Michael Aaron Gallagher takes on new role as movie producer

There is no question 2011 was a big year for entertainment journalist Michael Aaron Gallagher. Interviewing some of Hollywood’s biggest stars was just the beginning of the excitement surrounding his career.

“I wanted to branch out this year and really explore other aspects of the movie industry,” Gallagher said recently. “So I started looking for films that were intriguing and that I thought represented the kind of projects I wanted to see brought to the big screen.”

As a financial backer of seven original, independent short films, Gallagher is stepping into a new role, as an up-and-coming film producer. The projects he helped support this year include, “Kids on the Run,” “First Kiss,” “Step One,” “Terminus,” “No Hay Nada Mas (There is Nothing More) and “Other Days.”

“When I evaluate a movie, I look at several different criteria for building a successful project,” Gallagher said. “I wanted to see a strong marketing theme from the filmmakers, a solid soundtrack, and a story that I thought was visually compelling. All seven of these movies have the potential to go on to win awards at film festivals, and that’s exciting.”

In 2011, Gallagher was named as an executive producer of two New York City short films, “Terminus” and “Other Days.”

Set against the backdrop of the NYC subway, “Terminus” tells the story of the end of a relationship between two lovers, Owen and Izzy. Created by the award-winning team of writer/director Barnett Brettler and producer Nicole Capone, it starts filming in New York this December.

Watch the trailer for Terminus below:

“Other Days” was written and directed by Adam Gundersheimer of the Tisch School for the Arts at New York University. Similar to “Terminus” in its themes, the main characters struggle to stay connected after one of them witnesses a tragedy and finds it emotionally difficult to cope.

Character sketch for “Terminus” by Kartika Mediani,
inspired by the characters in the screenplay.

Michael Aaron Gallagher is also an associate producer of three short films, including “Step One” and “First Kiss.”

Set in a coffee shop in Los Angeles, “Step One” is a dark comedy about two people recovering from addiction. It was written by Allison Burnett, whose screenwriting credits include “Autumn in New York” (starring Richard Gere and Winona Ryder), “Untraceable” (starring Diane Lane), “Underworld Awakening” (starring Kate Beckinsale) and “Gone” (starring Amanda Seyfried). The film was directed by Max Gold and edited by Monika Santucci (who worked on “Arbitrage” starring Richard Gere and Susan Saradon).

“I had a chance to interview Allison about ‘Step One‘ before they started shooting the film,” Gallagher said. “And what struck me the most was his willingness to help up-and-coming filmmakers in an industry that isn’t usually known for its generosity. He really cares about telling an authentic story and it just so happens that many of his novels end up in theaters too.”

As an associate producer of the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania based film “First Kiss” by screenwriter Yulin Huang, Gallagher says he could identify with the main character in the story, who writes poems for his romantic interests, although he cannot seem to find love.

“I liked the idea behind Yulin’s story, especially the fact that it shows that it’s okay to have a male lead who is sensitive and displays a certain level of vulnerability,” he said. “There’s something very universal about it. I’m looking forward to seeing how it does on the film festival circuit.”

In 2011, Gallagher was also a financial backer of two other short films, “Kids on the Run” and “No Hay Nada Mas (There is Nothing More),” both of which wrapped filming in November. Inspired by the MTV generation, “Kids on the Run” is a story about Banks, a guy from a small town looking for direction in his life. The film was written and directed by Biola University student Nolan Goff.

Filmed on 35mm film to enhance the gritty realism of Los Angeles, “No Hay Nada Mas (There is Nothing More)” is a story about a family forced to live in a hotel in Los Angeles after their house is foreclosed. It was written and directed by Giovanni Solis of California State University Northridge.

Although Michael Aaron Gallagher hasn’t made an appearance as an actor since his role in the 2009 indie horror film “Ms. Cannibal Holocaust” by director Ron Bonk and executive producer Jonathan Straiton (which went on to screen at several film festivals and will be released on DVD on April 24), with all the recent behind-the-scenes activity, the question is, will he make another big screen cameo in 2012?

“I would love to be a part of another movie as an actor or as an extra,” Gallagher said. “And when I’m given the right invitation, I’m sure I’ll say yes.”

You can become a fan of Michael Aaron Gallagher on Facebook and follow him on Twitter @MichaelCNYnews. For more information about how to contact him, visit his official website www.michaelaarongallagher.com. To keep up with his latest work in movies during 2012, visit his IMDB page at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3614756/. Note: Michael will be announcing his involvement in a Hollywood film later this spring.