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Overview for Michael Chin
Michael Chin

Michael Chin


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Birth Place: Profession: Cinematography ...


Cinematography (feature film)

Wounded Knee (2009)
In 1973, American Indian groups took over the town of Wounded Knee, South Dakota to draw attention to the 1890 massacre. Though the federal government failed to keep many of the promises that ended the siege, the event succeeded in revealing the desperate conditions of Indian reservation life to the
Milk (2008)
In 1977, Harvey Milk was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, becoming the first openly gay man to be voted into public office in America. His victory was not just a victory for gay rights; he forged coalitions across the political spectrum. From senior citizens to union workers, Harve
Wonders Are Many: The Making of Doctor Atomic (2008)
Tracks the creation of Peter Sellars' and John Adams' 2005 opera about Robert Oppenheimer and the Manhattan Project, while also exploring the complex birth of nuclear weapons.
Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple (2006)
The 1960s ushered in nearly two decades of intense social and cultural tumult; it was the Age of Aquarius, change was in the air, revolution on the horizon, and all things seemed possible. Some looked to transcendental meditation, free love, Black Power, or LSD. But for others, Jim Jones, the charis
Andy Warhol: A Documentary Film (2006)
A portrait of one of the 20th century's most influential, controversial, and paradoxically mystifying artists. Andy Warhol, born in 1928, died in 1987 at age 58. As a newcomer to New York in the 1950s, he worked in fashion and advertising, illustrating shoes for I. Miller. His earliest paintings, i
Refugee (2004)
Mike Siv has a plan: go to Cambodia with his buddies Paul and David, see the sights, have fun and reunite with his father and younger brother, whom he hasn't seen in twenty-two years. Harsh reality sets in before the journey even begins, however, as Mike, Paul and David have never been out of the co
Black Tar Heroin: The Dark End of the Street (1999) as Additional Camera
Documentary examining the lives of five San Francisco residents -- three women and two men, all between 18 and 25 -- whose lives have spiraled out of control after becoming hopelessly addicted to Mexican heroin. Shot over the course of a three-year period, the verite style camera watches the quintet
Sing Faster: The Stagehands' Ring Cycle (1999) as Cinematographer
Documentary about the stagehands who work at the San Francisco opera as it puts on Wagner's 17-hour Ring Cycle. While the divas sing on stage, we see the work of the guys who move the scenery, manipulate the dragon, pour on the dry ice.
First Person Plural (1999)
When Deann Borshay set out to make a documentary about herself, she realized that she was making a film about three different people from two different countries. She was adopted by the Borshays, a typical middle-class American family. But when she investigated her adoption years later, she found
Life Tastes Good (1999)
Before Harry, a dying mobster commits suicide, he decides to leave his abandoned children a suitcase full of money as a token of reconciliation. The only problem is that the money is stolen from the mob and he has to spend his last days hiding from mafia assasins -- a task made more pleasant by the
Xiu Xiu: the Sent-Down Girl (1998) as 2nd Unit Camera (2nd Unit)
As a teenager Xiu Xiu is pulled from school and "sent down" to the remote countryside of Tibet to learn horsetrading and perform manual labor. Falsely promised the chance to lead her own female cavalry unit, Xiu Xiu learns that she has been lied to by her teacher Lao Jin and soon fears that she will
Litany For Survival: The Life & Work of Audre Lorde, A (1995)
A series of interviews with the late poet, essayist, and civil rights activist Audre Lorde--an African-American lesbian who struggled against breast cancer and turned survival into an art.
Freedom on My Mind (1994)
Interviews and archival footage tell the story of the drive to register African-American voters in 1960s Mississippi.
The Joy Luck Club (1993)
Four Asian-American women work through complicated relationships with their mothers.
In the Shadow of the Stars (1990)
A documentary that takes a look at opera through the eyes of eleven San Francisco Opera choristers -- their stories, ambitions and views of the stars.
Eat a Bowl of Tea (1989)
Chinese immigrants adjust to American life in post-war New York.
Ofrenda: The Days of the Dead, La (1989) as Cinematographer
A documentary on the Mexican festival La Ofrenda.
Forbidden City U.S.A (1989)
A look at the United States' first all Chinese-American nightclub, which became an international hotspot in San Francisco during the 1930's and 40's.
Telephone, The (1988)
Vashti Blue, a struggling actor, takes out her frustrations via the telephone, making prank calls from her apartment.
Haitian Corner (1988) as Director Of Photography
A poet from Haiti flees to America after being imprisoned in his native country. Recovering from the experience, he begins to examine his past.
Slam Dance (1987) as Additional Camera Operator
Color of Honor, The (1987) as Cinematographer
Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam (1987)
Documentary based on actors reading letters written by American servicemen in Vietnam. Compilation war footage is included.
Meiguo xin (1986) as Director Of Photography
Dim Sum: A Little Bit of Heart (1985) as Additional Camera Assistant
A mother and daughter are at odds in a Chinese-American family over the fact that the daughter has not married yet.
Dim Sum: A Little Bit of Heart (1985) as Director Of Photography
A mother and daughter are at odds in a Chinese-American family over the fact that the daughter has not married yet.
Chan Is Missing (1982) as Director Of Photography
Set in San Francisco's Chinatown district, two Chinese taxi drivers, one middle-aged and set in his ways, the other youthful and hip, search for an older partner who's vanished with their funds.
Day After Trinity, The (1980) as Camera Assistant
A profile of physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer and his role in producing the first atomic bomb. The film includes rare interviews with Manhattan Project scientists, and formerly classified footage of the first atomic detonation in the desert and of the atomic research facilities at Los Alamos, New Mex

Film Production - Main (feature film)

Ghosts of Abu Ghraib (2007)
An inside look at the abuses that occurred at the infamous Iraqi prison in the fall of 2003.
Slanted Screen, The (2006)
Explores the portrayals of Asian men in American cinema, chronicling the experiences of actors who have had to struggle against ethnic stereotyping and limited work. The film presents a critical examination of Hollywood''s image-making machine, through a fascinating parade of 50 film clips spanning a century. It includes interviews with actors Mako, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, James Shigeta, Dustin Nguyen, Phillip Rhee, Will Yun Lee, Tzi Ma, Jason Scott Lee, comedian Bobby Lee, producer Terence Chang, casting director Heidi Levitt, writer Frank Chin, and directors Gene Cajayon and Eric Byler.
Eat a Bowl of Tea (1989)
Chinese immigrants adjust to American life in post-war New York.

Cinematography (special)

Japan: Memoirs of a Secret Empire (2004)
A look at Japan through the centuries up to the start of its modern era, as depicted in three episodes. In "The Way of the Samurai," 16th century Japan, ruled by warlords and the Samurai, is unified and creates a lasting dynasty that continues for over two centuries. In "The Will of the Shogun," J
Beyond Brown: Pursuing the Promise (2004)
A documentary about how the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Brown vs. Board of Education has affected schools across the nation.
None Without Sin: Arthur Miller, Elia Kazan, and the Blacklist (2003)
Documentary chronicling the conflicts of the House Un-American Activities Committee and how the Hollywood blacklist divided longtime friends and colleagues Arthur Miller and Elia Kazan.
Unchained Memories: Readings From the Slave Narratives (2003)
Various African-American actors come together to read excerpts from first-hand accounts of slave life collected during the 1936-1938 Federal Writers' Project.
Justice and the Generals (2002)
Twenty years ago, four American nuns were raped and murdered in El Salvador, a crime that shocked the world. Using archival footage and first-hand accounts, the program traces the search for truth and justice by their anguished families through a look at two landmark human-rights cases.
Zoot Suit Riots (2002)
In the aftermath of a highly publicized trial for the murder of a young Mexican-American man, Los Angeles erupted in violent riots in June 1943 that scarred race relations for decades to come. For ten straight nights, American sailors armed with makeshift weapons cruised Mexican American neighborhoo
Mount Rushmore (2002)
An artist's determination propelled the largest sculptural project in history. Gutzon Borglum directed dozens of ordinary Americans in the creation of what some call a monstrosity and others a masterpiece -- Mount Rushmore.
Nobel: Visions of Our Century, The (2001)
Documentary examining the history of the Nobel Prize. Nadine Gordimer, the South African novelist, and ten other Nobel laureates reflect on the Prize and the world's problems and hopes, exploring the sometimes contradictory notions of peace and science, scientific discovery and responsibility as the
Roman Empire in the First Century, The (2001)
Documentary about the Roman Empire in the 1st Century A.D. and the lasting legacies of Emperors Caesar Augustus, Caligula, Claudius and Nero. Born in times of crisis amid civil war, Caesar Augustus is capable of brutal violence and tender compassion. He is influential, forging the image of Roman gr
They Drew Fire (2000)
In 1943, the War Department of the United States government selected a number of American artists to create a record of World War II in all its phases. The program features seven of those veteran artists and the works they created.
Jubilee Singers: Sacrifice and Glory (2000) as Principal Cinematography; Additional Cinematography
Documentary about the Jubilee Singers. In the chaotic decade following the Civil War, a group of young ex-slaves in Nashville, Tennessee, set out to save their bankrupt school by giving concerts. Traveling first through cities in the North, then on to venues across Europe, the Jubilee Singers introd
Joe DiMaggio: The Hero's Life (2000)
Documentary about sports hero Joe DiMaggio. Raised in a poor Italian fishing community in San Francisco, Joe DiMaggio joined the New York Yankees in 1936 and quickly rose to become the star of baseball's golden age.
I'll Make Me a World: A Century of African-American Arts (1999)
Documentary examining 20th century African-American art through the stories of African-American writers, poets, painters, sculptors, musicians, dancers, actors and filmmakers.
Robert Townsend on Sex in the 20th Century: From Behind Closed Doors (1999)
A feature-length documentary on sex in the 20th century. From the strictness of the early 20th century to the sexual abandon of the 1960s and '70s to the safety-conscious society of the '90s, filmmaker Robert Townsend takes a look at the sexual revolution in America.
Barry Levinson on the Future in the 20th Century: Yesterday's Tomorrows (1999)
A feature-length documentary on the concept of the future in the 20th century. Director Barry Levison explores our century-long preoccupation with the future and revisits familiar and not so familiar images of the world we expected to see at the end of the 20th century.
Hymn For Alvin Ailey, A (1999)
A tribute to the late Alvin Ailey by choreographer-dancer Judith Jamison, performance artist-actress Anna Deveare Smith and filmmaker Orlando Bagwell. Features the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre performing Jamison's choreography to Smith's synthesis of the dancer's memories of working with Ailey
Sandra Bernhard: I'm Still Here... Damn It! (1998)
Actress-comic Sandra Bernhard performs her one-woman show onstage before an audience at Slim's in San Francisco.
Silent Spring Revisited (1998)
Examines new evidence in the debate over the danger of man-made chemicals to human health and the environment.
Irish in America: Long Journey Home, The (1998)
The story of Irish immigrants to the United States from the arrival of the earliest immigrants in the mid-19th Century to the present. Successful Irish-Americans from all walks of life share their stories.
Africans in America -- America's Journey Through Slavery (1998)
Documentary examining the historical roots of today's social problems by exploring the history of slavery in America. From the nation's early days as an English settlement to the start of the Civil War, each part focuses on a different chapter in the struggle to define freedom. Combines first-person
Shattering the Silences (1997) as Camera
Examines the success and distress of seven minority scholars in the humanities and social sciences at universities across the United States.
Divided Highways: The Interstate and the Transformation of American Life (1997)
America's desire for freedom and the open road resulted in the construction of thousands of highways during the Eisenhower administration. Through interviews, archival footage and photography, America's interstate highway system is revealed to have shaped every aspect of American life and affected t
Vote For Me: Politics in America (1996)
A four-part exploration of what it really takes to run for public office.
Battle Over Citizen Kane, The (1996)
Documentary recounting the clash between Orson Welles and William Randolph Hearst over the production and release of Welles' 1941 film, "Citizen Kane," which was a brutal portrait of the newspaper magnate.
America's War on Poverty (1995)
An examination of the U.S. poverty programs created during the 1960s.
Question of Color, A (1994) as Cinematographer
Documentary examining the issue of "color consciousness" in the black community, exploring the effect of a caste system based on how closely skin color, hair texture and facial features conform to a European ideal.
Malcolm X: Make It Plain (1994)
A documentary examining the life of Malcolm X.
Maya Angelou: Rainbow in the Clouds (1992)
A special featuring Maya Angelou at a Sunday morning service at the inner-city Glide Memorial Church, San Francisco, California.
Kennedys, The (1992)
A two-part documentary that traces the lives of Joe and Rose Kennedy and their nine children, focusing particularly on Joseph Jr., John, Robert, and Edward.
China in Revolution, 1911-1949 (1989) as Camera Operator
A documentary exploring the years prior to the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949. Archival footage is combined with interviews.
Common Threads: Stories From the Quilt (1989)
A documentary that tells the stories of five people who died from AIDS and how their loved ones came to terms with their loss through participation in the AIDS Memorial Quilt. The huge quilt, made by friends and relatives of people who have died of AIDS, has traveled throughout the United States to raise money for AIDS research. The documentary makes use of interviews with families and friends, plus photos and home movies.
Mighty Pawns (1987)
A drama about a new teacher in a tough inner-city school, and how he arouses the interest of his "problem" students by getting them involved in the game of chess. The story is based on the real-life happenings at a school in Philadelphia.
Day in the Life of America, A (1986)
A documentary portrait of one day in the life of the United States, lensed in numerous locations on the same day (5/2/86) throughout the country. The project took place during a 24-hour marathon with 23 documentary film crews and 100 professional still photographers at work. At the day's end, over 5

Film Production - Main (special)

Harvest of Fear (2001)
An investigative look at the controversial advancements that biotech scientists have made in genetically altering food. A gene from a jellyfish is placed in a potato plant, making it light up whenever it needs watering. Rice plants are genetically transformed to produce vitamin A, preventing millio
Hitchcock, Selznick & the End of Hollywood (1999)
Documentary profiling the tempestuous association between two of the greatest figures in Hollywood history, producer David O. Selznick and director Alfred Hitchcock, whose clashes played out dramatically against the backdrop of the disintegrating institution of the Hollywood studio system.
Cadillac Desert (1997)
Four-part documentary chronicling the epic struggle for water in the modern American West. The first three programs, based on Marc Reisner's book, "Cadillac Desert," are tales of astounding engineering feats, heroic determination, political machinations, and economic triumphs and disasters: how the
Wild West (1995)
In search of the science behind the legends, host Alan Alda tracks rattlesnakes in the Sonoran Desert, searches for gold in the Sierra Nevada, uses forensic medicine to identify some of the casualties at the site of Custer's Last Stand at Little Bighorn. survives a close encounter with some scorpion
Earth and the American Dream (1993)
A documentary chronicling how the pursuit of the American Dream has changed the environment. Makes use of first-person accounts of writers, politicians, historians, business people, Native Americans and other citizens. Combines archival footage and original photography.
Machine That Changed the World, The (1992)
A five-part special chronicling the advances in computer technology.
Hot Summer Winds (1991)
An adaptation of two short stories by Hisaye Yamamoto. Set in California's Salinas Valley in the late 1930s, a ten-year-old Japanese girl grows up on a farm amidst a mixture of traditional Japanese customs and American popular culture. Presentation of "American Playhouse."
Those Wonderful Dogs (1989)
A "National Geographic Specials" presentation which looks at the history of dogs and the role they play in hunting, war, herding, rescue efforts and helping the handicapped.
Gift of Life, The (1986) as Photography
An "America Undercover" documentary about the courage and hope of the families of two chronically ill children, with visits to the children's ward at the Medical Center of the University of California.

Cinematography (TV Mini-Series)


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