Michael Rosen (filmmaker)

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Michael Rosen
Alma mater UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television
Occupation Producer, Writer, Director
Spouse(s) Angela Johnson Rosen, Publicist
Children 2

Michael Rosen is an American writer, producer, and director in film, television, and digital media. Rosen owns August Road Entertainment, based in Los Angeles, California, which produces projects in unscripted/nonfiction, digital media, and scripted feature films.

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Rosen's 2015 feature documentary film credits include executive producer on Breach, directed by Jonny Zwick, which tells the story of Iceland’s illegal whale hunting and executive producer on With the Wind, directed by Emi Katayama, about the often dangerous sport of competitive ballooning.

His other recent documentary work includes the feature When I Rise, airing on PBS, about opera star Barbara Smith Conrad’s story of overcoming social injustice, and the feature Murder by Proxy: How America Went Postal, on how spree killings are affecting American society, which aired on The Documentary Channel.

He was a producer on the film Sheldon Leonard’s Wonderful Life, directed and edited by Allan Holzman, which tells the remarkable story of television show creator and iconic producer Sheldon Leonard. The film features on-camera interviews with Ron Howard and Bill Cosby. The documentary details the origins of iconic television series such as The Dick Van Dyke Show, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., The Andy Griffith Show, and I Spy.

Rosen was a field producer on the 2007 feature documentary, Running the Sahara, directed by James Moll and executively produced by Matt Damon, which aired on Showtime. The film documented the attempt by three ultra-marathoners to run across the continent of Africa, without a day’s rest, for more than 100 days. Filming took place in six countries including Mauritania, Senegal, Mali, Niger, Libya, and Egypt.

Additionally, Rosen was the Unit Production Manager for the 1994 family adventure film, Bigfoot: The Unforgettable Encounter, directed by Corey Michael Eubanks and staring Zachery Ty Bryan.

Rosen began his career in film working for producers Jon Peters (Superman Returns, Rain Man, Batman, etc.) and Lauren Shuler Donner (X-Men franchise, Ladyhawke, etc.).

Digital Media

Rosen continues to work at the forefront of new media and digital content creation and has done so for nearly 20 years, beginning with his work in 1996 on the Archive of American Television for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation.[1]

Rosen was the Founding Executive Producer of the Archive of American Television,[2] which is the world’s largest and most advanced online digital resource on the history of television, with over 800 television legends and over 4,000 hours of unedited video interviews.[1][3] It was inspired by Steven Spielberg’s Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation’s archive (now the USC Shoah Foundation: The Institute for Visual History and Education), which videotaped testimonies of Holocaust survivors.[4] In 1996, Rosen was enlisted for the Archive of American Television by its founding co-chairs, television executives Dean Valentine and Grant Tinker, and film and television producer David L. Wolper, to develop this digital encyclopedia on television history. Rosen also worked closely with television executives Thomas W. Sarnoff and James Loper to create and expand the archive. The archive's subjects include all television professions. Interview examples include actors Alan Alda, Ossie Davis, Michael J. Fox, James Garner, Florence Henderson, Mary Tyler Moore, William Shatner, and Dick Van Dyke; producers Norman Lear, Carl Reiner, Steven Bochco, Sherwood Schwartz, Fred Rogers and Dick Wolf; newscasters Walter Cronkite, Ed Bradley, Bob Schieffer and David Brinkley; executives Fred Silverman, Sumner Redstone, Frank Stanton and Ted Turner; costume designers Bob Mackie and Nolan Miller; writers Roy Huggins, Tad Mosel, Sidney Sheldon, Abby Mann and Ann Marcus.[3][5]

In addition, Rosen launched and ran the first-ever digital production division in the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation’s 60-plus year history. As Executive in Charge of Production, he was responsible for developing, producing, and delivering over 30 digital projects annually to help promote, brand, and market the Television Academy and Primetime Emmy Awards. These projects were for NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, MobiTV, United Airlines, AOL Television, and others.

His recent work in original content creation is for Water.org. In 2009, Matt Damon and Gary White co-founded this nonprofit dedicated to solving the global water and sanitation crisis.[6]

900 million media impressions and nearly 10 million views were garnered in the first six months of the media campaign Rosen launched for Water.org. The 2013 online comedy campaign was entitled "Matt Damon Goes on a Toilet Strike." By teaming top YouTubers with film and television celebrities, and by using comedy as a tool to highlight the serious issues of the global water crisis, Water.org broke the mold for nonprofits.[7] Top YouTubers who participated include Shay Carl, EpicLLOYD, Wheezy Waiter, Live Prude Girls, and others. Celebrities included Sir Richard Branson, Josh Gad, Jason Bateman, Jessica Biel, Olivia Wilde, Stan Lee, and Bono.

Also for Water.org, Rosen wrote, produced, and directed a series of award-winning documentary short films highlighting the foundation's efforts to solve the world's water crisis. Filmed in countries including India and Haiti, and narrated by Damon and Jodie Foster, the short films have garnered over 150,000 views.


Rosen produced and directed Beyond the Expedition: Running the Sahara, which aired on the National Geographic Channel. The special extended the story of the feature documentary, Running the Sahara, to include the intense preparation by the runners and the on-the-ground challenges faced by the 30-person expedition as they traveled the continent of Africa.[8]

Rosen executive produced the one-hour television special for TV Land: Emmy's Greatest Moments. It is hosted by Jason Bateman and stars Allison Janney and LeVar Burton.

Rosen produced and directed a documentary aired on Bravo and IFC: A Salute to Robert Altman: An American Maverick[9] featuring, Robert Altman, Glenn Close, Lily Tomlin, Lili Taylor, and Helen Mirren.

Rosen has also produced and/or directed television projects for USA Films (now Focus Features), truTV, Republic Pictures, TV Land, Apple, and others.


Rosen attended the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television and is the recipient of five Telly Awards, The Fund's Social Justice Award, the CINE Gold Eagle, and multiple film festival awards.

Personal life

Born in Seattle, Washington, Rosen soon gravitated toward filmmaking and professional theatre as an actor and eventual director. At eight years old, he received a Super-8mm movie camera and began visual storytelling with film.

His family includes notable artists: American artist Clayton Lewis and composer Peter Scott Lewis.


  1. 1.0 1.1 “About the Archive of American Television: Capturing Television History, One Voice at a Time, “Archive of American Television. Retrieved June 24, 2015.
  2. Isenberg, Barbara. Capturing the Glory, Stories of the Small Screen’s Earliest Days from Those Who Lived It”, “The Lost Angeles Times”, Nov 29,1997.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Lowry, Brian. “Taping Stories of TV Pioneers”, “The Los Angeles Times”, Apr 13, 2002.
  4. “About the Institute: History of the Institute”, USC Shoah Foundation: The Institute for Visual History and Education. Retrieved June 28, 2015.
  5. “People”, “Archive of American Television. Retrieved June 27, 2015.
  6. Mogollon, Carlos David. “An Interview with Water.org’s Gary White”, “Water World”, Oct 1, 2009.
  7. “Funny, but Does It Work?” Opinion. “The Boston Globe,” March 4, 2013.
  8. “Running the Sahara: Beyond the Expedition” Nat Geo People. Retrieved June 20, 2015.
  9. "A Salute to Robert Altman: An American Maverick". ProductionBeast. https://productionbeast.com/projects/117887-a-salute-to-robert-altman-an-american-maverick. 

External links