Michelle Opitz has had the honor of studying under directors John Badham (Saturday Night Fever) and Mark Rydell (On Golden Pond) as a Marion Knott Scholar. She studied directing at the American Film Institute where she directed her thesis film: "But Seriously, Folks." Having also graduated from Chapman University with a BFA in film production, Michelle has directed dozens of short films and documentaries that have circulated film festivals, winning awards and acclaim.
Her films have participated in the Reel Women International Film Festival, San Francisco Asian American Film Festival, Hawaii International Film Festival, Sony Showcase Hawaii, Kansai International Film Festival, San Diego Asian Film Festival (Finalist), 24fps International Short Film Festival (Best Picture, Best Production Design, Best Cinematography), and West Fest (Grand Prize Winner). She has also been featured in Kansai Time Out Magazine as an emerging International Filmmaker, helping to bridge cinema from the East to the West. She has worked with Actors: Lauerence Fishburne, Paul Walker, Valerie Perine, and Jaime Lee Curtis. She's worked with Producers Avi Lerner, Jerry Bruckheimer, Roger Corman and Director Amy Holden Jones. Other filmmakers she's worked with are cinematographer Haskel Wexler and Production Designer Jeannine Oppelwall.
She was the recipient of Chapman University’s Location Film-making grant, Eastman Kodak Women in Film scholarship, and Panavision’s Filmmaker’s Grant. Born in Japan and raised in Hawaii, Michelle moved throughout her childhood. Her diverse background draws her to unique projects. When she is not busy making films, Michelle teaches film throughout Los Angeles. Through non-profit groups and other film schools, she has taught filmmaking and storytelling to at-risk foster youth, homeless teens, and under privileged youth.
***Besides being filmmakers and social entrepreneurs, Michelle and Emily both work as teachers in the city of Los Angeles. They have personal experience working with youth from all backgrounds and walks of life.
Emily Beach has been involved in the film industry since 2006. Ms. Beach received a B.A. in Communication Studies from California State University, Long Beach. Upon completion of her formal education and as an alternative to a traditional film school, Emily immersed herself in the local filmmaking community. She initiated this experience by interning in casting offices, and quickly accepted an internship at an indie film collaborative called Filmmakers Alliance. This organization has been the formative foundation of her career as a filmmaker and more specifically, as a producer.
Through the course of her experience with Filmmakers Alliance, Emily has worked hand in-hand with several amazing visionaries on an array of award winning projects. Along the way, she has worn many hats: Writer, Director, Script Supervisor, Continuity, First and Second AD, Set Design, Production Assistant, Associate Producer and now Producer. Seeking an opportunity to further her education, Emily applied to the No-Budget Film School. There, she attended a series of seminars, learning the value of using funds wisely, especially in today’s world.
Emily moved to Paris, France to explore and contribute her efforts and experience to a series of French student films. Her independent study of the Parisian film community widened Emily’s scope of the international influence on film and art. Pursuant to this experience, she returned home with a more global and cohesive perspective.
Ms. Beach has been dedicating her time to making intelligent, socially relevant, conversation-invoking films. Emily’s entrepreneurial frame of mind and collaborative attitude is exceptionally helpful in her role as a Producer. Her passion for life and international travel has led her to meet many inspiring people. Their stories have motivated Emily to make authentic, true to life films.
***Together, Michelle & Emily also produced the feature film 'Nathan's Kingdom '