About Us

Michael Wiese Productions (MWP) was launched in San Francisco in 1976 primarily to produce films. But, after Michael was unable to find a publisher for his first book,The Independent Film and Videomaker’s Guide, he self-published the book which went on to sell 50,000 copies.

 

Michael then wrote four other film books over the next few years and eventually started publishing other authors’ filmmaking and screenwriting books. Today, the company is known worldwide having published some 200 books. Some of the bestsellers have been translated into 18 languages, are used in over 700 film courses, in the Hollywood studios and by emerging filmmakers.

Michael says, “When you make a film, or write a script, there is an implicit agreement between the filmmaker/writer and the audience. The audience says, “I’ll give you some money and a few hours of my time. In return you’ll show me something I’ve never seen before.”

Our books fulfill a similar pact with our readers who say, “Teach me something I didn’t know that will make me a better, more successful writer or filmmaker.” We do this by demystifying the sometimes secretive worlds of screenwriting, directing, acting, producing, film financing, and other media crafts.

By doing so, we hope to bring filmmakers to a realization of the need for “conscious media” which is positively charged, emphasizing hope and affirming values like trust,
cooperation, self-empowerment, freedom, and love. Grounded in the deep roots of myth, conscious media aims to be healing both for those who make the art and those who encounter it. It seeks to open doors to new possibilities and to pull back the veils to reveal never-before- seen worlds.

 

 

Michael Wiese Founder & Publisher
  mw@mwp.com

Michael is an American director, producer, author, and publisher with 50 years experience in film, television, pay TV, home video and book publishing. He has launched video lines for National Geographic, The Smithsonian, NOVA, Audubon and PBS Home Video.

 

Ken Lee Vice President  kenlee@mwp.com

Ken Lee has been Vice President of MWP for 22 years, a crucial player in guiding the operations of the company through the acquisition, production, sales, and marketing of the finest film books available.

 

The rest of the team

In addition to the core team above, we work with a very talented group of copy editors, designers, new media marketers, sales reps, and more to make sure that our quality books are a welcome addition to readers’ shelves and hearts around the world.

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Michael Wiese 

 

 

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Ken Lee 

REVIEWS

 

“In a sea of filmmaking self-help books, the practical primers from Michael Wiese Productions always stand out.”
—FILMMAKER Magazine

“I’ve read many of Michael Wiese’s line of books, and I haven’t found a clinker among ’em. The writers are people in the trenches, people who’ve been there and done that. Further, they’ve come out the other side wiser, braver, and willing to share their insights. Since the bewildering field of film slides between craft and art, a new or experienced filmmaker needs some maps. Michael Wiese’s books are road signs.
—Mary J. Schirmer, absolutewrite.com

“The first step in the difficult journey of filmmaking and screenwriting is knowledge of the craft and industry. The books from Michael Wiese Productions will start you in the right direction and serve as reliable reference points on your path to success.”
Shelly Mellot, Script Magazine

“Getting my ideas published was like getting a Ph.D., giving me a whole new platform for expressing myself and a credential that added to my credibility. It’s truly been a magic carpet that has taken me to many new places and introduced me to many new people and ideas. I tell people who are about to be published “It will change your life.” It’s a major turning point and opens doors, most of them unexpected and surprising. It did what I wanted and more, giving me an identity and an influence beyond my expectations.”

Christopher Vogler, author of The Writer’s Journey

 

“I’ve had a wonderful experience with MWP, from my first talks with the company to the ultimate release of my book. Everyone I worked with at MWP did an amazing job, and I’m extremely proud of the final result. A few weeks after publication, I was invited to fly to Ireland and Canada to promote my book at film festivals — an unexpected and extremely gratifying international embrace of my work!”

Kim Adelman, author of The Ultimate Filmmaker’s Guide to Short Films

 

“Working with Michael and Ken and having a book published by MWP has been one of the most impactful events of my life. I am not kidding! When I wrote Save The Cat! I knew there were many books on screenwriting out there, but from the start Michael and Ken made me feel like mine was special and have been as interested, and sometimes more so, in all the success the book has brought me. And they have personally given me many of those opportunities. When the bookn first came out, Michael invited me to a Chicago event featuring film teachers from all over the world, I went, met several great people who gave me jobs giving seminars on my book’s methods. Later, after I had begun lecturing all over the country because of this, Michael invited me to be the featured screenwriting teacher at his arts festival event in Cornwall, England. I was able to come over to the UK, promote my book, and make all new friends and contacts internationally because of this. From my normal job, slaving away in the trenches of Hollywood, trying to write and sell scripts, this adventure with Michael and Ken has given me a new and very exciting life I never thought was possible. I am now writing the sequel to my first book and have been asked to write three Cat! books in all. I am so grateful to the company Michael and Ken have started, it is human, caring, fun, fulfilling and enterprising. One of the best businesses I have ever been associated with and two of the finest people Ihave ever had the pleasure of knowing. I love these guys!!!”

Blake Snyder, author of Save the Cat

“I can absolutely divide my teaching career into two eras – “before the book” and “after the book.” The publication of “Directing Actors” changed everything for me professionally  and I should say personally too, because teaching is very personal for me, and my students often become my friends and almost like family (and because my husband now works with me as business manager and producer). In the first year after publication, my teaching income doubled from the year before and I am now at my limit with literally as much work as I can possibly handle (well, of course that includes a January 1st deadline on my second book for MWP…). And don’t forget travel – to teach in Europe, Canada, other US cities – that happened only because people found out about me through the book. Last but not least, Michael and Ken have become personal friends and I think the world of them. But maybe the best part of all was how much I learned from writing the book. I won’t lie to you – writing is torture for me – the amount of stuff I end up revising and throwing out is easily three or four times the length of the actual book. But the process of figuringout what I want to say and how to say it clearly has really been the biggest benefit of writing – because it has made me a more confident teacher.”

Judith Weston, Author of Directing Actors and The Film Director’s Intuition

 

“Both of my books have been the greatest calling card imaginable, nationally and internationally. They have opened doors for me as a teacher, consultant, director and writer in such locations as: Tokyo, Hawaii, Malaysia, Nairobi, Munich, Berlin, Cologne,London, Poland, Istanbul, Moskow, Kiev, and Havana, Cuba. I am deeply grateful for the opportunities that have come my way to form immediate relationships with filmmakers from around the world. It has truly changed my life as a teacher, lecturer, writer and director. I believe that I am a more accomplished and more honest artist because of each of these opportunities and experiences.”

Mark W Travis, author of Directing Feature Films and The Director’s Journey