Baby Wild Films is a top documenter of live events in the Pacific Northwest. Michael Harris started directing and producing video productions for The 5th Avenue Musical Theatre in 1992, shooting principal photography for over 50 live shows and working with the company and its New York partners on Broadway-bound hits such as the multiple Tony Award-winning “Hairspray” by John Waters (including "Outstanding Musical"), Adam Sandler’s “The Wedding Singer: The Musical,” nominated in 2006 for five Tony Awards, and another production from acclaimed Broadway producer Margo Lion, the musical version of Stephen Spielberg’s “Catch Me If You Can.” Michael was also tapped to work with Mel Brooks to document his $21 million Seattle pre-Broadway run of “Young Frankenstein,” at that time the most expensive production in the history of musical theatre.
Michael's team also shot and edited last year's Seattle introduction of "Memphis," and that video has been credited by the producers for helping them land a theatre on Broadway – a run of good fortune that led to a 2010 Tony Award for “Outstanding Musical.” The energy and dynamic production aspects of live theatre are often considered uncapturable by television cameras, but after two decades doing it, many times with just one crack at a final orchestra rehearsal, Michael and his team have mastered the craft. In 2007 Michael's television and musical theatre worlds collided when he turned the annual 5th Avenue High School Musical Awards into the extraordinary half-hour television special, 5TH AVENUE HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL AWARDS!, which went on to garner an Emmy Award nomination in the category of “Outstanding Coverage of a Live Event (Other than Sports or News).” He produced HSMA specials again in 2008, 2009 and 2010, earning Emmy nominations each year in the same category.
Michael's live production credentials also include breaking network news, music and sports. He's been a top-shelf producer of "live shots" and events for such clients as ABC News, NBC News, CBS News, MTV/VH1 and Yahoo!, and his Monday Night Football Pre-Game and Post-Game Show for Seattle's CW affiliate were the highest-rated broadcasts in the station's 55-year history. Michael's over 25 years experience in broadcast television and his A-list network-level crews ensure that nothing gets lost when shows go live.
Principal Video ("B-Roll") from no-stop final orchestra rehearsals, reviewed intensively by directors in those last few critical days before Opening Night and used by the marketing teams to promote the productions. No stops for video crew, either – we're required to get it in one take, sometimes without even an opportunity to preview the shows. We're seeing it for the first time. Two-to-three hours of footage then is taken to the shop and edited into 10 minutes or less of highlights, delivered that evening. Show biz...
Clients below include The 5th Avenue Theatre, Mel Brooks, Margo Lion, Adam Sandler, John Waters and Dreamworks.
Client: Mel Brooks and The Paramount Theatre. Mel's baby! Baby Wild Films was entrusted with producing, shooting and editing the Seattle pre-Broadway run of the $21 million musical version of Brooks' iconic movie, which went on to garner four Tony Award nominations. Up to that point, "Young Frankenstein" stood as the most expensive production in Broadway history. Stars Roger Bart and Megan Mullally. Musical directed by Susan Stroman. Shot in front of the first live audience, with just one chance for the video crew to capture the performance. Two cameras: Tom Speer and Chris Bell. Location sound production and post-production by Michael Harris.
Client: The 5th Avenue Theatre. Baby Wild Films was entrusted to produce, shoot and edit the principal marketing footage for the Seattle pre-Broadway run of musical that went on to win the 2011 Tony Award for "Best Musical." This footage is credited for securing a Broadway engagement for this production. One camera: Kevin Ely. Produced and edited by Michael Harris. Location sound production and post-production by Michael Harris.
Client: Margo Lion, John Waters and The 5th Avenue Theatre. Baby Wild Films was entrusted to produce, shoot and edit the principal marketing footage for the Seattle pre-Broadway run of this musical that went on to win eight Tony Awards, including "Best Musical." One camera: Kevin Ely. Produced and edited by Michael Harris. Location sound production and post-production by Michael Harris.
"Catch Me if You Can"
Client: Dreamworks, Margo Lion and The 5th Avenue Theatre. Baby Wild Films produced, shot and edited this principal marketing footage for the Seattle pre-Broadway run of the musical version of Stephen Spielberg's hit movie. This was shot in front of a live audience - one shot at getting it right! Two cameras: Tom Speer and Kevin Ely. Produced and edited by Michael Harris. Location sound production and post-production by Michael Harris.
"The Wedding Singer: The Musical Comedy"
Client: Margo Lion, Adam Sandler and The 5th Avenue Theatre. Baby Wild Films produced, shot and edited the Seattle pre-Broadway run of the musical version of Adam Sandler's hit movie, which went on to garner five Tony Award nominations. No-stop final orchestra rehearsal shot by two cameras - Kevin Ely and Tom Speer. Sound production and post-production by Michael Harris.
"High School Musical Awards!" (2007) (2008) (2009) (2010)
Long before "Glee" and "High School Musical," Michael Harris was turning out exhilarating half-hour specials culled from the annual statewide High School Musical Awards Show presented by The 5th Avenue Musical Theatre. What began as an assignment to produce "thank you" videos for the sponsor, Wells Fargo, became some of the most compelling half-hours airing on local television. With just two cameras and a tiny budget , Michael and veteran photojournalists Tom Speer and Kevin Ely literally capture lightning in a bottle - it's at times hilarious, often heartwarming, and absolutely powered by the singular energy of 2,300 screaming high school students and extraordinary, in-the-moment, Broadway-quality performances. All four specials earned Emmy Award nominations in the coveted category of "Outstanding Coverage of a Live Event (Non-Sports or News)," and even though none of them took home the Emmy, as they say at the HSMAs, all were winners!
Monday Night Football Pre-Game and Post-Game Show (CW11 Seattle)
Michael Harris was Producer/Director of a crew of 23 on CW11’s (CBS Stations Group) live regional Pre-Game and Post-Game Show broadcasts of Monday Night Football, co-hosted by KING TV’s Lisa Gangel and Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon. The shows, which also featured Grammy Award-winning recording artist Sir Mix-a-Lot, were the highest-rated programs in the 55-year history of the station.
ABC News Good Morning America: "Shopping Mall Shooting Near Portland, OR"
BREAKING NEWS / For this dramatic report on ABC News Good Morning America, Producer/Video Journalist Michael Harris was asked to rush from Seattle to Clackamas, Oregon, south of Portland, to join a large West Coast Bureau contingent covering a mass shooting in a shopping mall full of Christmas shoppers. A masked 22-year-old had just killed two and critically injured another before turning the gun on himself. Over 10,000 shoppers had to be evacuated and at times rescued from the terror by true heroes, including a young Macy's employee whom Michael booked and brought to the GMA set for an exclusive live interview, reuniting him with the first customer he saved from the mall. It was a beautiful moment in an otherwise horrific day, one in which Michael also talked to a husband whose wife just hours before had a rifle pointed in her face, only to have the weapon jam, saving her life. Of course, just days after this tragedy in Oregon, the country lost 26 people, including 20 children, in the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.
ABC News Good Morning America / "Four Officers Gunned Down"BREAKING NEWS / The following is a live report from the scene of a horrendous crime near Tacoma, Washington, where four police officers were gunned down in cold blood while in a coffee shop. The gunman was still in the immediate area on the loose while Michael, correspondent Neal Karlinsky and the other ABC News producers were doing their live shot for Good Morning America. The crew had to be protected by a contingent of officers, guns drawn, while search helicopters hovered overhead.
Michael Harris was hired by Yahoo! and flown down to its global headquarters in Sunnyvale, California each week to produce original content for the company's platforms, which reach an estimated 621 million unique users a month. As part of a four-person "Digital Media Bureau," Michael was a "one-man band," producing, shooting, writing, editing and doing voice work for Yahoo!, with assignments taking him to Taiwan, the Tech Crunch Conference in New York City, the Cellular Technology Association (CTIA) Conference in San Francisco, and the Country Music Association (CMA) Awards in Nashville. He also enterprised an extraordinary content relationship with his other client, ABC News, creating and then producing, writing, shooting and editing "Yahoo! Trends With Pamela Woon," a three-minute segment seen every Friday on ABC World News Now. That relationship grew into a highly publicized content partnership between the two companies in October 2011, with ABC News announcing that within a year its unique users grew 170 percent, making the Yahoo!-ABC alliance now the world's #1 online news source. By the end of Michael's contract, "Yahoo! Trends With Pamela Woon" was seen on 383 stations each week, reaching (per Cision) over 9.2 million people.
The following are live reports from the Country Music Association Awards (CMAs) in Nashville, TN November 10-11. 2010, seen on ABC World News Now and all Yahoo! platforms.
Yahoo! Trends With Pamela Woon / ABC World News Now 11-11-10
Yahoo! Trends With Pamela Woon / ABC World News Now 11-10-10
Yahoo! Live From the CMAs 11/10/2010
Yahoo! Live From the CMAs 11/10/2010 "What Users Want to Know Most About You?"
Yahoo! Live From the CMAs 11/10/2010 "High Notes & Yahoos"
"The Madhouse Project: A Night Out for A Cure"
Baby Wiild Films donated its services on behalf of "A Night Out for A Cure," the annual auction fundraiser in Seattle, WA held by the non-profit Madhouse Project benefiting the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. With almost no budget, no walk-throughs, no sound person and NO LIGHT (!!), we managed to capture the essence of the evening and some wonderful moments, including an inspiring talk by the Guest of Honor, Dr. Kimberly Allison, cancer doctor and cancer patient. The evening raised about $200,000 for SCCA.