Biography

Photo by Mollie Isaacs

MICHAEL MINER / STILL PHOTOGRAPHER

In 2001 Michael Miner embarked on a series of studies which chronicle the chaos, beauty and soul of the landscape. Portfolio titles include CREATION, THOREAU’S CHILDREN, WHERE LAND AND WATER MEET, GATELESS GATES AND OTHER ZEN KOANS, CHAOS THEORY and THE BILLBOARD PROJECT. In these encounters with ocean, mountain, forest, sky and city, visual narratives coalesce with dramatic effect.

At the beginning of 2008, Mr. Miner exhibited one-man shows at Anonymous Content in Culver City and A & I Photographic in Hollywood. In June of 2009 two of Mr. Miner’s images in an exhibit titled EARTHSCAPE at the Salt Lake City SAANS Downtown Gallery were judged best of show. In 2010 Mr. Miner accepted an Artist-in-Residence Grant from the National Park Service and spent the month of January at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, capturing images and lecturing on photography. He was also invited to spend four days at the United Nations World Heritage site called Chaco Canyon, where he captured images of 1000 year old ruins.

In the summer of 2010, Mr. Miner received a MERIT AWARD from Black and White Magazine, which published three of his images in its Portfolio Edition. In the Fall of 2010, Mr. Miner exhibited a one-man show at The Brewery Artwalk. At the end of 2010, the Open Shutter Gallery in Durango, Colorado exhibited five of Mr. Miner’s images in a “Best of…” Christmas exhibit. In January of 2011, the prestigious Center for Photographic Art in Carmel, California selected three of Mr. Miner’s images for its Juried Exhibition.

Many of Mr. Miner’s landscape photographs grace private collections, and most recently he began striking very large prints with dimensions of 4 X 5 feet. The resolution of the large format negatives allow for such enlargements.

Here is an excerpt from one of Mr. Miner’s theories on aesthetics: “Neurophysiologists and art scholars agree that complexity creates conditions which transcend logic. Like jazz, classical music, abstract painting and cinematic montage, visual complexity resists analytic interpretation. As the mind fails in its attempt to organize a chaotic image, a reverie develops. Only poetry, the last refuge of language, comes close to evoking this experience.” The events portrayed in Mr. Miner’s photographs are not repeatable. Subject matter, time of day, season of the year, location, prevailing weather and singular point of view dictate unique angles of shadow and light.

Coinciding with his love for photography, Mr. Miner is also an accomplished screenwriter, cinematographer and teacher. Mr. Miner received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Theater, and a Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he wrote and directed LABYRINTHS, which won a Focus and Cine Eagle Award, ALIAS JANE DOE, which was exhibited at the Deauville and Bilbao film festivals, and COSMOGRAPHIA, which was exhibited at Filmex. While at UCLA he was also a cinematographer of ten student films including SCARRED, which was exhibited commercially and FOOL’S DANCE, which was produced by PBS.

Mr. Miner’s professional career includes time as a director of photography and director/cameraman of twenty music videos. As co-writer of ROBOCOP, the successful action story about the part man/part machine law enforcer of the future, Mr. Miner received the SATURN AWARD for Best Science Fiction Screenplay and a nomination for Best Screenplay by the Mystery Writers of America. He is also the co-writer of the pilot for ROBOCOP: THE TELEVISION SHOW, produced by Sky TV, ANACONDAS: SEARCH FOR THE BLOOD ORCHID, the action adventure sequel about humans battling deadly snakes, and LAWNMOWERMAN II, the science fiction sequel to the virtual reality story about an idiot savant trapped in a computer program.

Mr. Miner made his debut as a writer/director with DEADLY WEAPON, a drama about a teenager who finds a prototype Star Wars weapon and uses it to take a desert town hostage. Most recently, he directed THE BOOK OF STARS, magic realism about the troubled relationship between two sisters and the memory book one of them keeps that has the power to anticipate future events. Mr. Miner discovered the script while teaching a writing class at the Maine Photographic Workshops.

Mr. Miner has written screenplays for Oliver Stone, Sylvester Stallone and Michael Douglas. He is currently developing a feature film based on the true story of a friendship between a Franciscan priest and a gangster living in a ghetto in Kingston, Jamaica, an action/thriller about a robbery during the Los Angeles Marathon and two television series about the dystopian aspects of digital information and juvenile justice in Los Angeles. He has taught screenwriting at the Maine Photographic Workshops, the University of Hawaii, the Southeastern Media Institute, the Praxis Center for Screenwriting, the University of California at Santa Barbara and California State University at Los Angeles. For the last six years, in association with a non-profit organization called INSIDEOUT WRITERS, he has taught self-expression to incarcerated juveniles in the Central Juvenile Hall in Los Angeles.