Michael Bernard's work as a director and cinematographer represents an interesting mix of cultures. Los Angeles born and London raised, he nurtured an early love for music while in the U.K., playing in a band and owning a record store. This passion led him to adopt a lyrical approach to camera later in his career. He returned to LA for his first film set job as an electrician, where he cultivated a strong sensitivity to proper framing and lighting and its impact on creative work, rising through the ranks to gaffer and ultimately Director of Photography. After serving as DP on music videos and commercials for top-tier directors and clients, directing came as a natural progression.
As a director and cinematographer he has lent his creative eye to visionary spots that capture earnest snapshots of humanity, for brands such as Land Rover, Victoria’s Secret, TRESemmé, Benjamin Moore and Aveeno. He honed his craft in the prime era of music videos as a cinematographer shooting iconic artists such as Missy Elliot, Shakira, Madonna, Tom Petty and The Rolling Stones, among many others.
Directing came as a natural progression after working with very supportive directors and clients. Because of Michael’s talent for shooting luxe products and beauty, top car makers, fashion and beauty lines came calling. This has led to him working with brands as a creative consultant.
A love of photography and lighting guides Michael's work as a filmmaker. "I try to create an emotion visually, and capture that through composition," he says. "The best photographs are able to evoke an emotion through a single image, and that's what I strive for in my film work, that single frame telling a complete story.”
When not in the director’s chair, Bernard enjoys spending time with family in the Silverlake neighborhood of Los Angeles, catching the next flight to destinations unknown, and hanging out with his beloved dogs Grace and Iris. Of course, he’s always on the hunt for great music.