director cinematographer +



Michael Dwyer grew up as an obese child in Los Angeles listening to Bronski Beat and Ray Charles on repeat when he wasn’t rewatching Luis Valdez’ LA BAMBA. In the 5th grade, he completed his first short documentary about recycling. The film was poorly received. Undeterred, he continued to take himself too seriously, studying acting and directing at the Lee Strasberg Institute, portraiture at the Prado Museum in Madrid, Feminism at UC Santa Cruz, and eventually graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts with an emphasis in Production.

Straight out of film school, Dwyer produced and shot the now notorious music video for Fonzworth Bentley, EVERYBODY, featuring Kanye West and Andre 3000. His work in music videos includes directing RAC’s LET GO and shooting Justin Bieber’s INTENSIONS for director Michael Ratner.

His lifelong dedication to the documentary form led him to collaborate as a DP with legendary directors Ron Howard, Marina Zenovich, Nicholas Bruckman, Charles Burnette, Lee Hirsch, Constance Marks, Josh Greenbuam, and many others. He has also been featured by ARRI and the ASC for his work on THE BEE GEES: HOW CAN YOU MEND A BROKEN HEART, directed by the prolific producer-director Frank Marshall (BACK TO THE FUTURE, JURASSIC WORLD). Notably, his years of shooting in Harlem on THE APOLLO led to an Emmy win for best Documentary Feature and several other collaborations with Academy Award Winning Director Roger Ross Williams (CASSANDRO, THE 1619 PROJECT).

Along with shooting, Michael Dwyer cultivates his passion for directing fiction feature films. In 2016, his thriller HOSTILE BORDER debuted at the Los Angeles Film Festival, winning the Audience Award and a Special Jury Prize for Directing from Justin Simien (DEAR WHITE PEOPLE, HAUNTED MANSION). The film was acquired and released by Samuel Goldwyn Films and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and can now be found on Amazon Prime worldwide.

Bringing his award-winning directing and cinematography skills into the commercial space, Dwyer has worked with some of the biggest brands; most notably directing the signature spot for Arrowhead Water’s FUELED BY NATURE campaign featuring former LA Laker star Dwight Howard.

Raised by two scientists, Dwyer strives to tell stories with a combination of sensitivity and rigor, creating precise combinations of authenticity and refinement. Having shot and directed in over 25 countries on every type of format with the world’s most renowned actors, Nobel laureates, athletes, musicians, politicians, and celebrities, he brings a wealth of craftsmanship and occasional candor to every set.