everett with the roman soldier actors from the film “The Narrow Path”

Beyond the Screen

Outside filmmaking and music production, Everett relaxes by oil painting, composing music and time with family. His wife, Danielle, and son, Mitchell, are constant sources of strength, encouragement, and support. “If I didn’t have a supportive wife, I would not be able to do what I do. I am blessed Danielle is that wife. She really gets me.”

Everett with The Katinas and TobyMac

Final Thoughts

Everett encourages other filmmakers: “Be around people you trust, learn all you can and go the extra mile. Cultivate adaptability and improvisation, and integrate these with solid business acumen. Don’t allow what seems to be an obstacle to become one. “If it starts to rain on your scene, consider its production value and shoot in the rain.”

Connect with Michael Everett
Youtube Channel

Michael Everett takes center stage on our special edition cover of The FilmmakerLife Magazine,
sharing his remarkable journey!

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