Michael Deane is the founder and President of Modern Times Film Company, a content production company geared to respond to the ever-changing needs of the advertising community.Modern Times has produced TV commercials, music and fashion videos, documentary films, point of purchase, print and events for a variety of clients including Home Depot, Directv, Nomura, Radisson, ATT and more.
Born and raised in the suburbs of New York, Deane made his first film ("The Pusher") at age 13 on location in New York City's Washington Square Park after studying with the Young Filmmaker's Foundation. Later he studied communications in college and graduated from Syracuse University, earning three degrees (B.S. Journalism, B.A. Political Science, Masters. Telecommunication/Film).
After graduate school, Deane started his career in New York and has since produced over 350 commercials for the US, Japanese and Brazilian markets. His first job introduced him to the world of international production, particularly the Japanese and Brazilian advertising markets. While serving as producer/head of production, his responsibilities ranged from pitching creative ideas and talent negotiation (he suggested both Andy Warhol for TDK and Ringo Starr for Schweppes and delivered both, negotiating their contracts and producing the campaigns) to line production of TV commercials and print photography to overseeing post production and the delivery of fully finished spots. It was at this time that he began a 17 year association with the British American Tobacco Company and its two agencies (MPM Propaganda and DPZ in Brazil), suggesting specific sports (including the famous ice berg climbing spot directed by the late Paul Giraud) while producing others such as the Sandboarding spot shot in Namibia.
After five years, he left to embark on a freelance career producing and directing. He directed commercials, music videos (including the first rap video on MTV: Dr. John "Jet Set") industrials, fashion videos, long form videos and a short feature for the Japanese home video market ("Dance Club") as well as producing US, Brazilian and Japanese projects including the Carly Simon video "My New Boyfriend", the story of which was featured in New York Magazine entitled "The Massacre at Menemsha". To be clear, the title referred to the conflict of the film community invading a small vacation destination.
Recognizing the co-mingling of live action with special effects, graphics and other design elements in commercials, he and a partner opened Black Cat, a hybrid computer graphics and live action production company. Black Cat clients included ABC News, American Express, NBC Sports and more. Commercial projects included United Airlines, Panasonic, the Eddie Murphy campaign for Toyota Celica, the Brooke Shields campaign for Lux, the Music campaign (Miles Davis, Youssou N'Adour and Gaz Mayall) for TDK and the Billy Joel campaign for Sony among others. Long form projects included developing Cosmic Voyage, an IMAX film later nominated for an Academy Award.
In the long form arena, he executive produced a documentary "Outlaws, Rebels & Rogues" for TBS Productions through Modern Times. And "Diamonds in the Rough" a film developed and produced by Modern Times was recently added to the Library of Baseballs Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. He has also produced point-of-purchase and other long form projects for DirecTV , Simon & Shuster and other clients.
After moving to Los Angeles in 1994, Deane produced international projects including several campaigns for Hollywood cigarettes, consulted for several agencies and packaged projects emanating from Brazil and Japan. Later he partnered with director Domenic Mastrippolito to found Fuse, the Santa Monica based production company which he ran for 7 years.
In 2003 Deane left to travel and produce projects through his own Modern Times Film Company. He also started developing personal projects with the idea of reconciling the production company business model with the emerging and converging global marketplace of digital media and advertising content beyond TV commercials but with ideas in mobile phones, branded content, pod casting, film and TV and more.
As such, he began licensing content for mobile phones with two Japanese partners. He is also developing two branded content projects "Sounds of Brazil" and "I Only Eat Eggs in Cincinnati". The first explores the influence of Brazilian music on popular culture; the latter is a homage to the legendary wisdom of one Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra.